All identifying information has been deleted from this opinion as required by Chapter 268B, section 3(g).
You are an employee of a state agency. You have primary responsibility for a Program under which the agency assists small businesses. A company which makes a type of books has requested assistance; you believe that this business has great potential; and, you are presently considering organizing or investing in a company making these kinds of books.
You ask whether such a possible future financial interest in this kind of business requires you to disqualify yourself under section 6, Chapter 268A from participating in any action by the agency with respect to these types of book companies. Section 6 of Chapter 268A prohibits a state employee from participating in any particular matter in which he, a business organization employing him, or anyone with whom he has an arrangement concerning employment has a private financial interest. You specifically state that you have no arrangements with any other person and have taken no action yourself in preparation for going into or investing in any such company. Nor do you have an present financial interest, agreement or understanding with any such company.
The Commission has determined that for the foreseeable future it will be guided by the decisions of the Attorney General issued prior to November 1, 1978, the effective date of the Commission's jurisdiction over Chapter 268A matters. The Attorney General has never interpreted the prohibitions of Chapter 268A,section 6 to apply to speculative future interests where there is no present financial interest, understanding or arrangement concerning prospective employment. Therefore, relying solely on the facts as you present them at this time, section 6 does not require you to disqualify yourself from participating in the particular matters before you nor to file the disclosure statement required by section 6 as amended.
End of Opinion