[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tarrytown 2-2-2009 by L.L. No. 2-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 27, Ethics, Code of, adopted 2-16-1960 by L.L. No. 1-1960, as amended.
The goal of Village government is to provide for the fair, impartial, open and lawful administration of the Village.
In order to accomplish this goal, it is necessary that all Village officers or employees, as those terms are defined below, whether volunteer, paid or elected:
In recognition of this goal, there is hereby established a Code of Ethics which is based upon the 1988 Municipal Ethics Act for New York State Municipalities.
This Code of Ethics supplements the rules setting forth certain impermissible interests and conduct contained in Article 18 of the General Municipal Law of New York State (the "General Municipal Law") and applicable to all officers and employees of municipal governments in New York State. All Village employees are required to familiarize themselves with both General Municipal Law Article 18, as well as this Code. Nothing in this Code may be construed to permit any interest or conduct which is prohibited under General Municipal Law Article 18.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any office, board, body, advisory board, council, commission, agency, department, district, administration, division or bureau of the Village, as well as any committee of the Village established by Village ordinance.
- APPEAR and APPEAR BEFORE
- Communicating in whatever form, whether personally or through another person.
- DISCRETIONARY ACTION
- Any action involving the exercise of judgment or discretion by a Village officer or employee, either individually or as a member of any agency, and includes, but is not limited to, negotiation, approval, advice, recommendation, authorization or audit.
- FAMILY MEMBER
- An individual's spouse, child, parents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, stepchild and stepparent or any such person as listed herein so related to the spouse of the Village officer or employee.
- Unless otherwise defined, shall mean a pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a Village officer or employee as the result of a business or professional transaction with the Village. For the purposes of this Code, a Village officer or employee shall be deemed to have an interest in the affairs of a related person.
- PARTICULAR MATTER
- Any business dealing with the Village, or any application for such business, or any case, proceeding, determination, investigation, charge, accusation or arrest or any other matter involving a discretionary action of a Village officer or employee, but does not include the proposal, consideration or enactment of local laws, ordinances or regulations of general application.
- A. A family member;
- B. Any entity of which the Village officer or employee is an officer or director, or legally or beneficially owns or controls more than 5% of the outstanding securities;
- C. Any person or entity with which the Village officer or employee has or intends to enter into an employment, professional, business or financial relationship, and any principal of such entity; and
- D. Any person or entity from whom the Village officer or employee has received, within any twelve-month period during the previous 24 months, a pecuniary or material benefit having an aggregate value greater than $1,000.
- A husband or wife from whom the Village officer or employee is not legally separated, and any person with whom the Village officer or employee lives as a single household unit.
- VILLAGE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- Any officer or employee of the Village of Tarrytown, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or other agency thereof. No person shall be deemed to be a Village officer or employee solely by reason of being a volunteer member of the Village Ambulance Corps or a volunteer fireman, except that a Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief shall be considered a Village officer or employee.
No Village officer or employee shall:
Own a 5% or greater legal or beneficial interest in, or act as attorney, director, broker, agent, consultant, representative or employee for any person, firm or corporation interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in business or professional dealings with the Village unless full disclosure is made as to such interest to the Village Ethics Board, in writing, and the Ethics Board affirmatively permits by waiver, pursuant to § 27-10C(4), below, the business relationship otherwise prohibited by this section. The foregoing prohibition shall not apply to the Fire Chief or to any Assistant Fire Chief, provided that the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief(s) does not act as an employee for a person, firm or corporation and have no ability or control of Village purchasing associated therewith. Should the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief(s) be in full compliance with the language of this subsection, no waiver pursuant to § 27-10 shall be required.
[Amended 4-1-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013; 12-2-2013 by L.L. No. 13-2013]
Editor’s Note: This local law provided that it would sunset 6-30-2013. This sunset date was extended to 11-30-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013, adopted 5-20-2013.
Knowingly have an interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature, which is in conflict with, or might reasonably tend to conflict with, the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest.
Directly or indirectly solicit any gift, or accept or agree to accept any gift of over $75 in value [or such higher value as may be set forth in the prohibition on gifts contained in General Municipal Law § 805-a, Subdivision 1(a), if any], from any person, other than a family member. However, a Village officer or employee may accept or agree to accept a gift which would otherwise be prohibited, provided that it was not received under circumstances in which it reasonably might be inferred that such gift was intended to influence the Village officer or employee in the performance of his or her official duties or reward him or her for any discretionary action. A gift shall include money, services, loans, travel, entertainment, hospitality, things or promises thereof or any other gratuity or promise thereof, including any financial transaction on terms not available to the general public, but shall not include a campaign contribution.
Take or refrain from taking any discretionary action, or agree to take or refrain from taking any discretionary action, or induce or attempt to induce any other Village officer or employee to take or refrain from taking any discretionary action, on any matter before the Village in order to obtain a pecuniary or material benefit for:
Except where such disclosure is authorized by law, disclose during his or her term of office with the Village or thereafter any confidential information which was acquired in the course of his or her official duties, or use any such information to advance the financial or other private interest of himself or herself or any other person.
Appear as attorney or counsel against the interests of the Village in any matter in which the Village is a party or a complainant.
After termination of his or her term of office or employment with the Village, appear before the Village, or receive compensation for services rendered on behalf of any person, in relation to any particular matter upon which he or she took any action or that came before him or her during his or her term of office or employment with the Village.
During his or her term of office or employment with the Village, solicit, negotiate for, or accept any employment from which he or she would be disqualified under § 27-3A(7).
Within a period of one year after termination of his or her term of office or employment, appear or practice before the Village agency in which he or she served and, if having served as Mayor, Trustee, Justice, Acting Justice, Village Attorney, or Chairman or member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board, any other agency as well. This shall not, however, preclude any Village officer or employee from appearing in his or her own behalf or in the performance of public or civic obligations.
Appear on behalf of third-party interests in any matter involving the agency which he or she currently serves.
As Mayor, Trustee, Justice, Acting Justice, Village Attorney or Chairman or member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board of the Village, appear in behalf of any third-party interests before or in any matter involving any agency of the Village.
As Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief, execute a contract or approve a purchase or sale of any goods or services, on behalf of the Village or any agency thereof, with (a) a related person of either the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief, or (b) a company or firm in which such related person is an employee or owner, or (c) with any other firm engaged in the same line of business as that of any related person. Whenever the foregoing prohibition prevents a Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief from any act that he/she is otherwise required to perform on behalf of the Village, the Village Administrator or Village Treasurer, acting alone, shall have the power and authority to perform such act in his/her sole discretion.
[Added 4-1-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013; amended 12-2-2013 by L.L. No. 13-2013]
Editor’s Note: This local law also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection A(12) as Subsection A(13); and provided that this local law would sunset 6-30-2013. This sunset date was extended to 11-30-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013, adopted 5-20-2013.
Request or permit the use of Village-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except:
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a Village officer or employee or any other person from receiving a Village service or benefit, or using a Village facility, which is generally available to residents in the Village.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit campaign contributions that are allowed by Article 14 of the Election Law of the State of New York.
No Village officer or employee shall solicit, directly or indirectly, any business, donations or personal services from any direct or indirect subordinate.
No Village officer or employee shall solicit any other Village officer or employee, directly or indirectly, to contribute, donate, give or grant any monies, property or services to any Village political party, political campaign or political office except indirectly through campaign flyers and mailings.
Whenever the Village officer or employee is requested or required to take any action on a matter before the Village and, to his or her knowledge, either the performance or nonperformance of that action would result in a pecuniary or material impact to himself or herself or to any related person different from that which would result from the action by reason of its general application to a broad class of impacted persons, the Village officer or employee shall not participate in that matter or be present during any discussion in executive session of the matter. A Village officer may also voluntarily recuse himself or herself to avoid conflicting interests not prohibited herein or the perception of any conflicting interests. Upon either mandatory or voluntary recusal, the Village officer or employee shall also make a record, either by a statement in the minutes of the relevant meeting or by filing a signed statement promptly with the Village Clerk and his or her immediate supervisor of the nature of that interest. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a Village officer or employee from participating in any matter in his or her capacity as, and in the same manner as, an ordinary citizen of the Village and not in his or her capacity as a Village officer or employee, provided the disclosure described in the preceding sentence be undertaken and complete.
For purposes of the preceding section, the term "related person" shall include any organization, other than a political party or a major religious organization, in which the Village officer or employee is employed or is a member, as well as any individual who holds a supervisory or managerial position in such organization.
Whenever a vote is required from which a Village officer must recuse himself or herself under this section or from which he or she chooses to recuse himself or herself, such recusal shall not be counted for the purpose of determining whether a majority or other ratio required by law to pass a measure has been reached, provided, however, that no action may be taken by a body unless a majority of all of the members appointed or elected to such body vote on the matter. If a body, with respect to a particular vote, is or will be reduced below such majority by reason of a recusal required or permitted pursuant to this section, then:
If such vote relates to the Village Fire Department, the body may, by majority vote of all members present, decide to waive, for all (but not less than all) of its members, the recusal requirements of this section; and
With respect to any other matter, any member of such body may apply to the Village Ethics Board for a waiver of the recusal requirements of this section.
Each Village officer, as defined in New York State Village Law § 3-301, each managerial employee and each Village officer, as defined in this chapter, or employee who serves on a board, council or committee or in an appointed capacity that has decisionmaking authority independent of the Board of Trustees shall file with the Village Clerk an annual statement of financial disclosure containing the information and appearing in the form as promulgated from time to time by the Ethics Board and kept on file with the Village Clerk. Such statement shall be filed on or before the 15th day of May with respect to the preceding calendar year. Any elected or appointed officer or managerial employee who commences employment or takes office after May 15 of any year shall file such statement within 30 calendar days after commencing employment or taking office.
[Amended 12-5-2011 by L.L. No. 12-2011]
Anyone who is subject to two or more filing requirements as set forth above need not make a second filing in any one calendar year.
For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person making a submission.
- Any written application, petition, bid, proposal or other request concerning a business dealing with the Village which has a value or cost to the Village of $2,000 or more, but shall not include an application to be considered for eligibility to apply for or bid on any business dealing.
For purposes of this section, a campaign contribution shall be considered to have been made to a candidate if such contribution is made to any committee soliciting or receiving funds for the purpose of supporting the candidate, except that a contribution to a political party shall not be considered a contribution to a candidate unless it is earmarked for the use of a particular candidate. Where contributions are made to committees which support more than one candidate, the contribution shall be considered to have been spent equally on all the candidates unless otherwise specified by the contributor. For the purpose of this section, a loan to a candidate or campaign committee shall be considered a campaign contribution.
Any person who makes a submission to the Board of Trustees of the Village shall disclose in writing the information set forth in Subsection C(1) and (2) of this section, and any person who makes a submission to any other agency of the Village shall disclose in writing the information set forth in Subsection C(2) of this section. Such disclosure shall be made on a form provided by the Village Clerk (the "Applicant Disclosure Form") as part of the submission, in addition to the information required under General Municipal Law § 809, Subdivision 1:
The name of the Village officer or employee to whom the applicant has made one or more campaign contributions totaling $250 or more within any six-month period during the previous 24 months.
The name of any Village officer or employee who, to the applicant's knowledge: has an interest in the submission or in the applicant, and is required to take any discretionary action on the submission. The applicant also shall identify in the submission the nature and extent of the interest.
Such disclosure shall be submitted to the Village Clerk for review and filing. If the disclosure is incomplete or otherwise deficient on its face, the Village Clerk shall return such disclosure to the applicant. In such case the submission will however be deemed to have been filed on the date it was originally received by the Village, provided that a completed applicant disclosure form is returned to the Village Clerk within 10 calendar days of its return to the applicant. If the applicant disclosure form on its face indicates a possible conflict of interest, the Village Clerk shall forward a copy thereof immediately to a member of the Ethics Board for review pursuant to § 27-10C(6), below.
In accordance with § 808 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, the Ethics Board of the Village of Tarrytown ("Ethics Board"), created by resolution of the Tarrytown Board of Trustees (the "Board of Trustees") on March 6, 2006 (the "Ethics Board Resolution"), shall consist of seven members, each of whom shall be residents of the Village during the entire tenure of his or her term. The Board of Trustees may at any time by resolution increase or decrease the number of members who shall sit on the Ethics Board; however, the Ethics Board must have a minimum of three members. The Board of Trustees shall designate one member of the Ethics Board as its Chairperson.
At all times, one member of the Ethics Board other than the Chairperson shall be a member of the Village Board of Trustees. The Chairperson of the Ethics Board shall immediately inform such member whenever the Ethics Board has been asked or directed to involve itself in any matter involving such member, any other member of the Board of Trustees or the Board of Trustees generally, whereupon such member shall immediately recuse himself or herself from all consideration of such matter by the Ethics Board. Other than the Village Trustee who serves on the Ethics Board pursuant to this section, no other Village officers, employees or candidates for Village office shall serve on the Ethics Board.
The term of office for Ethics Board members other than the member who is a Village Trustee shall be three years; however, the terms of office for the initial Ethics Board members shall be as set forth in the Ethics Board Resolution. All reappointments and/or new appointments shall commence on the first day of May and terminate three years later, on the 30th day of April of said year. The term of office for the Ethics Board member who is a Village Trustee shall be for one year commencing on the first day of April and terminating on the 31st day of March the following year.
Pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 808, Subdivision 3, the Board of Trustees is hereby designated as the appointing authority for all members of the Ethics Board.
The Board of Trustees shall fill all vacancies on the Ethics Board.
No member of the Ethics Board shall hold office in any political party or be employed as a lobbyist before the Village. An Ethics Board member may make campaign contributions but may not participate in any Village election campaign, except for the member of the Board of Trustees who serves on the Ethics Board, who may campaign for himself or herself as well as for other candidates appearing on his or her slate of candidates for the same office.
The Ethics Board shall adopt rules and regulations as to forms and procedures and shall at all times maintain appropriate records of its opinions and proceedings.
A member of the Ethics Board may be removed by the Village Board of Trustees, but only for the grounds set forth below.
Grounds for removal of a member of the Ethics Board shall be substantial neglect of duty, misconduct in office, inability to discharge the powers or duties of office, or violation of this Village Ethics Code, after written notice and opportunity for reply.
A quorum of the Ethics Board shall be necessary for the Board to vote upon any matter. A quorum shall consist of no less than a majority of the Ethics Board positions, including all vacant positions. A vote of the majority of the members of the Ethics Board constituting a quorum shall be required for the Ethics Board to take any action. The Chairperson or any three members may call a meeting of the Ethics Board.
The Ethics Board shall hold at least one meeting per year and may hold as many additional meetings per year as it deems necessary or as shall be called by the Chairperson or any three members, provided that a meeting of the Ethics Board shall be held promptly and in no case later than 30 calendar days after its receipt of either a complaint alleging a violation of this Code of Ethics or a request for an advisory opinion, at which meeting the Board shall consider such complaint or request as well as any other matters before it.
The Ethics Board may act only with respect to Village officers and employees.
The termination of a Village officer's or employee's term of office or employment with the Village shall not affect the jurisdiction of the Board with respect to the requirements that this Code of Ethics imposes on the former Village officer or employee.
The Ethics Board shall have the following powers and duties:
To prescribe and promote rules and regulations governing its own internal organization and procedures in a manner consistent with this Code of Ethics;
Upon conclusion of any such inquiry, to recommend that an officer or employee be disciplined for a violation of this Code of Ethics.
To grant waivers of any provision contained in this Ethics Code, except that the Board shall have no power to waive any of the requirements contained in the following sections:
Section 27-3F (prohibiting solicitation of political contributions from other officers and employees);
The Board shall grant any such request for a waiver when in its view the benefit to the Village in doing so outweighs the risk that the waiver may defeat the policy goals of this Code of Ethics. The Ethics Board may place whatever limitations or conditions on its waiver as it deems appropriate. Any such waiver shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting in which the Board of Ethics granted the waiver. The Ethics Board shall immediately notify in writing the Village Board Trustees of any decision it reaches on an application for such waiver, together with the terms of any waiver which is granted, and the Board of Trustees shall record such decision in the minutes of its next public meeting.
To render advisory opinions with respect to the interpretation or application of this Code of Ethics upon written request by any Board, agency, individual Village officer or employee, or any applicant.
To review all interest disclosure statements submitted pursuant to § 27-6C, above. If the Board determines that a statement reveals a possible or potential violation of the Code of Ethics, it shall notify the applicant as well as any Village officer or employee to which a possible conflict of interest relates, the administrative body to which that officer or employee belongs, if any, as well as his or her supervisor, if any, in writing of the deficiency or possible or potential violation, and of the consequences for failure to comply.
To make information concerning this Code of Ethics available to all Village officers and employees, to the public, and to any person who is interested in doing business with the Village.
Upon receipt of a sworn complaint by any person alleging a violation of this Code of Ethics, or upon determining on its own initiative that a violation of this Code of Ethics may exist, the Village Ethics Board shall have the power and duty to conduct any inquiry necessary to carry out the provisions of this Code of Ethics. In conducting any such inquiry, the Village Ethics Board may administer oaths or affirmations, request the attendance of witnesses and request the production of books and records which it may deem relevant and material.
Nothing herein shall be construed to permit the Ethics Board to conduct an investigation or inquiry of itself or any of its members. Should the Village Ethics Board receive a sworn complaint alleging that the Ethics Board or any of its members has violated any provisions of this Code of Ethics or any other law, it shall promptly transmit a copy of the complaint to the Mayor, the Board of Trustees, the Village Administrator and Village Counsel, who shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate remedial action should the results of their investigation so warrant.
Notwithstanding the requirements of § 27-11D, below, the Ethics Board shall, to the extent permitted by law:
Provide any subject of an inquiry with both notice of the inquiry prior to its commencement and an appropriate opportunity to be heard on the matter;
Advise both the subject of an inquiry and the Board of Trustees of any decision by the Ethics Board resulting from the inquiry together with the Ethics Board's findings and analysis;
Inform both the subject of an inquiry and the Board of Trustees as to whether or not the Ethics Board has recommended that the subject be disciplined; and
Advise any person who has filed a sworn complaint of any decision resulting from any inquiry or any other disposition of the complaint.
The Ethics Board shall, with respect to every complaint that it receives and all related deliberations, findings, opinions, recommendations and dispositions thereof:
Use its best efforts to hold all such matters in confidence and not publicly reveal them, to the fullest extent allowable by applicable law, including the New York State Freedom of Information Law; and
Subject to applicable law or collective bargaining agreement, any Village officer or employee who engages in any action that violates any provision of this Code of Ethics may be warned, reprimanded or suspended or removed from office or employment or be subjected to any other sanction by the appointing authority or person or body authorized by law to impose such sanctions. A warning, reprimand, suspension, removal or other authorized sanction may be imposed in addition to any applicable penalty contained in any other provision of law.
The Mayor shall cause this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every Village officer and employee. Each such person who enters government service after this distribution shall receive a copy of this Code of Ethics before entering upon his or her duties and shall sign a statement signifying receipt. Within 30 days after the effective date of this Code of Ethics, the Village Administrator shall obtain a similar signed statement from every Village officer or employee whose office predates this Code of Ethics. Failure to have been delivered a copy of this Code shall have no effect on the duty of compliance or the enforcement of this Code.
Should any section, clause or requirement of this Code of Ethics be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable, unlawful or invalid, that section, clause or requirement shall be severed from this Code of Ethics, and the remainder shall continue in full force and effect.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to permit any interest or conduct prohibited by Article 18 of the General Municipal Law of New York State.
The Code of Ethics of the Village of Tarrytown Chapter 27, adopted 2-16-1960 by L.L. No. 1-1960, as amended, is hereby repealed.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State and in compliance with all applicable provisions of law.