[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Port Chester 11-4-1968. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The proper operation of the village government requires that officials, officers and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure; that public office not be used for personal gain; that public officials, officers and employees observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal consideration; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government and the officers and employees thereof. In recognition of these goals, there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all officials and officers of the Village of Port Chester as defined in its Charter, and for all employees of such village hereinafter referred to as the "village." In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this code and the provisions of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, the latter shall control.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall have any 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 duties in the public interest.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall represent private interests before any department, board, office or agency of the village nor represent private interests in any section or proceeding against the interests of the village or in any litigation to which the village is a party.
Any official, officer or employee of the Village of Port Chester, whether paid or unpaid, who has a direct or indirect financial or other private interest in any matter being considered by the Village Board of the Village of Port Chester, or by any other official or agency, officer or employee of said village, and who participates in discussions before or gives opinions to such Board, agency or individuals, shall publicly disclose on the official record and nature and extent of such interest.
Any officer or employee of the Village of Port Chester, whether paid or unpaid, who has knowledge of any matter being considered by any board, agency, officer or employee of said village in which he has any direct or indirect financial or other private interest, shall be required to disclose, in writing, his interest to such board, agency, officer or employee and the nature and extent thereof.
[Amended 11-16-2015 by L.L. No. 11-2015]
No municipal officer or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit, accept or receive a gift in violation of § 805-a(1)(a) of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York ("GML") as interpreted in this section.
No municipal officer or employee may directly or indirectly solicit any gift.
No municipal officer or employee may, directly or indirectly, accept or receive any gift, or multiple gifts from the same donor, having an annual aggregate value of $75 or more when:
The gift reasonably appears to be intended to influence the officer or employee in the exercise or performance of his or her powers or duties; or
The gift could reasonably be expected to influence the officer or employee in the exercise or performance of his or her official powers or duties; or
The gift reasonably appears to be intended to be a reward for any official action on the part of the officer or employee; or
The gift is made to a relative with the reasonable appearance that such gift is intended to influence or reward the municipal officer or employee in his/her official powers or duties.
For purposes of this section, "gift" includes anything of value, whether in the form of money, service, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or in any other form. The value of a gift is the gift's fair market value, determined by the retail cost of the item or a comparable item. The fair market value of a ticket entitling the holder to food, refreshments, entertainment, or any other benefit is the face value of the ticket, or the actual cost to the donor, whichever is greater. The determination of whether multiple gifts from a single donor exceed $75 shall be made by adding together the value of all gifts received from the donor by an officer or employee during the twelve-month period preceding the receipt of the most recent gift.
A gift to a municipal officer or employee is presumed to influence the exercise or performance of his or her official powers or duties when the gift is from a private person or organization that seeks municipal action involving the exercise of discretion by or with the participation of the officer or employee.
A gift to a municipal officer or employee is presumed to be intended as a reward for official action when the gift is from a private person or organization that has obtained municipal action involving the exercise of discretion by or with the participation of the officer or employee during the preceding 12 months.
This section does not prohibit the following:
Gifts made to the Village of Port Chester.
Gifts from a person with a family or personal relationship with the officer or employee when the circumstances make it clear that the personal relationship, rather than the recipient's status as a municipal officer or employee, is the primary motivating factor for the gift.
Gifts given on special occasions, such as marriage, illness, or retirement, which are modest, reasonable and customary.
Unsolicited advertising or promotional material of little intrinsic value, such as pens, pencils, note pads and calendars.
Awards and plaques having a value of $75 or less which are publicly presented in recognition of service as a municipal officer or employee, or other service to the community.
Meals and refreshments provided when a municipal officer or employee is a speaker or participant at a job-related professional educational conference or program and the meals and refreshments are made available to all participants.
Gifts between officers and employees on special occasions, such as birthdays or seasonal holidays.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall accept employment or engage in any business or professional activity which will require him to disclose confidential information which he has gained by reason of his official position or authority.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties nor use such information to further his personal interests or the personal interests of others.
[Amended 2-1-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989]
Any official, officer or employee of the village shall abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which he has reason to believe may be directly affected in decisions to be made by him or which will otherwise create conflict between his public duty and his private interest and shall refrain from passing upon any questions in which he or any member of his immediate family has an interest which might reasonably be deemed to create such conflict.
To the extent that any member of a board or commission of the village shall own or have an interest in any property for which approval under Chapter 98 of the Village Code is required, such interest shall be made known by filing a written notice of such interest with the Village Clerk and shall thereafter take no part in the approval process except as an applicant.
No elected official shall vote on any proposal or action where that official has expressed an interest in property which will be affected by the adoption of the proposal or action, unless or until the official has disclosed the expression of interest in writing to the Village Clerk and has notified the owner or agent to whom the interest was expressed that it is terminated.
Public officials, whether full-time or part-time, must avoid any action which will result in or create the appearance of using public office for private gain and/or the giving of preferential treatment to any person.
Public officials, whether full-time or part-time, must avoid any action which, in fact or by reason of appearance, will adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of its municipal government or the public officials involved.
Elected officials and appointed officers of the village shall certify to the Clerk of the village, in writing, each April, that they have read and understand the Code of Ethics of the village, as follows:
Editor's Note: The preamble of this local law reads as follows: "It is the intention by the enactment of this Code of Ethics to require public officials, whether full-time or part-time, to avoid any action which will result in, or give the appearance of, impropriety."
No official, officer or employee of the village shall accept other employment which will impair his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.
[Amended 2-24-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
No official, officer or employee of the village shall solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept employment by any person, firm or corporation with which he or his department, office or agency is engaged on behalf of the village in the transaction of business which is or may be affected by his official action.
The Mayor and members of the Board of Trustees may not be employed by and may not be considered for employment with the Village of Port Chester while holding such positions and for a one-year period after leaving such office, whether by expiration of term, registration or otherwise.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or others to grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizens beyond that which is available to every other citizen.
An official, officer or employee of the village should not by his conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can unduly influence him or improperly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall direct or cause any official, officer or employee of the village to do or perform any service or work outside of public work or employment, or accept any such service or work, nor shall any officer or employee of the village offer to or perform any such service or work for such official, officer or employee. This section shall not preclude any official, officer or employee from voluntarily performing any such service or work outside of the hours during which he is assigned to perform duties for the village.
No official, officer or employee of the village shall request or permit the use of village-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such services are available to the public generally or are provided as village policy for the use of such officer or employee in the conduct of official business.
Pursuant to § 808 of the General Municipal Law, there is hereby established a Board of Ethics for the Village of Port Chester. The Board of Ethics shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Chester, which is hereby specifically designated as the body to make such appointments. The members of the Board of Ethics shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing body. The Board of Ethics shall have not less than three nor more than five members, a majority of which shall not be officers and/or employees of the village, and one of whom must be an elected or appointed municipal office or employee.
The Board of Ethics shall render advisory opinions to officers and employees of the Village of Port Chester pursuant to the written request of any such officer or employee. In addition, it may make recommendations with respect to the drafting and adoption of a Code of Ethics or amendments thereto upon request of the Village Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Chester.
The Corporation Counsel and Village Attorney are authorized to provide legal advice to the Board of Ethics upon request.
The Village Clerk shall cause a copy of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every official, officer and employee of the village.
Any violation of the provisions of this Code of Ethics shall constitute cause for removal from office or employment or other disciplinary action as provided by law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes any board, commission, committee, department, branch or bureau of the Village of Port Chester, consisting of one or more persons, paid or unpaid, which forms any function of the village government.
- A direct or indirect financial or material benefit, but does
not include any benefit arising from the provision or receipt of any
services generally available to the residents or taxpayers of the
Village, or a lawful class of such residents or taxpayers. A municipal
officer or employee is deemed to have an interest in any entity when
he or she, his or her spouse or domestic partner or a member of his
or her household is an owner, shareholder, partner, member, director,
officer or employee or directly or indirectly owns or controls more
than 5% of the organization's outstanding stock or membership
interest.[Amended 11-16-2015 by L.L. No. 11-2015]
- A spouse, domestic partner, parent, stepparent, sibling,
stepsibling, sibling's spouse or domestic partner, child, stepchild,
uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, or household member of an
officer or employee, and individuals having any of these relationships
to the spouse or domestic partner of the officer or employee.[Added 11-16-2015 by L.L. No. 11-2015]
- The Village of Port Chester.
This Code of Ethics shall not be deemed in any way to repeal or modify any act of the legislature of the State of New York relating to the civil service rights, privileges or bonus of any employee of the village, and the provisions hereof shall not apply wherever and to the extent that the effect thereof would be to repeal or modify any such act or portion thereof.
[Added 11-16-2015 by L.L. No. 11-2015]
No officer or employee, either individually or as a member of an agency, may participate in any decision specifically to appoint, hire, promote, discipline or discharge a relative for any position at, for or within an agency.
No officer or employee may supervise a relative in the performance of the relative's official powers or duties unless authorized by the respective appointing authority.