[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Clinton 9-9-1986 by Ord. No. 86-13. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Administration — See Ch. 4.
For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth:
- Coverage afforded by insurance policies of every kind whether the premiums be paid by the town, the municipal official or someone on his behalf.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL
- Any officer, employee, board or committee member appointed or hired by the Mayor or Town Council of the Town of Clinton, whether full- or part-time. The term shall also include any person elected by the voters of the Town of Clinton to fill any official position in the town, or any person subsequently appointed to fill such position.
Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the Town of Clinton shall reimburse a municipal official for all expenses incurred (specifically including reasonable attorney fees and court costs) and all monetary judgments (excluding punitive damages) imposed upon him in any action or legal proceeding of a noncriminal nature arising out of or incidental to the performance of the duties of the position or office held by such municipal official.
The town shall not be obligated to provide reimbursement in the following instances:
Where the legal proceeding is instigated or brought by the municipal official.
Where the legal proceeding involves a claim of misfeasance or malfeasance in office, or a claim of fraud, theft or misappropriation of public funds, and the municipal official is found liable for the charge.
Where the legal proceeding is instigated or brought by the Town of Clinton against the municipal official.
Where the legal proceeding involves a question concerning the election laws.
The amount the town is obliged to reimburse the municipal official shall be reduced by any insurance coverage payable to the municipal official by the net amount (recovery less attorney fees, disbursements and court costs) of any money received by the municipal official in any counteraction against the person or persons bringing the action against him.
A municipal official shall not be entitled to indemnification or reimbursement pursuant to this chapter unless, within 10 calendar days of the time he is served with any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading, he delivers the original or a copy thereof to the Municipal Attorney. The municipal official shall be obliged to cooperate with the town in the conduct of his defense. Whenever competent and disinterested legal counsel is available to the town through any insurance coverage, the municipal official shall be obliged to be represented by such counsel. If the town wishes to use the Municipal Attorney, or the attorney for any board or committee of the town to defend the action, the municipal official shall be obligated to be represented by that attorney unless there is a conflict of interest. The refusal of the municipal official to cooperate with the town shall terminate the town's obligation to reimburse the municipal official.
If the legal proceeding is terminated by an agreement amongst the parties, then the town shall not be obligated to reimburse the municipal official unless the town approves the settlement agreement.
If the municipal official files a counteraction in the legal proceedings, the town shall not be obligated to reimburse him for any attorney fees or court costs attributable to such counteraction.
The town may reimburse a municipal official for a portion of expenses incurred prior to a final decision in a legal proceeding, but the town shall be entitled to wait for a final determination before being obligated to make any payments.
To the extent N.J.S.A. 40A:14-155 provides broader indemnification to members of the Town of Clinton's Police Department, that statute shall supersede this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect upon final passage and publication according to law. Any legal action which may be covered by this chapter which has not been reduced to a final judgment as of the date of passage shall be covered by the terms of this chapter.