[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Bordentown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-28-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Bordentown City Code of Ethics."
The Board of Commissioners of the City of Bordentown finds and declares that:
Public office and employment are a public trust.
The vitality and stability of representative democracy depend upon the public's confidence in the integrity of its elected and appointed representatives.
Whenever the public perceives a conflict between the private interest and the public duties of a government officer or employee, that confidence is imperiled.
Governments have the duty both to provide their citizens with standards by which they may determine whether public duties are being faithfully performed and to apprise their officers and employees of the behavior which is expected of them while conducting their public duties.
It is the purpose of this chapter to provide a method of assuring that standards of ethical conduct and financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of the City of Bordentown shall be clear, consistent, uniform in their application and enforceable and to provide those officers or employees with advice and information concerning possible conflicts of interest which might arise in the conduct of their public duties.
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any agency, board, governing body, including the chief executive officers, office, commission or other instrumentality within the City of Bordentown and any independent local authority created by or appointed under the authority of the City of Bordentown, which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature.
- BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
- Any corporation, partnership, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust, sole proprietorship, union or other legal entity.
- Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, employed by or serving on an agency, who is not a local government officer.
- The ownership or control of more than 10% of the profits, assets or stock of a business organization, but shall not include the control of assets in a nonunion profit entity or labor union.
- MEMBER OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- The spouse or dependent child of an officer or employee residing in the same household.
- A. Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, who is one of the following:
- (1) Member of the Board of Commissioners.
- (2) Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer.
- (3) Deputy City Clerk.
- (4) Director, Department of Revenue and Finance.
- (5) Director, Department of Public Property.
- (6) Director, Department of Public Safety and Affairs.
- (7) Chief of Police.
- (8) Tax Assessor.
- (9) Tax Collector.
- (10) City Clerk.
- (11) City Attorney.
- (12) City Engineer.
- (13) City Planning Consultant.
- (14) City Auditor.
- (15) Municipal Judge.
- (16) City Prosecutor.
- (17) City Public Defender.
- (18) Planning Board member.
- (19) Planning Board Attorney.
- (20) Zoning Board of Adjustment member.
- (21) Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney.
- (22) Local Assistance Board member.
- (23) Director of Public Assistance.
- (24) Board of Fire Commissioners members.
- (25) Fire Chief.
- (26) Board of Fire Commissioners Attorney.
- (27) Any person who is a managerial executive or confidential employee, as defined in Section 3 of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-3, of the City of Bordentown or of any agency created under the authority of or appointed by the City of Bordentown.
- OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- An officer or employee of the City of Bordentown or of an agency under the authority of or appointed by the City of Bordentown.
Officers and employees of the City of Bordentown shall comply with the following provisions:
No officer or employee of the City of Bordentown or member of his or her immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction or professional activity which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest.
No officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others.
No officer or employee shall act in his or her official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his or her immediate family or any business organization in which he or she has an interest has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his or her objectivity or independence or judgment.
No officer or employee shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his or her independence of judgment in the exercise of his or her official duties.
No officer or employee, member of his or her immediate family or any business organization in which he or she has an interest shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, political contribution, service, promise of future employment or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise or other thing of value was given, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his or her official duties. This provision shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office if the officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the officer in the discharge of his or her official duties.
No officer or employee shall use or allow to be used his or her public office or employment or any information not generally available to the member of the public which he or she receives or acquires in the course of or by reason of his or her office or employment for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself, any member of his or her immediate family or any business organization with which he or she is associated.
No officer or employee or any business organization in which he or she has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the City in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency of the City of Bordentown. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit an employee from representing another employee where representation is within the context of official labor union or similar representational responsibilities; nor shall this provision be applicable to the City Public Defender with respect to representation of defendants in the Municipal Court.
No officer shall be deemed in conflict with these provisions if, by reason of his or her participation in the enactment of any ordinance, resolution or other matter required to be voted upon or which is subject to executive approval or veto, no material or monetary gain accrues to him or her as a member of any business, profession, occupation or group to any greater extent than any gain could reasonably be expected to accrue to any other member of such business profession, occupation or group.
No elected officer shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information on behalf of a constituent if no fee, reward or other thing of value is promised to, given to or accepted by the officer or a member of his or her immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefor.
Nothing shall prohibit any officer or employee of the City of Bordentown or members of his or her immediate family from representing himself, herself or themselves in negotiations of proceedings concerning his, her or their own interests.
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the City shall, without receiving formal written authorization from the appropriate person or body, disclose any confidential information concerning any other officer or employee or any other person or any property or governmental affairs of the City.
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the City shall approve or disapprove or in any way recommend the payment of any bill, voucher or indebtedness owed or allegedly owed by the City in which he has a direct or indirect personal, pecuniary or private interest.
No officer or employee elected or appointed in the City shall request, use or permit the use of any public property, vehicle, equipment labor or service for personal convenience or the private advantage of himself or any other person. This prohibition shall not be deemed to prohibit an official or employee from requesting, using or permitting the use of such public property, vehicle, equipment, material, labor or service which it is the general practice to make available to the public at large or which is provided as a matter of stated public policy for the use of officials and employees in the conduct of official business.
Officers of the City shall annually file a financial disclosure statement. All financial disclosure statements shall include the following information, which shall specify, where applicable, the name and address of each source and the officer's job title:
Each source of income, earned or unearned, exceeding $2,000, received by the officer or a member of his or her immediate family during the preceding calendar year. Individual client fees, customer receipts or commissions on transactions received through a business organization need not be separately reported as sources of income. If a publicly traded security is the source of income, the security need not be reported unless the local government officer or member of his or her immediate family has an interest in the business organization.
Each source of fees and honorarium having an aggregate amount exceeding $250 from any single source for personal appearances, speeches or writings received by the local government officer or a member of his or her immediate family during the preceding calendar year.
Each source of gifts, reimbursements or prepaid expenses having an aggregate value exceeding $400 from any single source, excluding relatives, received by the local government officer or a member of his or her immediate family during the preceding calendar year.
The name and address of all business organizations in which the local government officer or a member of his or her immediate family had an interest during the preceding calendar year.
The address and brief description of all real property in the state in which the local government officer or a member of his or her immediate family held an interest during the preceding calendar year.
Once a financial disclosure statement form has been promulgated by the New Jersey Local Finance Board, in accordance with the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law, then that form shall be used. The City Clerk shall make the forms available to the officers and employees required to file a financial disclosure statement.
The original statement shall be filed with the City Clerk within 90 days after the effective date of the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law. All subsequent statements shall be filed on or before April 30 of each year. A copy of the statement shall be filed with the City Clerk.
All financial disclosure statements shall be public record.
[Adopted 5-14-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-04]
Definitions. As used in this article of Chapter 36, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- BUSINESS ENTITY
- For purposes of this article, a business entity whose contributions are regulated by this article means:
- (1) An individual who seeks a contract for professional or extraordinary services, including the individual's spouse or domestic partner, and any unemancipated children or stepchildren living within the marital home;
- (2) A firm; corporation; professional corporation; partnership; limited liability company; organization; association; and any other manner and kind of business entity;
- (3) Any person who owns 10% or more of the equity or ownership or income interests in a person or entity as defined in Subsections A and B above and their spouses, domestic partners and children/stepchildren;
- (4) All partners or officers of such an entity and their spouses, domestic partners and children/stepchildren;
- (5) Any person, subcontractor, subsidiary, corporation, firm, partnership, limited liability company, organization or association who has received or indefeasibly acquired the right to receive, from a person described in this subparagraph; and
- CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
- i) Every candidate for the City of Bordentown elective municipal office; ii) every candidate committee established by or for the benefit of a candidate for the City of Bordentown elective municipal office; iii) every joint candidates committee established in whole or in part by or for the benefit of a slate of candidates for the City of Bordentown elective municipal office; iv) every political party committee of the City of Bordentown; and v) every political committee, continuing political committee, or other form of association or organization that regularly engages in the support of candidates for the City of Bordentown Board of Commissioners. The terms in the foregoing paragraph have the meaning prescribed in N.J.A.C. 19:25-1.7 as the same may be amended and supplemented from time to time by the New Jersey Legislature or by the Executive Branch pursuant to Executive Order or the New Jersey Administrative Procedures Act.
- CONTRACT FOR PROFESSIONAL OR EXTRAORDINARY SERVICES
- All contracts for "professional services" and "extraordinary unspecifiable services" as such terms are used in Local Public Contracts Act, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5.
- Has the meaning prescribed in N.JA.C. 19:25-1.7. By way of illustration, and not limitation, this definition includes pledges, loans, and in-kind contributions.
Prohibition on awarding public contracts to certain contributors.
To the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law, the City of Bordentown and any of its departments, instrumentalities or purchasing agents shall not enter into any agreement or otherwise contract to procure "professional services" as such term is defined at N.J.S.A. 40A:11-2(6) and used at N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(a)(i) and/or banking, insurance or other consulting service (hereinafter "professional services"), nor "extraordinary unspecified services" as such term is defined at N.J.S.A. 40A:11-2(7) and used at N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(a)(ii) and/or media, public relations, lobbying, parking garage management or other consulting and/or management service (hereinafter "extraordinary unspecified services") from any business entity if such business entity has made any contribution to a candidate, candidate committee or joint candidates committee of any candidate for elective municipal office in the City of Bordentown or a holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract with the City, or to any City of Bordentown, in excess of the thresholds specified in Subsection g within one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the contract or agreement.
No business entity who submits a proposal for, enters into negotiations for, or agrees to any contract or agreement with the City of Bordentown or any of its departments or instrumentalities, for the rendition of professional services or extraordinary unspecified services shall knowingly solicit or make any contribution above the threshold identified herein, to a candidate, candidate committee or joint candidates committee of any candidate for elective municipal office in the City of Bordentown, or a holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract with the City, during the term of that contract.
The monetary thresholds of this article are:
A maximum of $300 per election cycle for any purpose to any individual candidate or candidate committee for mayor or governing body;
A maximum of $900 per election cycle to any joint candidates committee for mayor or governing body;
A maximum of $300 per calendar year to a political committee or political party committee of the City of Bordentown.
As identified above, the maximum contribution of $900 is based on three candidates participating in the joint candidates committee. If only two candidates are participating in the joint candidates committee, the maximum amount shall be $600 per election cycle.
For purposes of this section, the office that is considered to have ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract shall be:
The City of Bordentown Mayor or governing body, if the contract requires approval or appropriation from the Mayor or governing body; or
The Mayor of the City of Bordentown, if the contract requires approval of the Mayor, or if a public officer who is responsible for the award of a contract is appointed by the Mayor.
Rules regarding subcontractors. No person may be awarded a subcontract to perform under a contract subject to this article, if the subcontractor would be disqualified by provision of this article from receiving the contract at the time that the subcontract is awarded.
Contributions made prior to the effective date. No contribution or solicitation of contributions made prior to the effective date of this article shall be deemed to give rise to a violation of this article.
Contract renewal. No contract subject to this article may be renewed, extended, or materially modified unless the resulting renewal, extension, or modification would be allowable under the provisions of this article if it were an initial contract.
Contribution statement by business entity.
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure professional services or extraordinary unspecified services from any business entity, the City of Bordentown or its purchasing agents and departments, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from said business entity which is the intended recipient of said contract that he/she/it has not made a contribution in violation of this article. The City of Bordentown, its purchasing agents and departments shall be responsible for informing the Board of Commissioners that the aforementioned sworn statement has been received and that, based on the information provided, the business entity is not in violation of this article, prior to awarding the contract or agreement.
A business entity shall have a continuing duty to report to the City of Bordentown any contributions that constitute a violation of this act that are made during the negotiation, proposal process or the duration of a contract. The City of Bordentown, its purchasing agents and departments shall be responsible for informing the governing body within 10 business days after receipt of said report from the business entity, or at the next Board of Commissioners' meeting following receipt of said report from the business entity, or whichever comes first.
The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the City of Bordentown, or prior to the provision of services or goods, as the case may be, and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.
Return of excess contributions. A business entity that is a party to a contract for professional services or extraordinary unspecified services may cure a violation of this article if, within 30 days after the date on which the applicable ELEC report is published, said business entity notifies the municipality in writing and seeks reimbursement of the contribution from the recipient of such contribution. The business entity shall make written request to receive reimbursement via regular and certified mail. Any elected official whose election fund or candidate committee fails to reimburse said contribution shall be prohibited from participating in the award of contract for that service until the reimbursement is made.
Exemptions. The contribution limitations prior to entering into a contract do not apply to contracts which are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder after public advertising for bids and bidding therefor within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 40A:11-4, or are awarded in the case of emergency under N.J.S.A. 40A:11-6. There is no exemption for contracts awarded pursuant to a fair and open process under N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20 et seq.
Unless cured under Subsection F of this section, it shall be a material breach of the terms of a City of Bordentown agreement or contract for professional services or extraordinary unspecified services when a business entity that is a party to such agreement or contract has:
Made a contribution in violation of this article;
Knowingly concealed or misrepresented a contribution given or received;
Made contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution;
Engaged or employed a lobbyist or consultant with the intent or understanding that such lobbyist or consultant would make any contribution, which if made by the professional business entity itself, would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article;
Funded contributions made by third parties, including consultants, attorneys, family members, and employees; or
Directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, done any act which if done directly would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article.
Furthermore, any business entity that knowingly or purposefully violates this chapter shall be disqualified from eligibility for future City of Bordentown contracts for a period of three calendar years from the date of the violation.