[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower by Ord. No. 2000-11 (Sec. 2A-8.7 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 33.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL, EMPLOYEE AND APPOINTEE
- Any person holding elective municipal office or holding an appointed position in the municipal government, or in any agency, commission, board, or office thereof, whether the position is full-time or part-time, compensated or uncompensated; and any employee of municipal government or of any municipal agency, commission, board, or office thereof, whether the position is full-time or part-time.
- The government of the municipality, including any officer, department, board, commission, or agency thereof.
- POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION
- Any loans and transfers of money or other things of value to or by any candidate, elected official, or political organization, or other commitments or assumptions of liability to make any such transfer. Political contributions shall be deemed to have been made upon the date when such commitment is made or liability assumed.
- POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
- Any two or more persons acting jointly, or any corporation, partnership or other incorporated or unincorporated association which is organized to, or does, aid or promote the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate or candidates for federal, state, county, municipal or school board office or political party office. "Political organization" includes, but is not limited to, organizations defined in N.J.S.A. 19:44A-3 as a "political committee" or "joint candidates committee," "continuing political committee," "political party committee," "candidate committee" or "legislative leadership committee."
- PUBLIC PROPERTY
- All personal property owned, leased, or controlled by the municipal government, including but not limited to vehicles, phones, fax machines, computers, stationery, including municipal letterhead, postage and other office equipment.
- To ask for, by oral or written communication, a contribution as that term is defined herein.
No municipal official, employee or appointee may solicit, commit to pay, or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any political contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties. This section shall include solicitation or acceptance of political contributions made over the telephone or by use of a computer, including private telephones and computers, if the person soliciting or accepting the political contribution, or using the telephone or computer for purposes of soliciting or accepting the political contribution, is in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties.
No municipal official, employee, or appointee may solicit, commit to pay, or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any political contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while utilizing public property. This section shall not be construed to prohibit de minimus use of public property, such as a government-owned or -leased car, outside of rooms or buildings occupied in the discharge of public duties, in connection with political fund-raising, if the public property is not used in such a way as to convey to a reasonable observer that the fund-raising activity is officially authorized or endorsed.
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000.