[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Monroe 10-11-1988; amended in its entirety 8-14-1989 (Ch. 10A of the 1976 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Charter provisions on ethics — See Charter Ch. XII.
As used in this code, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- Personal matters and financial matters which, if disclosed, would be of detrimental interest to the Town and a violation of the trust placed in that person.
- All full- and part-time employees of the Town, or any agency of the Town, and shall include paid consultants of the Town or of any agency.
- Private financial benefit and interest other than financial arising from blood or marriage relationships or close business or political association.
- Elected and appointed officials, whether paid or unpaid, and members of all governmental bodies created under the provisions of the Town Charter and all other Town ordinances and applicable statutes.
- The rendering of advice or recommendation, investigation, approval, disapproval or otherwise influencing a decision or action.
Words of the masculine gender shall include the feminine.
There is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all Town employees and officials, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid. The purpose of this code is to establish suitable ethical standards for all such employees and officials by prohibiting acts or actions incompatible with the discharge of their public duties and the best interests of the Town of Monroe and by directing disclosure of private financial interest or personal interest in matters affecting the Town by such employees and officials. Any violations of this Code of Ethics may constitute a cause for suspension, removal from employment or other disciplinary action as more particularly set forth in § 46-6.
No employee or official shall engage in or participate in any business or transaction or shall have an interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties in the public interest or would tend to impair his independent judgment or action in the performance of his official duties.
No former employee or official shall appear at any time before any Town board or agency in which he was formerly employed, acting or participating on behalf of the Town in connection with any matter or case with which he was associated while an employee or official at any time within a period of one year after termination of his service with the Town. Any such former employee or official may, upon a written application to the Board of Ethics and filed with the Town Clerk, be released from this obligation after review of said written application and relevant facts of his case by the Board of Ethics.
Except for contributions to political campaigns made in accordance with applicable state statutes, no employee or official shall solicit or accept any substantial gift, whether in the form of a service, loan, thing or promise, from any person, firm or corporation who or which to his knowledge is interested in any manner in business dealings with the Town.
Any employee or official who has a substantial or controlling financial or personal interest in any transaction or contract with the Town or in the sale of real estate, material, supplies or services to the Town, on which he may be called to act upon in his official capacity, shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in the transaction on behalf of the Town. Any such employee or official shall also be required to disclose said interest to the Town Clerk and Board of Ethics in the manner, time and form set forth in § 46-5 of this code.
No employee or official shall appear in behalf of private interests before any board, agency or committee of the Town, except that any such employee or official may, upon written application made to the Board of Ethics and filed with the Town Clerk, be permitted to make such appearance after review and approval of said application and relevant facts of the case by the Board of Ethics. No employee or official shall represent private interests against the interest of the Town in any litigation to which the Town is a party. The Board of Ethics shall render a decision on such application within 45 days of its filing date.
Nothing contained in this code shall prohibit or restrict the employee or official from appearing before any board or commission of the Town in his own behalf, or being a party in any action, proceeding or litigation brought by or against the employee or official to which the Town is a party. When appearing before a board or commission in the employee's or official's own behalf or being a party in any action or litigation to which the Town is a party, written application to and approval from the Board of Ethics is not necessary.
No employee or official shall, without proper authorization, disclose confidential information concerning Town affairs, nor shall he use such information to advance the financial interests or private interests of himself or others.
No paid consultant of the Town or of any agency shall represent private interest in any action or proceeding against the interest of the Town in any litigation to which the Town is a party if such actions are in conflict with the performance of his duties as a Town employee.
No employee or official shall discriminate against or in favor of any individual or cause based solely upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or physical disability.
No employee or official shall request or permit the use of Town-owned vehicles, equipment, facilities, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such are available to the public generally or are provided as municipal policy for the use of such employee or official in the interest of the Town.
No employee or official shall grant any special consideration, treatment, favor or advantage to any person beyond that which is generally available to residents and/or taxpayers of the Town.
Any employee or official having any financial or private interest as designated in § 46-3D shall file written disclosure of said interest with the Town Clerk and the Board of Ethics as soon as he becomes aware of such interest. Said written disclosure shall set forth in detail the nature and extent of such interest.
There is hereby created a Board of Ethics which shall be charged with the administration of this Code of Ethics.
The Board of Ethics shall be composed of five resident electors, and at no time shall more than three members be of the same political party. The Town Council shall appoint all members to this Board. Of the five members initially appointed, one shall be appointed for a term of five years, one for a term of four years, one for a term of three years, one for a term of two years and one for a term of one year. Thereafter, upon the expiration of the initial term of any member of the Board or in the event that a vacancy exists on said Board, the Town Council shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy. All subsequent appointments and reappointments to the Board shall be for a term of two years. If a vacancy occurs as a result of a resignation, the Council will appoint a member to the Board to complete the unexpired term. In no event may any member of the Board serve on said Board for a period of more than six years in succession.
The Board shall promulgate and adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the administration of its proceedings, in accordance with state statutes. The rules and regulations so promulgated and all amendments thereto shall be made available at the office of the Town Clerk to any elector of the Town.
Subject to §§ 7-148h and 1-82a of the Connecticut General Statutes as amended, this Board shall receive complaints of any violations of the Code of Ethics and shall, upon such complaint, investigate the same and hold private hearings within 30 days thereof if, in the opinion of the majority of the Board, said complaint warrants a hearing. Any complaint received by the Board must be in writing and signed by the individual making said complaint. This Board shall acknowledge receipt in writing to the complainant of the complaint. Upon receiving such complaint, the Board shall privately notify the person against whom the complaint has been filed, advising the concerned party of the specific nature of the complaint made and being investigated by the Board. Upon receipt of said notice from the Board, the party so notified that a complaint has been filed against him shall have the right to demand a public or private hearing by the Board. In the event that the Board decides that a hearing is required, or the person whose conduct being called into question demands a hearing, said hearing shall afford the person whose conduct is called into question the right to cross-examine anyone testifying against him or meet or answer any complaint made of his conduct and to present evidence in his own behalf. No hearing, however, may be conducted with fewer than four of the five seated members of the Board in attendance. A final determination requires the vote of all five seated members. A finding that a violation has occurred requires the unanimous vote of all five seated members. A seated member is as defined in the procedural rules of the Board of Ethics and as from time to time revised.
[Amended 1-20-1993; 8-9-1993]
The Board shall report to the Town Council where it has voted a probable cause finding. It shall further report, after public hearing, any final vote taken on the matter along with any recommendations it may have concerning the matter. The Town Council shall thereupon take such action as it may deem appropriate or take action in accordance with the provisions of the Town Charter. In addition, the Board shall make public its findings and opinions with such deletions as may be justified, necessary or desirable, in accordance with §§ 7-148 and 1-82a of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
[Amended 1-20-1993; 8-9-1993]
The Board of Ethics may, upon the written request of any employee or official or resident of the Town, or upon its own initiative, render written advisory opinions concerning any matters relating to the Code of Ethics.
All opinions and recommendations of the Board of Ethics, whether advisory or the result of a complaint in which probable cause has been found, shall be kept on file with the Board of Ethics.
Number and term. There shall be three alternates to the Board of Ethics of the Town of Monroe, who shall be appointed by the Town Council. Each alternate shall serve for a term of two years.
Powers and duties. Such alternates, when seated, shall have all the powers and duties to act as members of the Board of Ethics. Alternates shall have the privilege of attending all meetings and hearings without vote until seated.
Designation for service. For each member of the Board of Ethics who is absent or disqualified, the Chairman of the Board of Ethics shall designate one alternate to be seated on the Board of Ethics. Said Chairman shall choose alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible; provided, however, that in choosing alternates, such alternates shall be chosen so that the maximum number of members seated on such Board at any time, including regular members and alternates, who are members of the same political party shall not exceed four. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
Should any provision of this Code of Ethics conflict with any provisions of federal law or the State of Connecticut General Statutes, the provisions of the federal law or the State of Connecticut General Statutes shall prevail.
No person shall serve on more than one board or commission of the Town at a time; provided, however, that where such service is not prohibited by the Connecticut General Statutes, the Charter of the Town of Monroe or any ordinance of the Town, including this code, the Town Council shall, upon written application of such person willing to serve, after a finding that no such violation would occur, approve such person to serve on more than one board or commission.
Where conflicts in the above are now in existence, letters will be sent to said individuals asking such persons to resign one appointment. If they refuse, the grandfather clause will go into effect until the end of the term on one of his or her appointments.
This Code of Ethics may be amended only by ordinance in conformity with the provisions of the Town Charter.
The Town Clerk shall cause a copy of this code to be distributed to every employee and official within 30 days after enactment of this code. Each employee and official elected, appointed or engaged thereafter shall be furnished a copy of the code before entering upon the duties of office or employment. All Town officials, upon taking the oath of office, and employees, upon hiring, must declare, in writing and filed with the Town Clerk, that they have read the Monroe Code of Ethics and that their personal affairs do not constitute a conflict of interest.