[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Freeport 2-8-1971 by L.L. No. 1-1971. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Freeport recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for public officers and employees which must be observed if a high degree of moral conduct is to be obtained and if public confidence is to be maintained in our unit of local government. It is the purpose of this chapter to promulgate these rules of ethical conduct for the officers and employees of the Incorporated Village of Freeport. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and employees of the Incorporated Village of Freeport. The rules of ethical conduct of this chapter, as adopted, shall not conflict with but shall be in addition to any provisions of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and interest in contracts of municipal officers and employees.
[Amended 9-15-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes any board, commission, authority, office committee, department, branch, bureau or other administrative subdivisions of the Village of Freeport consisting of one or more persons, paid or unpaid, which perform any function related to the business of the government of the Village of Freeport.
- Includes salaries, wages, fees, commissions and receipt, directly or indirectly, of any other thing of value.
- A pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer or employee unless the context otherwise requires.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- An officer or employee of the Incorporated Village of Freeport, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or other agency thereof or of any authority, the members of which are appointed by the Mayor or by the Mayor and the Board of Trustees and the employees thereof. No person shall be deemed to be a municipal officer or employee solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or civil defense volunteer, except a Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief.
It shall be deemed a condition of employment of all officers and employees to subscribe their intention, prior to entering upon their respective duties, to be bound by the applicable provisions of this chapter by signing their name to the appropriate form provided therefor.
Every officer or employee of the Incorporated Village of Freeport shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
Gifts. He shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $25 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 inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or could reasonably be expected to influence him in the performance of his official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his part.
Confidential information. He shall not disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties or use such information to further his personal interest.
Representation before one's agency. He shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
Representation before any agency for a contingent fee. He shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of his municipality whereby his compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter, provided that this paragraph shall not prohibit the fixing at any time of fees based upon the reasonable value of the services rendered.
Disclosure of interest in legislation. To the extent that he knows thereof, a member of the Board of Trustees and any officer or employee of the Incorporated Village of Freeport, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Board of Trustees on any legislation before the Board of Trustees or on any matter being considered by any other official, board, agency, commission or officer of the Incorporated Village of Freeport shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he has in such legislation.
Investments in conflict with official duties. He shall not invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with his official duties, however, where the investment is relatively minimal, this shall be disclosed to the Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees shall pass on the propriety of his existing official action in the related matter.
Private employment. He shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his official duties.
Future employment. He shall not, after the termination of service or employment with such municipality, appear before any board or agency of the Incorporated Village of Freeport in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he personally participated during the period of his service or employment or which was under his active consideration.
Appearance before administrative body. He shall not, within two years after the termination of service or employment with such municipality, appear before any board or agency of the Incorporated Village of Freeport in relation to any case, proceeding or application if any of the board or agency members were appointed by or whose appointment was influenced by a former officer or employee. This prohibition shall not apply to an appearance before a board or agency on behalf of one's personal case, proceeding or application.
[Added 11-25-1971 by L.L. No. 2-1974]
Nothing herein shall be deemed to bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former municipal officer or employee of any claim, account, demand or suit against the Incorporated Village of Freeport or any agency thereof on behalf of himself or any member of his family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
The Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Freeport shall cause a copy of this chapter to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Incorporated Village of Freeport within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his office or employment.
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 code may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.
There is established a Board of Ethics consisting of five members appointed by the Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Freeport, subject to confirmation by the Board of Trustees and who shall serve without compensation. Of the members first appointed to the Board, one shall hold office for the term of one year, one for the term of two years, one for the term of three years, one for the term of four years and one for the term of five years from and after his appointment. Successors to such first appointed members of the Board of Ethics shall be appointed for a term of five years from and after the expiration of the terms of their predecessors in office. The members of the Board of Ethics shall elect a Chairman from their group. A majority of such members shall be persons other than officers or employees of the Incorporated Village of Freeport but shall include at least one member who is an elected or appointed officer or employee of the Incorporated Village of Freeport.
The Board of Ethics shall have the powers and duties prescribed by Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and shall render advisory opinions to the officers and employees of the Incorporated Village of Freeport with respect to Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and any code of ethics adopted pursuant to such article under such rules and regulations as the Board may prescribe. In addition, the Board may make recommendations with respect to the drafting and adoption of amendments to the Code of Ethics under request of the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Freeport. All requests for opinions must be submitted to the Board in writing and such opinions shall be rendered only to the person duly requesting it. Such Board shall promulgate its own rules and regulations as to its forms and procedures and shall maintain appropriate records of its opinions and proceedings.