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HomeMy WebLinkAbout2013 #1New York State Department of State Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue Local Law FilingAlbany, NY 12231-0001 www. dos. state. ny. us/corps (Use this form to file a local law with the Secretary of State.) Text of law should be given as amended. Do not include matter being ` s pt use italics or underlining to indicate new matter. IDEppARTM FILV-D ❑County ❑City Town ❑Village JUL g ���3 (Select one:) of Groton MISCELLANEOUS STAVE RECORDS Local Law No. 1 of the year 2013 A local law establishing a Code of Ethics and Ethics Advisory Board for the Town of Groton (Insert Title) Be it enacted by the Town Board (Name of Legislative Body) of the ❑County ❑City ❑x Town ❑Village (Select one:) of Groton as follows: SECTION I - INTRODUCTION Pursuant to the provisions of section 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Town Board of the Town of Groton recognizes that there is a need for clear and reasonable standards of ethical conduct. Public officers and employees must observe a high degree of moral conduct to maintain public confidence. It is the purpose of this local law to set forth these rules of ethical conduct for the officers and employees of the Town of Groton. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct with regard to disclosure of interests in legislation before the local governing bodies, holding of investments in conflict with official duties, future employment, and such other standards as may be deemed advisable. SECTION II - DEFINITIONS (a) "Board" means the Groton Town Board or any other board or body of the Town of Groton. (b) "Code" means the Code of Ethics of the Town of Groton. (If additional space is needed, attach pages the same size as this sheet, and number each.) DOS -0239 -f -I (Rev. 06/12) Page 1 of 9 (c) "Confidential information" includes, but is not limited to, any information that would (i) affect current or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations, or (ii) interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings, or (iii) deprive a person of his/her right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication, or (iv) constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, or (v) endanger the life or safety of any person, or (vi) provide civil service examination questions or answers or answers prior to administration of the examination, or (vii) reveal computer access codes, or (viii) provide any information that is specified as non - disclosable by federal or state law. (d) "Interest" means a direct or indirect financial or material benefit, but does not include any benefit arising from the provision or receipt of any services generally available to the residents or taxpayers of the Town, or a lawful class of such residents or taxpayers. A Town officer or employee is deemed to have an interest in any private organization when he or she, his or her spouse, or a member of his or her household, is an owner, partner, member, director, officer, employee, or directly or indirectly owns or controls more than 10% of the organization's outstanding stock. (e) "Town" means Town of Groton. (f) "Town officer or employee" means a paid or unpaid officer or employee of the Town of Groton, including, but not limited to, the members of any Town board. (g) "Town resources" include, but are not limited to, Town personnel and the Town's money, vehicles, equipment, materials, supplies, or other property. (h) "Gift" includes anything of value, whether in the form of money, service, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or in any other form. (i) "Relative" means a parent, domestic partner, child, stepchild, brother, sister, parent or stepparent of a Town officer, employee or appointed official/board member. In addition, "relative" includes any person claimed as a dependent on the latest federal and/or state income tax return. SECTION III - STANDARDS OF CONDUCT (a) General Prohibition on Use of Office or Employment for Private Gain (1) A Town officer or employee shall not use his or her official position or office, or take or fail to take any action, in a manner that he or she knows or has reason to know may result in a personal financial benefit for any of the following persons: (a) the Town officer or employee; (b) the Town officer's or employee's outside employer or business; (c) a customer or client of the Town officer or employee; (d) a relative of the Town officer or employee; (e) a person or entity with which the Town officer or employee has had a financial relationship within the previous twelve months; (f) any person or entity from which the Town officer or employee has received a gift, or any goods or services for less than fair market value, during the previous twelve months; or (g) a person from whom the Town officer or employee has received election campaign contributions of more than five hundred dollars in the aggregate during the previous twenty-four months. (2) A Town officer or employee shall not use his or her official position to advance his or her private interest or the interest of others listed in subdivision (a)(1) of this Section to obtain any unwarranted privileges, exemptions, or advantages for any of the persons listed in subdivision (a)(1) of this Section. For purposes of this subparagraph "interest" shall be given its common meaning and shall not be limited to pecuniary or material benefits. Page 2 of 9 (3) A Town officer or employee shall not use or permit the use of Town resources for personal or private purposes. A Town officer or employee shall not use Town letterhead, personnel, equipment, supplies, or resources for a non-governmental purpose nor engage in personal or private activities during times when he or she is required to work for the Town. However, this subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting: (a) any use of Town resources authorized by law or Town policy; (b) the use of Town resources for personal or private purposes when provided to a Town officer or employee as part of his or her compensation; or (c) the occasional and incidental use during the business day of Town telephones and computers for personal matters such as family care and changes in work schedule. (4) No Town officer or employee shall knowingly cause the Town to spend more than is reasonably necessary for transportation, meals or lodging in connection with official travel. (b) Recusal, Abstention, Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest (1) A Town officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion of, or consideration of, or who gives an opinion on any legislation before the Town Board must publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest that the officer or employee knows or should know exists. (2) A Board member with such a conflict can abstain from voting. (3) A Town officer or employee shall promptly recuse himself or herself from acting or discussing a matter before the Town when acting on the matter, or failing to act on the matter, may financially affect any of the persons listed in Section III (a)(1). The act of recusal should be considered to be an abstention. (c) Confidential Information No employee or officer of the Town may ever disclose confidential information or use such information to further a personal interest. To be certain of complying with this local law, all officers and employees must first request and receive an official determination from the Town Attorney that a given piece of information is not confidential before disclosing or making personal use of it. The restrictions on disclosure and use of confidential information described herein apply without regard to the circumstances in which the information was acquired, and include information gained through means other than the possessor's association with the Town. (d) Nepotism Except as otherwise required by law: (1) No Town officer or employee, either individually or as a member of a board may participate in any decision specifically to appoint, hire, promote, discipline, or discharge a relative for any Town position or any Town board. (2) No Town officer or employee may directly or indirectly supervise a relative in the performance of the relative's official duties unless such supervision is in compliance with an individual written plan that has been proposed by the affected Department in conjunction with the Town Board. Page 3 of 9 (e) Gifts and Gratuities (1) A Town officer or employee shall not solicit a gift from any person or entity that has received or sought a financial or material benefit from the Town, nor accept a gift from any person who the Town officer or employee knows or has reason to know has received or sought a financial benefit from the Town or who will be seeking such a benefit in the future. (2) A Town officer or employee shall not request or accept anything from any person or entity other than the Town for doing his or her Town job. (3) A Town officer or employee shall not accept or receive any gifts having a value of seventy-five dollars ($75) or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be expected to influence the performance of official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action. (f) Political Solicitations (1) Exclusive of mass advertising or solicitations, a Town officer or employee shall not directly or indirectly solicit, compel, or induce a subordinate Town officer or employee to make, or promise to make, any political contribution, whether by gift of money, service, or other thing of value. (2) A Town officer or employee may not act or decline to act in relation to appointing, hiring, promoting, discharging, disciplining, or in any manner changing the official rank, status, or compensation of any Town officer or employee, or an applicant for a position as a Town officer or employee, or the awarding of any contract on the basis of giving and withholding or neglecting to make any contribution of money or service or any other valuable thing for any political purpose. (g) Investments in conflict with official duties A Town officer or employee shall not invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial, or other private transaction, that creates a conflict with official duties. An investment in which a Town officer or employee has an interest shall be exempt if such interest was acquired prior to the time he or she was elected or appointed as such officer or employee, but this paragraph shall in no event authorize a renewal of any such contract or investment. Such contract or investment is of course subject to the disclosure and recusal provisions of this local law. This section does not prohibit a Town officer or employee from acquiring any other investments or the following assets: (1) real property located within the Town; or (2) less than ten percent (10%) of the stock of a publicly traded corporation. (h) Representation A Town officer or employee shall not represent any person or entity in any matter that is before the Town nor represent any person or entity in any matter that involves the Town. Excluded from this prohibition is a Board Member performing his or her normal duty of constituent representation and the Town Attorney performing his or her official duties. (i) Appearances Except Town Board Members appearing with or for constituents, a Town officer or employee shall not appear before any agency of the Town, except on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the Town. Page 4 of 9 SECTION IV- DISCLOSURE Elected officials of Town of Groton shall file by May 15 of each year an annual disclosure statement. This shall be submitted to the Clerk of the Town of Groton in the form prescribed by resolution of the Groton Town Board upon recommendation of the Ethics Advisory Board. The Clerk shall retain the forms on behalf of the Ethics Advisory Board and make them available for inspection as detailed below. The Clerk of the Town of Groton shall make the information submitted on Annual Disclosure Statements available, on request, to the members of the Ethics Advisory Board and Town Attorney. The Clerk shall also make the information submitted on Annual Disclosure Statements available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law. The Town Attorney shall confirm filing by all required filers. If the Town Attorney determines that any required filers have not filed a correctly completed disclosure form the Town Attorney shall report this to the Town Supervisor. In addition, if a member of the Groton Town Board has failed to complete and file an accurate and complete disclosure form, the Town Attorney shall report this to the Town Supervisor. SECTION V - ETHICS ADVISORY BOARD (a) Membership and Eligibility - There shall be an Ethics Advisory Board that consists of five (5) members, each appointed by a majority vote of the Groton Town Board. Each member shall be a resident of the Town of Groton. One of the members of the Ethics Advisory Board shall be a member of the Groton Town Board. None of the remaining members shall be an elected or appointed official of the Town of Groton. (b) Chair - The Chair of the Ethics Advisory Board shall be one of the appointed members of the Ethics Advisory Board selected by the Supervisor of the Town of Groton upon advice of the Ethics Advisory Board for a term of one (1) year. (c) Term - The members of the Ethics Advisory Board will serve a term of four (4) years; however, two (2) of the original appointees shall be appointed to serve an initial term of two (2) years. (d) Quorum - Three (3) members of the Ethics Advisory Board shall constitute a quorum, with the vote of three (3) members being required for action by the Board. (e) Compensation - The members of the Ethics Advisory Board shall not be compensated; however, they may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. (f) Bvlaws - The Ethics Advisory Board may propose bylaws for its governance, which by law shall become effective upon approval by the Groton Town Board. (g) Responsibilities - (1) Meetings (a) The members of the Ethics Advisory Board will meet at least once a year and at such other times as the Chair of the Ethics Advisory Board shall convene them and within thirty (30) days after receipt of a written complaint. (b) At each meeting of the Ethics Advisory Board, an opportunity shall be given to hear or receive complaints of alleged unethical practices, which may be brought in writing by any Town employee or official. Any other person may submit a complaint to the Town Attorney, who, if unable to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, shall submit the complaint to the Ethics Advisory Board. Page 5 of 9 (2) Review of complaints and questions. (a) The Ethics Advisory Board shall review all filed Disclosure Statements referred to it by the Town Attorney and all other complaints received to ascertain whether a conflict of interest, actual or potential, exists between the public duties of the official or employee and his or her private activities pursuant to this local law. (b) The Ethics Advisory Board shall upon the written request of any individual receive, review, and hear all signed complaints that the Board determines to have merit alleging violations(s) of this local law. Any such complaint must be signed by the individual complainant and must include his/her address and telephone number. Complaints from any person will be received in the following manner: A signed written complaint in the above form should be delivered to the Town Attorney who, if unable to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, shall refer the complaint to the Ethics Advisory Board. (4) Authority to take testimony. The Ethics Advisory Board shall have the authority to take testimony under oath and to recommend to the Groton Town Board that subpoenas be issued to compel the attendance of witnesses and to require the production of any books or records. The Town Board shall take action on any such recommendation; a majority vote of the total membership of the Groton Town Board shall be required for the issuance of a subpoena by the Ethics Advisory Board. (S) Option to recommend resolution of conflict. In addition to such other powers conferred by this Section, the Ethics Advisory Board may recommend to the Town official or employee the manner in which the conflict of interest may be resolved. An affidavit by the official or employee detailing his or her compliance with the recommendations may be sufficient reason to rescind the Ethics Advisory Board's recommendation for disclosure or other action. The affidavit must be delivered to the Ethics Advisory Board at a specified time and place as set forth in the Board's certified, return receipt requested letter to such official or employee. If the official or employee fails to follow the recommendations of the Ethics Advisory Board in eliminating the conflict of interest, that fact shall also be disclosed. Nothing herein contained shall be construed or interpreted to mean that the Ethics Advisory Board is under a duty to make such recommendations to the official or the employee. (6) Written decision rendered. It is the intent of this local law that complaints be resolved promptly and therefore a written decision should be forthcoming within ninety (90) days after the conclusion of the fact - gathering process. (7) Written record of actions and determinations. The Ethics Advisory Board shall state in writing the disposition of every request for opinion and every investigation it conducts, and the reasons for the disposition. All such statements and written requests shall be kept on file as public records. (8) Review of Code of Ethics. The Ethics Advisory Board shall review the Code of Ethics of the Town and recommend to the Groton Town Board any changes that it deems appropriate. Any changes in the code of ethics that are recommended by the Ethics Advisory Board shall be acted upon by the Town Board in open session at a regular meeting within four (4) months of the issuance of the recommendations. SECTION VI - DISTRIBUTION OF CODE OF ETHICS The Supervisor of the Town of Groton shall cause a copy of this local law to be distributed electronically or by hard copy to every officer and employee of the Town of Groton within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this local law. Each officer and employee shall be furnished an electronic or a hard copy of this local law before entering upon the duties of his/her office or employment. A copy of this local law shall be available in each Town department and posted on the Town website. In addition each Town officer and employee shall receive an annual reminder about the existence of this local law, where it can be accessed, and the importance of complying with it. Page 6 of 9 The failure of a Town officer or employee to receive a copy of this local law or any other amendment thereto does not affect either the applicability or enforceability of this local law or amendments thereto. SECTION VII - PENALTIES In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this local law may be censured, fined, suspended, or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law. SECTION VIII - SUPERSESSION The Code of Ethics contained in this local law shall supersede any other Code of Ethics previously adopted by the Town of Gorton. SECTION IX - EFFECTIVE DATE This local law shall take effect upon the filing as provided in section twenty-seven of the Municipal Home Rule Law. Page 7 of 9 (Complete the certification in the paragraph that applies to the filing of this local law and strike out that which is not applicable.) 1. (Final adoption by local legislative body only.) 1 hereby certify that the local law annexed hereto, designated as local law No. 1 of 20 3 of the � ty) y)(Town)(W ) of Groton was duly passed by the Town Board on July 9 2013 , in accordance with the applicable (Name of Legislative Body) provisions of law. 2. (Passage by local legislative body with approval, no disapproval or repassage after disapproval by the Elective Chief Executive Officer*.) I hereby certify that the local law annexed hereto, designated as local law No. of 20 of the (County)(City)(Town)(Vi Ilage) of was duly passed by the on 20 and was (approved)(not approved) (Name of Legislative Body) (repassed after disapproval) by the and was deemed duly adopted (Elective Chief Executive Officer*) on 201 1 1, in accordance w ith the applicable provisions of law. 3. (Final adoption by referendum.) hereby certify that the local law annexed hereto, designated as local law No. of 20 of the (County)(City)(Town)(Village) of was duly passed by the on 20 , and was (approved)(not approved) (Name of Legislative Body) (repassed after disapproval) by the on 20 (Elective Chief Executive Officer*) Such local law was submitted to the people by reason of a (mandatory)(permissive) referendum, and received the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon at the (general)(special)(annual) election held on 20 , in accordance with the applicable provisions of law. 4. (Subject to permissive referendum and final adoption because no valid petition was filed requesting referendum.) I hereby certify that the local law annexed hereto, designated as local law No. of 20 of the (County)(City)(Town)(Vi Ilage) of was duly passed by the (Name of Legislative Body) on 20 _ ,and was (approved)(not approved) (repassed after disapproval) by the on 20 Such local (Elective Chief Executive Officer*) law was subject to permissive referendum and no valid petition requesting such referendum was filed as of 20 , in accordance with the applicable provisions of law. * Elective Chief Executive Officer means or includes the chief executive officer of a county elected on a county -wide basis or, if there be none, the chairperson of the county legislative body, the mayor of a city or village, or the supervisor of a town where such officer is vested with the power to approve or veto local laws or ordinances. DOS -0239 -f -I (Rev. 06/12) Page 8 of 9 5. (City local law concerning Charter revision proposed by petition.) hereby certify that the local law annexed hereto, designated as local law No. of 20 of the City of having been submitted to referendum pursuant to the provisions of section (36)(37) of the Municipal Home Rule Law, and having received the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors of such city voting thereon at the (special)(general) election held on 20 , became operative. 6. (County local law concerning adoption of Charter.) hereby certify that the local law annexed hereto, designated as local law No . of 20 of the County of State of New York, having been submitted to the electors at the General Election of November 20 , pursuant to subdivisions 5 and 7 of section 33 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, and having received the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the cities of said county as a unit and a majority of the qualified electors of the towns of said county considered as a unit voting at said general election, became operative. (If any other authorized form of final adoption has been followed, please provide an appropriate certification.) I further certify that I have compared the preceding local law with the original on file in this office and that the same is a correct transcript therefrom and of the whole of such original local law,nd was finally adopted in the manner indicated in paragraph .� above. - ) - &- jb? K�A"( Afin C., Clerk ofktk county legislative body, City, Town or Village Clerk or officer designated by local legislative body (Seal) Date: ! Q,64 az �3 DOS -0239 -f -I (Rev. 06/12) Page 9 of 9