[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Owego 12-21-1970 by L.L. No. 6-1970. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Owego recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for public officers and employees which must be observed if a high degree of moral conduct is to be obtained and if public confidence is to be maintained in our unit of local government. It is the purpose of this chapter to promulgate these rules of ethical conduct for the officers and employees of the Village of Owego. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and employees of the Village of Owego. The rules of ethical conduct of this chapter, as adopted, shall not conflict with, but shall be in addition to, any prohibition 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.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer or employee, unless the context otherwise requires.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- An officer or employee of the Village of Owego, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or other agency thereof. No person shall be deemed to be a municipal officer or employee solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or civil defense volunteer, except a Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief.
Every officer or employee of the Village of Owego shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
Gifts. He shall not directly or indirectly solicit any gift; or accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or could reasonably be expected to influence him in the performance of his official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his part.
Confidential information. He shall not disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties or use such information to further his personal interest.
Representation before one's own agency. He shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
Representation before any agency for a contingent fee. He shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of his municipality whereby his compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter, provided that this subsection shall not prohibit the fixing at any time of fees based upon the reasonable value of the services rendered.
Disclosure of interest in legislation. To the extent that he knows thereof, a member of the Board of Trustees and any officer or employee of the Village of Owego, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Board of Trustees or any legislation before the Board of Trustees shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he has in such legislation.
Investments in conflict with official duties. He shall not invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with his official duties.
Private employment. He shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or services creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his official duties.
Future employment. He shall not, after the termination of service or employment with such municipality, appear before any board or agency of the Village of Owego in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he personally participated during the period of his service or employment or which was under his active consideration.
Additional provisions applicable to Trustees who are members of the Village Fire Department. In view of firefighters' historic commitment to public service and to the maintenance and improvement of the public good and public welfare of the inhabitants of the Village of Owego, and in view of the fact that the Village has a relatively small population base from which to draw its municipal officials and its firefighters, it is hereby determined that it is in the best interest of the Village to not prohibit or inhibit the service of firefighters on the Village Board of Trustees, unless there exists a statutory conflict of interest or a violation of the Village Ethics Code that would prevent them from acting as Trustees or carrying out their duties.
Accordingly, a Trustee who is a volunteer firefighter in the Village Fire Department may take part in deliberations and vote on matters relating to the Fire Department, as long as there is no actual conflict of interest pursuant to New York State Public Officers Law, no violation of the Village Code of Ethics, and subject to the following.
No trustee who is an officer in the Village Fire Department or a member of the Fire Department in a policy-making position shall deliberate or vote on any matters relating to the Fire Department.
No trustee who is a volunteer firefighter shall deliberate or vote on matters relating to the Fire Department that may directly benefit him or her as a firefighter, either personally or financially, as for example, being appointed an officer in the Fire Department or in regards to a proposal for a service award program to be established for firefighters.
No trustee who is a volunteer firefighter shall deliberate or vote on any personnel policy to which he or she is subject.
[Added 5-2-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
Nothing herein shall be deemed to bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former municipal officer or employee of any claim, account, demand or suit against the Village of Owego or any agency thereof on behalf of himself or any member of his family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Owego shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Village of Owego within seven days after the effective date of this chapter. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his office or employment.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this code may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.