[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Munsey Park 2-10-1982 by L.L. No. 1-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is considered that the government of the Village will be best served, and will attract qualified and competent persons to serve the Village in various elective and appointive capacities, if persons in the Village service can feel secure that in the proper performance of their duties and services they are free from personal jeopardy in the event of civil actions or proceedings being brought against them relating to their services and duties for the Village. It is therefore the purpose and intent of this chapter to confer upon employees of the Village the benefits of § 18 of the Public Officers Law and for the Village to stand liable for all costs incurred under the provisions of such law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any commissioner, member of a public board or commission, trustee, director, officer, employee, 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 Village, whether or not compensated, including volunteers expressly authorized to participate in a publicly sponsored volunteer program and a former employee, his estate or judicially appointed representative.
Upon compliance by the employee with § 17-6 of this chapter the Village 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. Such duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or at the behest of the Village.
Subject to the conditions set forth in § 17-3 of this chapter the employee shall be entitled to be represented by private counsel of his choice in any civil action or proceeding whenever the Village Attorney or other counsel designated by the Board of Trustees 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 Village Attorney or other counsel designated by the Board of Trustees may require, as a condition to payment of fees and expenses of such representation, that appropriate groups of such employees be represented by the same counsel. Reasonable attorney's fees and litigation expenses shall be paid by the Village to such private counsel from time to time during the pendency of the civil action or proceeding with the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Village. Any dispute with respect to representation of multiple employees by a single counsel or the amount of litigation expenses or the reasonableness of attorney's 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 Village pursuant to § 17-6 of this chapter the Village shall take the necessary steps on behalf of the employee to avoid entry of a default judgment pending resolution of any question pertaining to the obligation to provide for a defense.
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, and 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 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. 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 Village Clerk, and if not inconsistent with the provisions of this section the amount of such judgment or settlement shall be paid by the Village.
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this chapter shall be conditioned upon:
Delivery by the employee to the Village Attorney or Village Clerk 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 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 in defense of any action or proceeding against the Village based upon the same act or omission, and in the prosecution of any appeal.