Glen Gilzean needs to step down from Ethics Commission or district administrator role, general counsel rules

by | Aug 18, 2023



  • General Counsel for Florida’s Commission on Ethics opined on Thursday that Glen Gilzean, a member of the commission and administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), cannot hold both positions due to a breach of state regulations.
  • The legal counsel’s memorandum cites state statute that prohibits a commission member from engaging in public employment concurrently, and Gilzean’s role as District Administrator is considered public employment.
  • Gilzean’s agreement with CFTOD outlines a $400,000 annual salary and mentions him as an employee, prompting his inquiry to the Ethics Commission’s legal experts about potential conflicts of interest.
  • Gilzean has not yet announced whether he will resign from either role.

General Counsel for Florida’s Commission on Ethics opined that Glen Gilzean, a member of the commission and, more recently, administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), is unable to serve in both roles due to a breach of state regulations.

The commission’s legal counsel issued a memorandum on Thursday affirming that Gilzean’s presence in both roles is prohibited by state statute, which stipulates that a commission member cannot concurrently engage in any form of public employment.

The issue arose after investigative outlet The Florida Bulldog highlighted concerns about Gilzean’s standing on Monday. Gilzean subsequently sought guidance from the Ethics Commission’s legal experts, culminating in yesterday’s determination.

“The Agreement [to join CFTOD in an administrative role] refers to your relationship with the District as “employment” and your status as an “employee.” According to the terms of the Agreement, you report directly to the Board of Supervisors, serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the District,” reads the memo. “Florida Statutes states that no member [of the Commission on Ethics] may hold any public employment. For the reasons explained above, it appears that your position as District Administrator for the District is public employment.”

Gilzean’s agreement with CFTOD details an annual salary of $400,000; the possibility of severance, should he lose his job; and refers to him as an employee for an unspecified length of time. Within Gilzean’s outreach to Steven Zuilkowskli of the General Counsel, he stated that he sought to avoid a “conflict of interest.”

“In an abundance of caution and in light of concerns that were raised today, will you please provide me a written legal opinion … as to whether I can continue to serve on the Commission,” he wrote.

Gilzean was initially appointed to the Commission in 2019 before being reappointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022. He is scheduled to fulfill the duties of the position through June 2024. As of Friday morning, Gilzean has not made a public announcement regarding whether or not he intends to resign from one, or both, of his roles. An attempt to contact the CFTOD office of communcations was not immediately responded to.

CFTOD’s Board of Supervisors currently has a meeting scheduled for Aug. 23rd.

1 Comment

  1. Obvious Conflict

    He’s just what the meatball wants.. an ethics commissioner that wouldn’t recognize a conflict of interest or ethical breach if it smacked him in the face.

 

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