[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Plandome: Art. I, 11-24-1970 as Ord. No. 48; Art. II, 11-24-1970 as Ord. No. 49. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-24-1970 as Ord. No. 48]
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees of the village 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 Code of Ethics to enact these rules of ethical conduct for the officers and employees of the village. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and employees of the village. The rules of ethical conduct of this code, 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 Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer or employee as the result of a contract with the municipality which such officer or employee serves. For the purposes of this Article, a municipal officer or employee shall be deemed to have an "interest" in the contract of:
- A. His spouse, minor children and dependents, except a contract of employment with the municipality which such officer or employee serves.
- B. A firm, partnership or association of which such officer or employee is a member or employee.
- C. A corporation of which such officer or employee is an officer, director or employee.
- D. A corporation, any stock of which is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such officer or employee.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- An officer, individual appointed by the Board or employee of the village, 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 the Fire Chief.
Every officer or employee of the village shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct.
A person who accepts a public office or public employment subjects himself to legal and ethical standards of conduct that are broader and more exacting than those applicable in private office or private employment. He does not act for a private individual or corporation or to enable a private individual or corporation to make a profit. He acts for and on behalf of the public. In his dealings with others, he represents the public. He, too, is a member of the public. Just as he would wish public officers and employees to deal with him as a member of the public, so he, as a public official or member of the public, should deal with others. Just as he would demand that the officers and employees of his municipality maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity and subordinate their own personal interests to the interests of the municipality that they represent, so must he maintain the highest standards of honesty, and integrity and subordinate his own personal interest to the interests of the municipality that he represents. Just as he would condemn the officers and employees of his municipality if they used their offices or employment for personal gain and advantage, so must he avoid the same acts and conduct that he would condemn in others.
Honesty and integrity cannot be legislated. It cannot be defined by statute, ordinance, code, rule or regulation. The specific standards enumerated in this code must be observed. The specific disclosures set forth in the statute must be made. But it does not follow that acts not expressly prohibited are permitted or sanctioned or that conflicts of interest that are not specifically directed to be disclosed may be concealed. There are ethical and moral standards of conscience and common decency as well. These may be even more vital and compelling than the standards that have been specifically set forth in statute or code. They, too, must be scrupulously observed.
Gifts. He shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift, regardless of its value, 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 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 manner 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, any officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Board of Trustees on 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 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 service 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 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.
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 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 Mayor shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics and any amendments to be distributed to every officer and employee of the village within ten (10) days after its effective date. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his office or employment. Failure to distribute any such copy or failure of any officer or employee to receive such copy shall have no effect on the duty of compliance with such code, nor the enforcement provisions thereof.
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.
Within thirty (30) days after adoption, the Village Clerk shall file a copy of this Code of Ethics and any amendments thereto with the proper state authority, as required by General Municipal Law § 806.
[Adopted 11-24-1970 as Ord. No. 49]
There is hereby established a Board of Ethics consisting of three (3) members to be appointed by the Board of Trustees and who shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the Board. A majority of such members shall be persons other than officers or employees of the village, but shall include at least one (1) member who is an elected or appointed officer or employee of the village.
The Board of Ethics shall have the powers and duties prescribed by Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and shall render advisory opinions to the officers and employees of the village with respect to Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and any code of ethics adopted pursuant to such Article, under such rules and regulations as the Board of Trustees may prescribe. In addition, the Board of Ethics may make recommendations with respect to the drafting and adoption of a code of ethics or amendments thereto upon request of the Board of Trustees.