Appeal from the State Ethics Commission in the case of James C. Rogers, Rogers, Huber & Associates, P.C., No. 82-001, dated January 20, 1982.
James D. Campbell, Jr., Campbell, Spitzer, Davis & Turgeon, with him W. E. Shissler, Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall, for petitioners.
Sandra S. Christianson, General Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
James Rogers, a certified public accountant, and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants appeal an opinion of the State Ethics Commission, which held that a certified public accountant who is appointed auditor of a municipality is a "public official" under the Act of October 4, 1978 (Ethics Act), P.L. 883, 65 P.S. § 401-413. We reverse.
Rogers requested an opinion from the Commission, pursuant to Section 7(9)(i) of the Ethics Act, 65 P.S. § 407(9)(i), as to whether certified public accountants performing municipal audits were "public officials"*fn1
or "public employees"*fn2 under the Ethics Act. The Commission opined that an individual serving in the elected office of auditor for any political subdivision or who is appointed to fill the office of auditor is a public official obligated to comply with Section 4 of the Ethics Act, 65 P.S. § 404.*fn3
Although conceding that elected auditors are public officials, Rogers presented information and testimony to the Commission and requested clarification of and reconsideration of the opinion. On January 20, 1982, the Commission held as follows:
If you or your firm, serve as such and are, appointed as same in lieu of the elected auditor in a municipality you are a "public official" required to file a Financial Interest Statement under the Ethics Act.
It is from this opinion that Rogers ...