City of Burlington, WI
Racine County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Burlington 1-5-1988 by Ord. No. 1203(25) as § 1.34 of the 1988 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 35-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to enable public officials and employees, both appointive and elective, to conduct themselves in a manner that shall preserve public confidence in and respect for the government of the City and to treat all citizens with courtesy, impartiality, fairness and equality under the law.

§ 35-2 Definitions.

The terms of this code are defined as follows:
INTEREST
Any interest arising from blood or marriage relationships or from close business or political association, whether or not any financial interest is involved.
[Amended 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1740(20)]
OFFICIAL or EMPLOYEE
Any person elected or appointed to, or employed or retained by, any public office or public body of the City, whether paid or unpaid and whether part time or full time.
PUBLIC BODY
Any agency, authority, board, body, commission, committee, department or office of the City.
[Amended 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1740(20)]

§ 35-3 Fair and equal treatment.

A. 
Impartiality. No official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of any consideration, treatment, advantage or favor beyond that which it is the general practice to grant or make available to the public at large.
B. 
Use of public property. No official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of any publicly owned or publicly supported property, vehicle, equipment, material, labor or service for the personal convenience or the private advantage of himself or any other person. This rule shall not be deemed to prohibit an official or employee from requesting, using or permitting the use of such publicly owned or publicly supplied property, vehicle, equipment, material, labor or service which it is the general practice to make available to the public at large or which is provided as a matter of stated policy for the use of officials and employees in the conduct of official business or which is provided for elsewhere in a resolution or ordinance of the Common Council.

§ 35-4 Conflict of interest.

A. 
Financial or personal interest. No official or employee, either for himself or on behalf of any other person, shall have any financial or personal interest in any business or transaction with any public body in the City until he shall first make full public disclosure of the nature and extent of such interest.
B. 
Disclosure and disqualification. Whenever the performance of his official duties shall require any official or employee to deliberate and vote on any matter involving his financial or personal interest, he shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest and disqualify himself from participating in the deliberations as well as in the voting. Elected officials and members of the Plan Commission shall disclose any legal or equitable interest which they might have in any real estate subject to the deliberation of the Commission.
C. 
Incompatible employment. No official or employee shall engage in private employment with or render service for any private person who has business transactions with any public body of the City unless he shall make full public disclosure of the nature and extent of such employment or services.
D. 
Representation of private persons. No official or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or others except as may otherwise be provided by law.
E. 
Gifts and favors. No official or employee shall accept any gift, whether in the form of money, thing, favor, loan or promise, that would not be offered or given to him if he were not an official or employee.
F. 
Confidential information. No official or employee shall, without the prior formal authorization of the public body having jurisdiction, disclose any confidential information concerning any other official or employee or any other person or any property or governmental affairs of the City.

§ 35-5 Complaint procedure.

Upon the sworn complaint of any person alleging facts which, if true, shall constitute improper conduct under the provisions of this chapter, the Common Council shall conduct a public hearing in accordance with all common law requirements of due process and, in written findings of fact and conclusions based thereon, make a determination concerning the propriety of conduct of the subject official or employee or, if appropriate, refer the matter to other proper City authority. If a member of the Common Council shall be a person against whom a sworn complaint has been filed, such member of the Common Council shall disqualify himself from the hearing as a Common Council member during the hearing or hearings.

§ 35-6 Stricter provisions to prevail.

If any provision of this Code of Ethics is less restrictive than any other provision of this Code relating to the conduct of public officials and employees, the stricter provisions shall prevail.

§ 35-7 Violations and penalties.

[Added 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1740(20); amended 8-19-2008 by Ord. No. 1868(10)]
Any person who shall violate this chapter shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in Chapter 1, § 1-4, of this Municipal Code.