[Adopted 5-20-1991 as L.L. No. 2-1991]
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The political subdivision of the State of New York comprising the City of Watertown.
- Any commissioner, member of a public board or commission, trustee, director, officer, employee, trustee, director or employee of the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library or volunteer expressly authorized to participate in a publicly sponsored volunteer program or any other person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the City of Watertown, whether or not compensated, but shall not include an independent contractor. The term "employee" shall include a former employee, his/her estate or judicially appointed personal representative.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The City Council of the City of Watertown.
The City Council of the City of Watertown, in accordance with § 18 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York, does hereby confer the benefits of defense and indemnification, as described in said § 18 of the Public Officers Law, upon its employees and agrees to be held liable for the costs incurred under the provisions of said § 18 of the Public Officers Law, as those provisions are more specifically stated herein.
Upon compliance by the employee with the provisions of § 45-26 of this article, the City shall provide for the defense of the employee in any civil action or proceeding, state or federal, arising out of any alleged act or omission, which occurred or allegedly occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties. This duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or at the behest of the City employer.
Subject to the conditions set forth in Subsection A of this section, the employee shall be entitled to be represented by private counsel of his choice in any civil action or proceeding whenever the Corporation Counsel or other counsel designated by the City determines that a conflict of interest exists or whenever a court, upon appropriate motion or otherwise by a special proceeding, determines that a conflict of interest exists and that the employee is entitled to be represented by counsel of his choice; provided, however, that the Corporation Counsel or other counsel designated by the City may require, as a condition to payment of the fees and expenses of such representation, that appropriate groups of such employees be represented by the same counsel. Reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation expenses shall be paid by the City to such private counsel, from time to time, during the pendency of the civil action or proceeding, with the approval of the governing body.
Any dispute with respect to representation of multiple employees by a single counsel or the amount of litigation expenses or the reasonableness of attorneys' fees shall be resolved by the court upon motion or by way of a special proceeding.
Where the employee delivers process and a written request for a defense to the City under § 45-26 of this article, the City shall take the necessary steps on behalf of the employee to avoid entry of a default judgment, pending resolution of the question pertaining to the obligation to provide for a defense.
The City 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 governing body.
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 City 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 City 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 Mayor of the City Council of the City of Watertown or the City Manager of the City of Watertown, and if not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, the amount of such judgment or settlement shall be paid by the City.
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this section shall be conditioned upon:
Delivery by the employee to the Corporation Counsel and to the Mayor or City Manager of a written request to provide for his defense, together with the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading, within five days after he is served with such document.
The full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in the defense of any action or proceeding against the City based upon the same act or omission and in the prosecution of any appeal.
The benefits of this article shall insure only to employees as defined herein and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party; nor shall any provision of this section be construed to affect, alter or repeal any provision of the Workers' Compensation Law.
This article shall not in any way affect the obligation of any claimant to give notice to the City under section ten of the Court of Claims Act, § 50-e of the General Municipal Law or any other provision of law.
Editor's Note: See Judiciary — Court Acts, Part 2, § 10.
The City, upon direction by the governing body, is hereby authorized and empowered to purchase insurance from any insurance company created by or under the laws of this state or authorized by law to transact business in this state against any liability imposed by the provisions of this article or to act as a self-insurer with respect thereto.
All payments made under the terms of this article, whether for insurance or otherwise, shall be deemed to be for a public purpose and shall be audited and paid in the same manner as other public charges.
The provisions of this article shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, the provisions of this article shall not be construed in any way to impair, alter, limit, modify, abrogate or restrict any immunity to liability available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the City by or in accordance with or by reason of any other provision of state or federal statutory or common law.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, benefits accorded to employees under this article shall be in lieu of and take the place of defense or indemnification protections accorded the same employees by another enactment.