Current Leon County School Board member and Board Chair Dee Dee Rasmussen has recently accepted a job with the Associated Building Contractors of North Florida and has announced she will no longer vote on construction related issues that come before the Board.
Her decision to abstain from votes is based on an opinion from the Florida Commission on Ethics that she requested in November of last year.
In a statement provided to Tallahassee Reports, Rasmussen noted that her elected position is a part-time job and that before accepting the position “I reviewed any and all legal and ethical issues related to such an opportunity by consulting with multiple attorneys. I also obtained a written opinion from the Florida Commission on Ethics. I will continue to serve with honesty, dedication, and integrity, just as I always have, in my School Board position.”
At the January 14th LCS Board meeting Rasmussen stated that “I am going to abstain from this and all future construction related items I will explain due to my appointment and the possibility of any perceived conflict of interest.”
Ms. Rasmussen abstained from seven votes on construction related issues at the January 14th meeting.
Ms. Rasmussen’s new employer is a nonprofit trade association with membership comprised of over two hundred regional contractors and companies involved in the commercial construction industry.
The employer does not conduct business or have a vending relationship with LCS. However, members of the association provide services as vendors to LCS.
The Florida Commission on Ethics found no conflict of interest, but stated, “in an abundance of caution, you should refrain from voting as a Board member on any measure affecting a member” of Associated Building Contractors of North Florida.
The opinion also stated that in “the event that such a vote arises, you should comply with the steps outlined in Section 112.3143(3)(a) (i.e., abstain from the vote, publicly disclose your reason for abstaining prior to the vote, and properly file a voting conflict memorandum within 15 days of the vote).”