Town of Thompson, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Thompson 8-18-1998 by L.L. No. 11-1998.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]:
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 9, Code of Ethics, adopted 11-5-1970, and provided that, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this local law, the provisions of Ch. 9 in effect prior to the effective date of this local law shall govern the determination of a conflict of interest or other matter covered by said chapter.
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Town Board of the Town of Thompson 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 Town of Thompson. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and employees of the Town of Thompson. The rules of ethical conduct herein adopted shall not conflict with but shall be in addition to any prohibition of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or of any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and conflicts of interests of municipal officers and employees.
Unless the context requires a different meaning, the following terms shall have the meaning set forth in this section:
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The existence of an interest in contracts, matters and applications pending before the Town which is prohibited by law as defined by the General Municipal Law and such other interests in matters, applications and proceedings before the Town that may not be prohibited by law but may create the appearance of impropriety.
CONTRACT
Any claim, account or demand against or agreement with a municipality, express or implied, and shall include the designation of a depository of public funds and the designation of a newspaper, including but not limited to an official newspaper, for the publication of any notice, resolution, ordinance or other proceeding where such publication is required or authorized by law.
CONTROLLING POSITION
A position held by a member of the Town Board, officer or employee of the Town as a member of a board of a corporation exercising management and control of such corporation or having a position in such corporation that would evidence a role in the management and supervision of the operations of such corporation.
INTEREST
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 chapter, 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; and
D. 
A corporation any stock of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such officer or employee.
OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE TOWN
An elected official, a member of the Town Board, an officer appointed by the Town Board and a member of any board or agency of the Town and any other person employed by the Town without regard to whether such person is compensated. 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.
PUBLICLY TRADED SECURITY
A security, as defined in and by the applicable federal securities regulatory statutes, the issuance of which is subject to the jurisdiction of a federal agency and is traded on a securities exchange and was acquired by purchase through a securities broker, by stock split or stock dividend, merger, consolidation or established dividend reinvestment plan available to all holders of such security equally, provided that such holdings shall in the aggregate be less than 5% of the outstanding stock of such corporation. For the purposes of this code, ownership of a security held by a publicly traded mutual fund where an officer or employee of the Town owning shares of such mutual fund has no authority to influence the purchase or sale of such security shall not be deemed to be ownership of such security by such officer or employee of the Town. For the purposes of this code, ownership bonds or other evidence of indebtedness issued by the United States of America, the State of New York or of any municipal corporation, district, authority or agency shall not be deemed to be a financial interest in any such entity.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: The definition of "Town," which immediately followed this definition, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Every officer or employee of the Town of Thompson shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
A. 
Gifts. No officer or employee of the Town shall directly or indirectly solicit 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 such officer or employee, 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 the part of such officer or employee.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Conflicts of interest. No officer or employee of the Town shall have an interest in any contract with the Town for the sale of goods or for the rendering of any service by any firm, partnership, association or corporation, except as may be permitted by the provisions of § 802 of the General Municipal Law, as amended.
C. 
Confidential information. No officer or employee of the Town shall disclose confidential information acquired by such officer or employee in the course of the official duties of such officer or employee or use such information to further the personal interest of such officer or employee.
D. 
Representation before one's own agency. No officer or employee of the Town shall receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation or services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Town of which such officer or employee is an officer, member or employee or of any agency of which such officer or employee has jurisdiction or to which such officer or employee has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
E. 
Representation before any agency for a contingent fee. No officer or employee or the Town shall receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation or services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of the Town whereby the compensation of such officer or employee 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.
F. 
Disclosure of interest in pending matters. To the extent that an officer or employee of the Town shall have knowledge of such facts, any officer or employee of the Town, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives an official opinion to the Town on any matter before the agency shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest that officer or employee of the Town has in such matter pending before the Town or any agency of the Town.
G. 
Investments in conflict with official duties. No officer or employee of the Town should invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial, business or commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with the official duties of such officer or employee of the Town; provided, however, that ownership by an officer or employee of the Town of a publicly traded security issued by a corporation which has a matter, proceeding or application pending before the the Town Board or other agency of the Town shall not be deemed to be a conflict if such ownership does not involve a controlling position held by such officer or employee of the Town and such ownership shall be disclosed as herein provided.
H. 
Private employment. No officer or employee shall 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 the official duties of such officer or employee.
I. 
Future employment. No officer or employee shall, after the termination of service or employment with the Town, appear before any board, department, commission or agency of the Town in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which such officer or employee personally participated during the period of service or employment or which was under active consideration of or by such officer or employee.
J. 
Unwarranted privileges or exemptions. No officer or employee of the Town shall use or attempt to use the official position or employment of such officer or employee to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for such officer or employee or for others; provided, however, that nothing contained in this subsection shall prohibit the granting of benefits or exemptions to qualified organizations making application to the agency in such manner as may be authorized by the agency.
K. 
Course of conduct. No officer or employee of the Town shall pursue any course of conduct which will raise or tend to raise a suspicion among the public that such officer or employee is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust and/or oath of office.
L. 
Contracts with interested parties. No officer or employee of the Town should enter into a contract with a person or party after the filing by such person or party of an application with the Town Board or other agency of the Town unless the Town Board or other agency of the Town shall have determined on written request that such contract will have no adverse effect on the performance of the official duties of such officer or employee of the Town and will not be a conflict of interest as defined in and by the General Municipal Law. For the purposes of this subsection, a subcontract for the performance of work, labor and services with respect to a project funded by the Town shall be deemed to be a contract with the person or party who is a member of a board or agency having jurisdiction of the contract or the contractor.
M. 
No officer or employee of the Town should engage in any transaction as a representative of the Town with any business entity in which such officer or employee of the Town has a direct or indirect financial interest that might reasonably tend to conflict with the proper discharge of the official duties of such officer or employee of the Town; provided, however, that the Town Board or other agency of the Town, after full disclosure, may consent to representation in accordance with appropriate standards established by ethical boards representing attorneys and other professional consultants advising the Town Board or other agency of the Town, and provided further that ownership by an officer or employee of the Town of a publicly traded security issued by a corporation which has a matter, proceeding or application pending before the Town Board or other agency of the Town shall not be deemed to be a conflict if such ownership does not involve a controlling position held by such officer or employee of the Town and such ownership shall be disclosed as herein provided.
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 Town of Thompson 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.
A. 
Unless otherwise provided by law, the Town Board shall review compliance with this code; provided, however, that no member of the Town Board shall participate in any action which involves such member.
B. 
Any officer or employee of the Town may request an opinion from the Town Attorney or Attorney for the Town or, if counsel shall be disqualified or otherwise unable or unwilling to render an opinion, from the New York State Comptroller with respect to the existence of a conflict of interest.
C. 
The confidentiality provisions of the Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law § 84 et seq.) and the Open Meetings Law (Public Officers Law § 100 et seq.) shall be deemed to apply to any proceeding conducted pursuant to this chapter. The results of any determination made by the Town Board or any other agency of the Town shall be entered on the minutes of the Town Board or any other agency of the Town.
D. 
In any situation where a conflict exists, or where the Town Board or any other agency of the Town believes that it would be inappropriate for such officer or employee of the Town to participate or continue to participate in any such matter pending before it, or where an officer or employee of the Town has indicated that such officer or employee of the Town should recuse himself or herself from such action or where the Town Board or any other agency of the Town has refused to give consent as provided in § 21-3L, such officer or employee of the Town shall not participate in any action with respect to such matter, application or proceeding pending before the Town Board or any other agency of the Town, but nothing contained herein shall prohibit such officer or employee of the Town from participating in any other matter pending before the Town Board or any other agency of the Town; provided, however, that nothing contained in this subsection shall be deemed to permit any party or person to participate in a contract with the Town Board or any other agency of the Town where a conflict of interest as defined in the General Municipal Law shall exist.
A copy of this Code of Ethics shall be posted in the offices of the Town Board or any other agency of the Town and distributed to each member upon appointment and to each officer, employee and consultant upon appointment, hiring or retention, as the case may be. A copy of this code shall be filed with all agencies as may be required by law.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provisions of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this chapter may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.