[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Palisades Park 7-15-2008 by Ord. No. 1512. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following words and phrases shall have the following meaning as set forth:
- The Mayor, any member of the Borough Council or any other officer or employee, appointed, elected or hired by the Borough, whether full- or part-time.
- Coverage afforded by insurance policies of every kind, whether the premiums be paid by the Borough, the employee or someone on his or her behalf.
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1632]
The Borough shall reimburse an officer or employee for all reasonable expenses incurred, specifically court costs and all monetary judgments imposed upon him/her, 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 the office held by such employee. The Borough shall indemnify an employee for exemplary or punitive damages resulting from the employee's civil violation of state and/or federal law if the acts committed by the employee upon whom the damages are based did not constitute actual fraud, actual malice, willful misconduct or an intentional wrong.
The Borough shall not be obligated to provide reimbursement in the following instances:
Where the legal proceeding involved a claim of misfeasance or malfeasance in office or a claim of fraud, theft or misappropriation of public funds and the Mayor, Council or officer or employee is found liable for the charge.
Where the legal proceeding is instigated or brought by the Borough.
Notwithstanding any provision in an employee's contract to the contrary, any employee shall not be entitled to indemnification or reimbursement pursuant to this section unless, within 10 calendar days of the time he or she is served with any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading, he or she notifies the Borough. Whenever competent and disinterested legal counsel is available to the Borough through any insurance coverage, the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed officials shall be obligated to be represented by such counsel. If the Borough wishes to use the General Counsel of the Borough to defend the action, the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed officials shall be obligated to be represented by that attorney unless there is a conflict of interest. The refusal of the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed officials to cooperate with the Borough shall terminate the Borough's obligations to reimburse the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed officials.
The Borough agrees to pay all reasonable litigation expenses, including attorneys' fees of the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed officials throughout the pendency of any litigation in which the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed official is a party or witness where the action relates to matters in connection with and within the scope of his position. The Borough may reimburse the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed officials for a portion of an expense incurred prior to a final decision in a legal proceeding.
[Amended 12-14-2015 by Ord. No. 1658; 7-24-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-8]
Notwithstanding any provision in an employee's contract to the contrary, the Borough shall reimburse the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed official for the reasonable and customary legal costs of successfully defending against criminal charges, actual or threatened, where such charges result from the performance of the Mayor's, Borough Council's, Borough officers', employees' and/or any appointed official's duties and the Mayor, Borough Council, Borough officers, employees and/or any appointed official is deemed to have acted in good faith.
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1632]
That the Borough shall pay for all legal expenses incurred in the event the Borough Attorney advises the Borough that the employee in all likelihood will be found to have acted in good faith.
The terms of this chapter and the definition of "official," "employee," and "appointee" are to be construed liberally in order to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, except that these terms shall not mean:
Any person who is not a natural person;
Any person while providing goods and services of any kind under any contract with the Borough, except an employment contract;
Any person while providing legal or engineering services for compensation unless said person is a full-time employee of the Borough; and
Any person who as a condition of her or her appointment or contract is required to indemnify and defend the Borough and/or secure insurance.
The Borough shall provide for defense or/and indemnify any present or former official, employee or appointee of the Borough who becomes a defendant in a civil action if the person or persons involved a) acted or failed to act in a matter in which the Borough has or had an interest; b) acted or failed to act in the discharge of a duty imposed or authorized by law; and c) acted or failed to take action in good faith. For purposes of this chapter, the duty and authority of the Borough to defend and indemnify shall extend to a cross-claim or counterclaim against said person.
Whenever the Borough provides for the defense of any action set forth herein and as a condition of such defense, the Borough may assume exclusive control over the representation of such persons defended, and such person shall cooperate fully with the Borough.