Town of Clinton, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clinton 3-13-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001, effective 3-30-2001; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 18.
Personnel policies — See Ch. 61.
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Town Board of the Town of Clinton, Dutchess County, New York recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for public officers, volunteers 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. The proper operation of the Town government requires that its officers, volunteers, employees, consultants, and members of a board, commission, committee, council or agency be independent, impartial, objective, unbiased and responsible to the people of the Town of Clinton; that public office should not be used for personal gain; and that public officers, volunteers, employees, consultants and members of a board, commission, committee, council or agency maintain the highest standards of integrity and discharge faithfully the duties of their office, regardless of personal considerations. It is the purpose of this chapter to promulgate these rules of ethical conduct for the officers, volunteers, employees, consultants, and members of a board, commission, committee, council or agency of the Town Board of the Town of Clinton. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers, volunteers, employees, consultants, and members of a board, commission, committee, council or agency of the Town Board of the Town of Clinton. The rules of ethical conduct of this chapter, as adopted, shall not conflict with, but shall be in addition to any prohibition of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and interest in contracts of municipal officers and employees.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONSULTANT
A person, paid or unpaid, providing advice to and at the request of a municipal board, committee, commission, council or other body.
INTEREST
A direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer or employee or consultant. For the purposes of this chapter, a municipal officer or employee or consultant shall be deemed to have an interest in:
A. 
The contract of his spouse, minor children and dependents, except a contract to employment with the municipality which such officer, employee, or consultant serves;
B. 
A firm, partnership or association of which such officer, employee, or consultant is a member or employee;
C. 
A corporation of which such officer, employee, or consultant is an officer, a director or an employee; and
D. 
A corporation any stock of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such officer, employee, or consultant.
MUNICIPAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
An officer, volunteer or employee of the Town Board of the Town of Clinton, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or other agency thereof. No person shall be deemed to be a municipal officer or employee solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or civil defense volunteer.
Public officers, volunteers and employees are agents of the public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach. Every officer, volunteer and employee, consultant, member of a board, commission, committee, council or agency of the Town of Clinton shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
A. 
Gifts. No officer, volunteer, employee, consultant, member of a board, commission, committee, council or agency shall, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive 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 him or her in the performance of his or her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his or her part. The recipient of any such gift or gratuity shall immediately return the same to the giver and shall notify the Town Board, in writing, of the occurrence.
B. 
Confidential information. No officer, volunteer, employee, consultant, member of a board, commission, committee, council or agency of the Town shall disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his/her duties or use such information to further his or her personal interests or the private interest of others.
C. 
Representation before one's own agency. No officer, employee, consultant, member of a board, commission, committee, council or agency shall receive compensation or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal board, commission, committee, council or agency of which he or she is an officer, member or employee, or of any municipal agency over which he or she has jurisdiction, or to which he or she has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
D. 
Representation before any agency for a contingent fee. No officer or employee shall receive compensation or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any board, commission, committee, council or agency of the Town, whereby his compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such board, commission, committee, council or 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.
E. 
Disclosure of interest and recusal. If any Town officer, volunteer, employee, consultant, or member of a board, commission, committee, council or agency has a potential or actual conflict of interest in any matter which he or she encounters in the performance of his or her official Town duties, he or she shall make known to all concerned parties the nature of such conflict and shall refrain from voting or otherwise acting in the matter so as to avoid an actual conflict. In all cases of potential or actual conflict, the Town Board shall be made aware of the situation by the person in conflict; the nature of this conflict shall be made clear on a form provided by the Town Clerk, as annexed to this chapter, or on another piece of paper having substantially the same consent. This disclosure shall be made part of the official record, and a copy of this filed form shall be kept in a separate place by the Town Clerk for the public record.
F. 
Investments in conflict with official duties or employment. Officers of the Town, volunteers, employees, consultants and members of their immediate families cannot invest or hold interest in any financial, business, commercial, real estate, or any private transaction which creates a conflict of interest with their duties as officers, volunteers or employees of the Town. If such an investment or interest becomes apparent after they have assumed office or employment, they must recuse themselves.
G. 
Private employment. Officers of the Town, volunteers and employees cannot ask or negotiate for, or promise to accept, employment from private interests or parties when this employment is in conflict with or hinders the proper discharge of their duties.
H. 
Future employment. After leaving service or employment for the Town of Clinton, former officers, volunteers and employees cannot appear before any board or agency of the Town in matters that relate to a proceeding or application that was under their consideration while they were active officers, volunteers or employees.
There is nothing in this ethics code that bars a present or former officer, volunteer or employee of the Town of Clinton from filing a claim, asking for payment, demanding or suing the Town or any of its agencies for himself or herself or members of his/her family for personal injury, property damage or monetary damages, as he or she may be otherwise entitled by law.
The Town Clerk is responsible for the distribution of a copy of this ethics code to every officer, volunteer and employee of the Town within 20 days after the code's adoption (initial or revised) by the Town Board. Thereafter, the Town Clerk will furnish every new officer with a copy of this code before he or she begins his/her duties, and the Town Supervisor or Highway Superintendent will furnish every new employee with a copy of this code before he or she begins his/her duties. The failure to receive a copy of the code does not relieve a municipal officer, volunteer, employee, or consultant from compliance with the provisions of this code.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any provision of this code shall be guilty of misconduct and may be disciplined, suspended, or otherwise removed from office or employment in the manner provided by the laws of the State of New York. A Town offense is considered a violation and will be enforced by the Town Board and prosecuted by the Town Attorney.