[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rye Brook 10-12-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999.]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 24, Ethics, Code of, adopted 5-28-1985 by L.L. No. 10-1985, as amended.
Pursuant to the provisions of §§ 806 and 811 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rye Brook establishes these rules of ethical conduct for municipal officers and employees as a guide to assist in maintaining their proper conduct and to promote public confidence in our unit of local government. The rules of ethical conduct of this chapter shall not conflict with, but shall be in addition to, any provision 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. This chapter shall not be construed to authorize conduct otherwise prohibited.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes without limitation any right, title, share or participation, whether direct or indirect, in any thing from which a municipal officer or employee may benefit. An officer or employee shall be deemed to have a direct interest in the affairs of:
- A. His/her spouse, dependents or minor children;
- B. A business concern, partnership, corporation or association of which she or he, or any relation in Subsection A of this definition, is a member, partner, owner, director or employee;
- C. A corporation in which any stock or other investment is owned or controlled by the officer or employee, or any relation in Subsection A of this definition. If the corporation is publicly owned, "interest" shall be defined as owning over $10,000 worth of stock.
- OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- Includes any official, officer or employee of the Village of Rye Brook, whether paid or unsaid, part-time or full-time, including members of any department, board, commission or other committee thereof. The following are not included: independent contractors who are requested to do work for the Village periodically under separate agreements or contracts each project, volunteer or on-call fire fighters, auxiliary police and civil defense volunteers.
- The Village of Rye Brook.
Every officer or employee of the Village of Rye Brook shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
Gifts. No officer or employee shall, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift, service or favor. No officer or employee shall accept or receive any gift, service or favor valued over $75, in any form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift, service or favor was intended to influence him or her in the performance of official duties, or was intended as a reward for any official action.
Disclosure of confidential information. No present or former officer or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired in the course of official duties, or use such information to further personal or private interests of himself or herself or others. Nor shall any present or former officer or employee engage in any activity, including accepting employment, that will require disclosure of confidential information which was gained in his or her capacity as an officer or employee.
Rendering of services. No officer or employee shall render services to any individual, organization, business or association, whether for compensation or not for compensation, relating to any matter before any department, board, commission or committee to the Village, except as a part of official responsibilities to that department, board, commission or committee or as a function of the official position of the officer or employee.
Use of Village employees or property. No officer or employee shall use Village property, perform services for or direct any other Village officer or employee to perform services for any person's personal convenience or profit. Nothing in this subsection is meant to exclude the doing of business with the Village under contract or otherwise after full disclosure, or the performance of or acceptance of services available to the public generally.
Private employment. No officer or employee shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests that create a conflict with or impair the proper discharge of official duties.
Political activities. No paid employee of the Village shall solicit or receive for, make any contributions to or participate in the management or campaign of any political party or candidate for Village office. Nothing in this subsection is meant to interfere with the employee's right as a citizen to express opinions privately or to vote.
Investments or other interests in conflict with official duties. No officer or employee shall invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction that may create a conflict with or impair the proper discharge of official duties. Conflicts shall be resolved by the officer or employee refraining from being present during any discussions or votes of the possible conflictual issue.
Use of position to gain preferential treatment. No officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure privileges or exemptions, or grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizen beyond that which is available to every other citizen.
Post-service appearances before Village.
After the termination of service or employment with this municipality, no former official or employee of the Village shall appear before any department, board, commission or committee of the Village:
Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall prohibit a former official or employee from appearing before the Village on behalf of the former official or employee, or on behalf of a member of the household or immediate family of the former official or employee.
Village officials and employees filling the Village positions listed below shall submit to the Village Clerk a completed and signed annual financial disclosure statement, substantially as set forth in this section, by June 1 in each year:
Trustees, all members.
Planning Board, all members.
Zoning Board of Appeals, all members.
Board of Architectural Review, all members.
Board of Ethics, all members.
Superintendent of Parks and Recreation.
[Added 9-11-2007 by L.L. No. 13-2007]
Village Building Inspector.
[Added 9-11-2007 by L.L. No. 13-2007]
The Village Clerk shall maintain the submitted annual financial disclosure statements on behalf of and as directed by the Ethics Board, which shall be the repository of such statements and shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations regarding the maintenance of such statements.
At least 30 days prior to the required submission date, the Village Clerk shall distribute an annual financial disclosure statement with a sealable envelope to officials and employees required to make disclosure, but failure to do so shall not excuse the timely submission of an annual financial disclosure statement. The annual financial disclosure statement shall be in form substantially as follows:
An official or employee required to submit an annual financial disclosure statement shall receive an automatic twenty-day extension by filing a written request with the Village Clerk by the required submission date. Other extensions may be granted by the Board of Ethics on application for good cause shown.
An official or employee required to submit an annual financial disclosure statement shall be excused from doing so in the case of justifiable cause or undue hardship, for the duration thereof. Justifiable cause or undue hardship shall include serious illness, necessary travel, family emergency, personal incapacity or other like circumstance, which prevents the timely submission of the annual financial disclosure statement. An official or employee shall submit the required annual financial disclosure statement within 20 days after the removal, cessation or subsidence of such justifiable cause or undue hardship.
If an official or employee required to submit an annual financial disclosure statement fails to do so by the required time, and there shall appear no adequate explanation excusing such failure, the Ethics Board shall report such failure to the Board of Trustees and may make such recommendation as deems warranted in the circumstances.
Every candidate for elected office of the Village of Rye Brook shall, at least 30 days before the Village election, file a sworn statement with the Village Clerk stating any entity in which he or she has an interest that has done business with the Village, as well as financial interests, real estate and other transactions in which he or she participated in the Village of Rye Brook.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, the Ethics Board may recommend to the Board of Trustees that any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this Code of Ethics be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment for cause, in the manner provided by law.
No officer or employee shall:
Discriminate or cause involuntary segregation, or permit to discriminate directly or indirectly, based upon gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status or physically challenged status or allow the preceding to be factors affecting the recruitment, selection, placement, assignment, compensation or promotion of any officer or employee; or
The Mayor of the Village shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Village; copies shall also be distributed to any individual seeking electoral or appointive office in the Village, employment by the Village or any organization or business seeking to supply Village with products or services.
There shall be an Ethics Board of the Village to consist of five members who will be appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. The majority of such members shall not be officers or employees of the Village. Members of the Ethics Board shall serve without salary or compensation for their services. If a member must miss a regularly scheduled meeting, she or he shall advise the Chair in advance and shall, at the discretion of the Chair, be recorded as "excused" for the meeting missed. In the event that a member is absent for three regularly scheduled meetings in any one calendar year, or without excuse for two consecutive meetings, the Chair shall notify the Mayor, and the member shall be, unless good cause shown, deemed to have resigned by the Board of Trustees, and a replacement appointed for the balance of the term outstanding.
[Amended 3-23-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004; 3-28-2006 by L.L. No. 8-2006]
Pursuant to the written request of any officer or employee of the Village, or any resident of the Village, the Board shall render advisory opinions with respect to this Code of Ethics, consistent with Subsection C.
The Ethics Board shall establish its own procedures, though the procedures must include maintaining comprehensive records of all of the opinions and proceedings. In order to protect the reputations of the officers and employees, and to afford unhampered access to the Ethics Board, these records and the subjects of its meetings shall be deemed confidential. In all cases, where a violation of this Code of Ethics is found, the final written opinion shall be reported to the Board of Trustees and filed with the Village Clerk. In cases where no violation is found, a final written opinion shall be sent to the subject of the inquiry and to the inquirer.
Members of the Board of Ethics shall observe the following political activity guidelines during their membership on the Board of Ethics:
[Added 8-14-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2001]
No Ethics Board member shall seek election or hold any publicly elected Village office.
No Ethics Board member shall accept appointment to fill an unexpired term of any Village public office normally filled by election.
No Ethics Board member shall hold any Village political party office.
No Ethics Board member shall work on, manage, or take any active role in the political campaign of any candidate for any elected Village office.
No Ethics Board member shall publicly endorse any candidate for elected Village office.
No Ethics Board member shall contribute to any Village candidate for elected Village office, or Village political party, any sum over $100. Contributions of lesser sums must be done without any publicity.
No Ethics Board member shall request any person to make a contribution to the political campaign, or work on the political campaign, of any candidate for any elected Village office.
No Ethics Board member shall sponsor or host any parties or fundraisers for any candidate for an elected Village office.