Monroe County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Legislature of the County of Monroe 11-12-1996 by L.L. No. 11-1996, approved 12-11-1996;[1] amended in its entirety 10-14-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law superseded former Ch. 39, Defense and Indemnification of Officers and Employees, adopted 7-20-1982 by L.L. No. 1-1982.
This chapter shall be known as the "Defense and Indemnification of County Officers and Employees."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COUNTY ATTORNEY
The County Attorney and any deputy county attorney designated by the County Attorney to act in his behalf.
EMPLOYEE
Any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the County of Monroe, whether or not compensated, or a volunteer expressly authorized to act for the benefit of the County of Monroe, including any of its agencies, boards or commissions, but shall not include any independent contractor. The term "employee" shall include a former employee, his estate, or judicially appointed personal representative. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "employee" shall include members, officers and other persons in the employment of the Industrial Development Agency of the County of Monroe. For the purposes of this chapter only, the term "employee" shall include the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, the Undersheriff of the County of Monroe and any person appointed by the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, including but not limited to Sheriff's deputies. For the purposes of this chapter only, the term "employee" shall include the members of the Monroe County Deferred Compensation Committee ("Committee") and those members of the Committee, if any, serving as Trustees of the Monroe County Deferred Compensation Trust Fund, appointed and serving in accordance with Chapter 41 of this Code. For the purposes of this chapter only, the term "employee" shall include Monroe Community College, the members of its Board of Trustees, its officers and employees. For the purposes of this chapter only, the term "employee" shall include the Monroe County Airport Authority and its members, officers, agents, representatives and employees. For the purposes of this chapter only, the term "employee" shall include such other entities and natural persons as the County of Monroe is required to indemnify by law or contract. For the purposes of this chapter only, the term "employee" shall include the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District and its members, directors, officers and employees.
A. 
Upon compliance by the employee with the provisions of § 39-5 of this chapter, the County shall provide for the defense of the employee in any civil action or proceeding in any state or federal court or administrative agency arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred or is alleged in the complaint to have occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties, as shall be determined by the County Attorney, or which is brought to enforce a provision of § 1981 or § 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code. This duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the County.
B. 
Subject to the conditions set forth in Subsection A of this section, the employee shall be entitled to be represented by the County Attorney; provided, however, that the employee shall be entitled to representation by private counsel approved by the County Attorney in any civil judicial or administrative proceeding whenever the County Attorney determines, based upon his investigation and review of the facts and circumstances of the case, that representation by the County Attorney would be inappropriate or whenever a court of competent jurisdiction, upon appropriate motion or by a special proceeding, determines that a conflict of interest exists and that the employee is entitled to be represented by private counsel. The County Attorney shall notify the employee, in writing, of such determination that the employee is entitled to be represented by private counsel. The County Attorney may require, as a condition to payment of the fees and expenses of such representation, that appropriate groups of such employees be represented by the same counsel. Reasonable attorneys' fees to be agreed upon, in writing, by the County Attorney and reasonable litigation expenses shall be paid by the County to such private counsel every 30 days during the pendency of civil action or proceeding upon the submission of the attorney of a bill detailing the hours worked, the rate per hour and receipts for disbursements. All vouchers must be approved by the County Attorney and audited by the Controller of the County of Monroe; provided, however, that no extraordinary disbursements or fees shall be made by the private counsel without obtaining the prior written consent of the County Attorney. Any dispute with respect to representation of multiple employees by a single counsel or the amount of litigation expenses in any case shall be resolved by the court upon motion or by way of a special proceeding.
A. 
The County shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employee in any state or federal court or administrative agency or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, in the nature of compensatory damages, provided that the act or omission from which such judgment or settlement arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties as shall be determined by the County Attorney in accordance with § 39-5B of this chapter; the duty to indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this subsection shall not arise where the injury or damage resulted from intentional or willful wrongdoing or conduct or recklessness on the part of the employee; provided, however, that notwithstanding any other law, resolution, rule, regulation or provisions in any contracts or agreements, the County shall never be presumed to have assumed the liability for the acts or omissions of the Sheriff, the Undersheriff and any other person appointed by the Sheriff, including but not limited to regular deputy sheriffs, part-time deputy sheriffs or emergency special deputy sheriffs.
B. 
The County shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employee in any state or federal court or administrative agency or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, in the nature of punitive or exemplary damages, provided that the negligent act or other tort from which such judgment or settlement arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties and while the employee was in the proper discharge of his duties, as shall be determined by the County Attorney in accordance with § 39-5B of this chapter; provided, however, that notwithstanding any other law, resolution, rule, regulation, or provisions in any contracts or agreements, the County shall never be presumed to have assumed the liability for the acts or omissions of the Sheriff, the Undersheriff and any other person appointed by the Sheriff, including but not limited to regular deputy sheriffs, part-time deputy sheriffs or emergency special deputy sheriffs, or for the acts or omissions of Monroe Community College, the members of its Board of Trustees, its officers or employees, or for the acts or omissions of the Monroe County Airport Authority and its members, officers, agents, representatives and employees, or for the acts or omissions of the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District and its members, directors, officers and employees, or for the acts or omissions of such other entities and natural persons that the County of Monroe is required to indemnify by law or contract.
C. 
An employee represented by private counsel shall cause to be submitted to the County Attorney any proposed settlement which may be subject to indemnification by the County and, if not inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection, the County Attorney shall approve such settlement and submit it to the County Executive for his approval and, where required, to the approval of the Monroe County Legislature. The County Attorney and the County Executive shall review such proposed settlement as to form and amount and shall give their approval, if in their judgment, the settlement is in the best interests of the County. Such approval shall be subject to the approval of the Monroe County Legislature when required. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the County to indemnify or save harmless any employee with respect to a settlement not so reviewed and approved by the County Attorney and County Executive and, where required, the Monroe County Legislature.
D. 
Upon entry of a final judgment against the employee or upon the settlement of the claim, the employee shall cause to be served a copy of such judgment or settlement, personally or by certified or registered mail within 30 days of the date of entry or settlement, upon the County Attorney; and if not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, such judgment or settlement shall be approved for payment by the County Attorney and the County Executive.
A. 
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this chapter shall be conditioned upon delivery to the County Attorney by the employee of the original or a copy of any notice of claim, summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within five 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 County based upon the same act or omission and in the prosecution of any appeal. Such delivery shall be deemed a request by the employee that the County provide for his defense pursuant to this section.
B. 
The County Attorney shall determine, pursuant to §§ 39-3A and 39-4A and B of this chapter, whether the County will defend and/or indemnify the employee. The County Attorney shall make this determination within a reasonable time after the County completes its investigation.
C. 
The County Attorney's determination shall be in writing and served promptly upon the employee. If the County Attorney's determination is adverse in whole or in part to the employee, it shall state the facts and reasons therefor.
D. 
A determination favorable to the employee may thereafter be revised and revoked by the County Attorney for good cause no later than the start of trial. The County Attorney's revised determination shall be in writing and served promptly upon the employee and shall state the facts and reasons therefor.
E. 
A special proceeding brought pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules shall be the exclusive method by which an employee aggrieved by a determination of the County Attorney may seek judicial review of the determination. If as a result of such judicial review the employee ultimately obtains a reversal of the County Attorney's determination, the County shall reimburse the employee for his attorney's fees and costs in obtaining the reversal, provided that such fees and costs are reasonable and necessary according to prevailing practices and standards in the legal community as determined by the County Attorney, subject to judicial review.
The benefits of this chapter shall inure only to employees as defined herein and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party nor shall any provision of this section be construed to affect, alter or repeal any provision of the Worker's Compensation Law.
This chapter shall not in any way affect the obligation of any claimant to give notice to the County under § 50-e of the General Municipal Law or any other provision of law.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending upon the effective date thereof or thereafter instituted.
A. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, the provisions of this chapter shall not be construed in anyway to impair, alter, limit, modify, abrogate or restrict any immunity available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the County or any other level of government, 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 County, state or federal statutory or common law.
B. 
The Sheriff of the County of Monroe, the Undersheriff of the County of Monroe, and any person appointed by the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, including but not limited to Sheriff's deputies, are included under the term "employee" for convenience of reference within this chapter only. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as establishing an employment or respondeat superior relationship between the County of Monroe and the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, the Undersheriff of the County of Monroe or any person appointed by the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, including but not limited to Sheriff's deputies. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as an assumption by the County of Monroe of responsibility or liability for the negligence or tortious conduct of the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, the Undersheriff of the County of Monroe or any person appointed by the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, including but not limited to Sheriff's deputies.
C. 
Unless otherwise provided by the collective bargaining agreement between Monroe County, the Monroe County Sheriff and the Monroe County Deputy Sheriff's Association, Inc., this chapter shall govern the County's right to defend and indemnify the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, the Undersheriff of the County of Monroe and any person appointed by the Sheriff of the County of Monroe, including but not limited to the Sheriff's deputies.
D. 
Monroe Community College, its Board of Trustees, officers or employees, are included under the term "employee" for convenience of reference within this chapter only. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as establishing an employment or respondeat superior relationship between the County of Monroe, and Monroe Community College, its Board of Trustees, officers or employees. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as an assumption by the County of Monroe of responsibility or liability for the negligence or tortious conduct of Monroe Community College, its Board of Trustees, officers or employees.
E. 
The Monroe County Airport Authority and its members, officers, agents, representatives and employees are included under the term "employee" for the convenience of reference within this chapter only. The provision of this chapter shall not be construed as establishing an employment or respondeat superior relationship between the County of Monroe and the Monroe County Airport Authority and its members, officers, agents, representatives and employees. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as an assumption by the County of Monroe of responsibility or liability for the negligence or tortious conduct of the Monroe County Airport Authority or its members, officers, agents, representatives or employees.
F. 
The Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District and its members, directors, officers and employees are included under the term "employee" for the convenience of reference within this chapter only. The provision of this chapter shall not be construed as establishing an employment or respondeat superior relationship between the County of Monroe and the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District and its members, directors, officers and employees. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as an assumption by the County of Monroe of responsibility or liability for the negligence or tortious conduct of the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District or its members, directors, officers or employees.
G. 
Such entities and natural persons as the County of Monroe is required to indemnify by law or contract are included under the term "employee" for the convenience of reference within this chapter only. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as establishing an employment or respondeat superior relationship between the County of Monroe and such other entities or natural persons that the County of Monroe is required to indemnify by law or contract. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as an assumption by the County of Monroe of responsibility or liability for the negligence or tortious conduct of such entities or natural persons that the County of Monroe is required to indemnify by law or contract.