Van De Kamp, 010484 CAAGO, AGO 83-814

Docket Nº:AGO 83-814
Case Date:January 04, 1984
Court:California
 
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JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
ANTHONY S. DA VIGO Deputy Attorney General
AGO 83-814
No. 83-814
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
January 4, 1984
         THE HONORABLE JOSEPH B. MONTOYA, MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE, has requested an opinion on the following questions:          1. May the State Athletic Commission license one of its members as a professional boxing referee?          2. Does the State Athletic Commission have authority to license a person as a professional boxing referee with a provision that the license is not valid within California?          CONCLUSIONS          1. The State Athletic Commission may license one of its members as a professional boxing referee.          2. The State Athletic Commission does not have the authority to license a person as a professional boxing referee with a provision that the license is not valid within California.          ANALYSIS          The first inquiry is whether the State Athletic Commission may license one of the commission members as a professional boxing referee. The State Athletic Commission (hereinafter "commission") and the regulation in this state of boxing and wrestling are provided for in section 18600 et seq. of the Business and Professions Code.1The commission consists of eight members, six of whom are appointed by the Governor, with the remaining two members being appointed by the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly. (§ 18620.) "The commission has the sole direction, management, and control of and jurisdiction over all boxing contests, sparring and wrestling matches, and wrestling exhibitions which are conducted, held, or given within this state. . . ." (§ 18670.) The commission, as part of its licensing functions " . . . may license clubs to conduct, hold, or give, and may license referees, matchmakers, assistant matchmakers, announcers, ticket sellers, doormen, ushers, corporation treasurers, box-office employees, and timekeepers to participate in, or be employed in connection with, professional or amateur boxing contests, sparring or wrestling matches, or wrestling exhibitions. . . ." Such licenses are required to hold such contests, matches or exhibitions or be employed in them. (§ 18673; emphasis added.)          Nothing in the act regulating boxing and wrestling expressly prohibits the commission from licensing one of its members as a professional boxing referee.[2]Accordingly, we must determine whether some general statute or common law principle prohibits such action. We are aware of no common law doctrine which absolutely forbids the concurrent holding of a public office and private employment which may give rise to personal conflicts of interest. (But see 25 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 295 (1955).)[3] The common law doctrine prohibiting conflicts of interest has been applied on a transactional basis. Accordingly, when a conflict arises between a public officer's official duties and his personal interests, he need only abstain from participation therein and from influencing any other public officer or employee with respect to the particular transaction. (See, e.g., 61 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 88, 92 (1978); 58 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 345, 355-356 (1975).)          The statutory law relating to conflicts of interest which is applicable generally to state appointive officers such as the commissioners herein is found in sections 1090 et seq., 8920 et seq. and 87100-87103 of the Government Code. The starting point in conflicts of interest analysis is sections 87100-87103 of the Government Code which are found in the Political Reform Act of 1974 (PRA). This is so since that act prevails over any conflicting legislation. However, additional requirements may be imposed upon public officials so long as those requirements do not prevent the person from complying with the PRA. (Gov. Code, § 81013.)          Section 87100 of the Government Code is the basis prohibition section of the PRA. It states:
"No public official at any level of state or local government shall
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