[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Groton 11-30-1970 as L.L. No. 2-1970. Sections 21-2, 21-3A and 21-5 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Village Board of the Village of Groton 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 Groton. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and employees of the Village of Groton. The rules of ethical conduct of this chapter, as adopted, shall not conflict with but shall be in addition to any prohibitions 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 Groton, 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 Groton shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct, but in determining whether or not there has been compliance with such standards, there shall be taken into account whether or not such person acted to the best of his knowledge, information and belief and whether he acted in good faith:
Gifts. He shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $50 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 be 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; provided, however, that in any event, in the case of a police officer, no such police officer shall directly or indirectly solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having any monetary value whatsoever.
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 which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any members, officers or employees.
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 Village Board and any officers or employees of the Village of Groton, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Village Board on any legislation before the Village Board shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct financial 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 interest 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 of Groton 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 of Groton 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 Clerk of the Village of Groton shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every officer and employee of the village within 30 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.
The failure to distribute any copy of the Code of Ethics 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 of the 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.