[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Athens 7-12-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990 (Ch. 25 of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 23.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the Village, whether or not compensated, but shall not include an independent contractor or its employees. The term "employee" shall include a former employee, his estate or judicially appointed personal representative.
- The Village of Athens.
Upon compliance by the employee with provisions of § 18-3 of this chapter, the Village shall provide for the defense of the employee in any civil action or proceeding in any state or federal court arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred or is alleged in the complaint to have occurred while the employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of his public employment or duties. Such defense shall not be provided where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the Village.
Subject to the conditions set forth in this chapter, the employee shall be represented by the Village Attorney or an attorney employed or retained by the Village for the defense of the employee. The Village Board shall employ or retain an attorney for the defense of the employee whenever the Village does not have a Village Attorney; whenever the Village Board determines, based upon its investigation and review of the facts and circumstances of the case, that representation by the Village Attorney would be inappropriate; or whenever a court of competent jurisdiction determines that a conflict of interest exists and that the employee cannot be represented by the Village Attorney. Reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation expenses shall be paid by the Village to such attorney employed or retained, from time to time, during the pendency of the civil action or proceeding subject to certification by the Village Attorney that the employee is entitled to representation under the terms and conditions of this chapter. Payment of such fees and expenses shall be made in the same manner as payment of other claims and expenses of the Village. Any dispute with respect to representation of multiple employees by the Village Attorney or by an attorney employed or retained for such purposes or with respect to the amount of the fees or expenses shall be resolved by the court.
Where the employee delivers process and a request for a defense to the Village Attorney or the Village Clerk as required by § 18-3 of this chapter, the Village Attorney or the Clerk, as the case may be, shall take the necessary steps, including the retention of an attorney under the terms and conditions provided in Subsection B of this section, on behalf of the employee to avoid entry of a default judgment, pending resolution of any question relating to the obligation of the Village to provide a defense.
The duties to defend provided in this chapter shall be contingent upon the delivery to the Village Attorney or, if none, to the Village Clerk of the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within 10 days after he is served with such document and the full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and defense of any action or proceeding against the Village based upon the same act or omission, and in the prosecution of any appeal. Such delivery shall be deemed a request by the employee that the Village provide for his defense pursuant to this chapter, unless the employee shall state, in writing, that a defense is not required.
The Village shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employees in a state or federal court, or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, provided that the act or omission from which such judgment or claim arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties; provided further that in the case of a settlement the duty to indemnify and save harmless shall be conditioned upon the approval of the amount of settlement by the Village Board of Trustees.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the duty to indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this section shall not arise where the injury or damage resulted from intentional wrongdoing or recklessness on the part of the employee.
Nothing in this section shall authorize the Village to indemnify or save harmless an employee with respect to punitive or exemplary damages, fines or penalties, or money recovered from an employee pursuant to § 51 of the General Municipal Law; provided, however, that the Village shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any costs, attorneys' fees, damages, fines or penalties which may be imposed by reason of an adjudication that an employee, acting within the scope of his public employment or duties, has, without willfulness or intent on his part, violated a prior order, judgment, consent decree or stipulation of settlement entered in any court of this state or of the United States.
Upon entry of a final judgment against the employee, or upon the settlement of the claim, the employee shall serve a copy of such judgment or settlement, personally or by certified or registered mail within 30 days of the date of entry or settlement, upon the chief administrative officer of the Village; and if not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, the amount of such judgment or settlement shall be paid by the Village.
The benefits of this chapter will inure only to employees as defined herein and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party, nor shall any provision of this chapter be construed to affect, alter or repeal any provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law.
The benefits of this chapter shall be extended to an employee of a negotiating unit for which an agreement has been negotiated pursuant to Civil Service Law, Article 14, only if such agreement expressly so provides.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.
As otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, the provisions of this chapter shall not be construed in any way to impair, alter, limit, modify, abrogate or restrict any immunity available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the Village or any right to defense provided for any governmental officer or employee by, in accordance with or by reason, any other provision of state or federal statutory or common law.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all actions and proceedings specified herein which have been commenced, instituted or brought on or after the effective date of this chapter.