[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wilton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Ethics and disclosure — See Ch. 9.
Article I Defense and Indemnification of Town Officers and Employees
Article II Reimbursement of Attorneys' Fees
[Adopted 9-1-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988]
The Wilton Town Board hereby adopts § 18 of the Public Officers Law and confers the benefits thereof upon all Town officers and employees.
The Town shall provide for the defense of any Town officer or employee in any civil action or proceeding arising out of any alleged act or omission in which it is alleged that the officer or employee has violated the civil rights of the claimant, petitioner or plaintiff under Sections 1981 and 1983 of the United States Civil Rights Act. The Town shall indemnify and save harmless such officer or employee in the amount of any judgment or settlement of claim obtained against such officer or employee. Such legal defense and indemnification shall be provided where the officer or employee, at the time of such alleged act or omission, was acting in good faith and within the scope of his public employment, powers or duties. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to any other statute, local law or enactment providing legal defense and indemnification in civil actions brought against such officer or employee.
[Added 10-3-1991 by L.L. No. 3-1991]
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this chapter shall be conditioned upon delivery by the employee to the Town Attorney or to the Supervisor of a written request to provide for his defense, together with the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within 10 days after he is served with such document, and the full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in defense of any action or proceeding against the Town based upon the same act or omission, and in the prosecution of any appeal.
[Adopted 6-1-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006]
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the Town of Wilton in any capacity, whether or not working on a full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary or seasonal basis, and whether or not working for compensation or as a volunteer expressly authorized to participate in a Town-sponsored volunteer program. The term "employee" shall include any person paid by the Town with Town funds or with funds derived from other than Town tax revenues and shall include any person serving on any Town administrative or advisory board, commission or committee. The term "employee" shall also include a former employee or said employee's estate or judicially appointed personal representative. The term "employee" shall not include an independent contractor.
Upon compliance by the employee with the provisions of § 5-6 of this article and subject to the conditions set forth in Subsection B of this section, it shall be the duty of the Town of Wilton to pay reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees, at rates prevailing in the local legal community, and litigation expense incurred by or on behalf of an employee for the defense of a criminal proceeding in a state or federal court arising out of any act or omission which occurred or allegedly occurred while such employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of his/her public employment or duties, upon complete acquittal or upon the dismissal or withdrawal of all criminal charges against such employee, and reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees incurred in connection with an appearance before a grand jury which returns no true bill against the employee, or before any investigating agency, where such appearance was required as a result of any act which occurred while such employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of such employee's public employment or duties, unless such appearance occurs in the normal course of the public employment or duties of such employee. The employee shall be entitled to private counsel of his/her own choice.
Upon application for reimbursement for reasonable attorneys' fees or litigation expenses, or both, made by or on behalf of an employee, as provided in § 5-6 of this article, the Town Attorney shall investigate and review the facts and circumstances of the case and make a recommendation to the Town Board whether such reimbursement shall be paid. The Town Board shall review the facts and circumstances of the case and determine whether to pay such reimbursement in light of the provisions of this article. The Town Board shall notify the employee, in writing, of such determination. Upon determining that such reimbursement should be provided, the Town Board shall so certify to the Town Comptroller. Upon such certification, reimbursement shall be made for such fees or expenses, or both, upon the audit and warrant to the Town Comptroller. Any dispute with regard to entitlement to reimbursement or the amount of litigation expenses or the reasonableness of attorneys' fees shall be resolved by arbitration per the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The determination of the Town Comptroller and Town Attorney shall be deemed final and binding if arbitration is not requested in writing within 30 days of the findings of the Town Comptroller and Town Attorney.
Reimbursement of reasonable attorneys' fees or litigation expenses, or both, by the Town of Wilton as prescribed by this article shall be conditioned upon:
Delivery to the Town Attorney at Town Hall, by the employee, of a written request for reimbursement of such fees and expenses, together with the original or a copy of an accusatory instrument, within 30 days after such employee is arraigned upon such instrument or, in the case of a grand jury appearance or investigating agency, written documentation of evidence of such appearance; and
The full cooperation of the employee in defense of any action or proceeding against the Town based upon the same act and in the prosecution of any appeal.
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, the provisions of this article shall not be construed in any way to impair, alter, limit, modify, abrogate or restrict any immunity available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the Town of Wilton or any right to defense and/or indemnification provided for any governmental officer or employee by, in accordance with or by reason of any other provisions of state or federal statutory or common law.
This article is adopted pursuant to Public Officers Law § 18, Subdivision 12, and is intended to supplement and be in addition to all the other benefits available arising from POL § 18 or any other enactment.