Village of Montgomery, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Montgomery 5-7-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Indemnification and defense — See Ch. 12.
Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Montgomery recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for public officers 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 village government requires that its officers and employees be independent, impartial, objective, unbiased and responsible to the people of the Village of Montgomery; that public office not be used for personal gain; that public officers and employees maintain the highest standards of integrity and discharge faithfully the duties of their office, regardless of personal considerations; and that the public have confidence in the officers and employees thereof. It is the purpose of this chapter to promulgate these rules of ethical conduct for the officers and employees of the Village of Montgomery. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and 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.
When used herein and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
A spouse, minor child, dependent or other adult person residing in the household of a municipal officer or employee.
[Amended 8-2-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]
INTEREST
Any claim, account or demand against or agreement with the village, express or implied, including designation of a depository of public funds and the designation of an official newspaper, and direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an officer or employee as the result of a business or professional transaction with the village. For the purpose of this chapter, an officer or employee shall be deemed to have a direct "interest" in the affairs of: his or her spouse, minor children and dependents; a business concern, partnership or association of which such officer or employee is a member, partner, owner or director; a corporation of which such officer or employee is an officer or a director; and a corporation, any stock of which is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such officer or employee.
MUNICIPAL OFFICER or EMPLOYEE
The Mayor, Trustees and any officer or employee of the village, whether paid or not, including members of any administrative advisory board, commission or other agency thereof. For the purpose of this chapter, no person shall be deemed a "village officer" or "employee" solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or a civil defense volunteer.
VILLAGE
The Village of Montgomery or any of its boards, commissions or agencies, whether operated solely by the Village of Montgomery or jointly with one or more other municipalities.
Public officials 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 or employee of the Village of Montgomery shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
A. 
Gifts. No officer or employee of the village shall, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of more than $75, 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 expected to influence him or her or could reasonably be expected 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.
[Amended 8-2-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]
B. 
Disclosure of confidential information. No officer or employee of the village shall disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further his or her personal interests or the private interests of others.
C. 
Rendering of services. No municipal officer or employee of the village, as defined in § 2-2, shall receive compensation or enter into any agreement to receive compensation, express or implied, with respect to any matter which is, was or will be before him or her for determination in his or her official capacity as a municipal officer or employee of the Village of Montgomery. In addition, no municipal officer or employee of the Village of Montgomery shall receive compensation or enter into any agreement, express or implied, to receive compensation in relation to any matter before any municipal agency, department, board or commission, except as a part of his or her official responsibilities to the agency, department, board or commission or as a function of the official position of the municipal officer or employee.
D. 
Use of public property. No officer or employee shall request or permit the use of village-owned vehicles, equipment, material or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such services are available to the public generally or are provided as municipal policy for the use of such officer or employee in the conduct of official business.
E. 
Use of position to achieve preferential treatment. No officer or employee of the village shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others or grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizen beyond that which is available to every other citizen.
F. 
Interest in appointments. Canvassing of members of the Board of Trustees, directly or indirectly, in order to obtain preferential consideration in connection with any appointment to the municipal service shall disqualify the candidate for appointment except with reference to positions filled by appointment by the Board of Trustees.
G. 
Disclosure of interest in legislation or other matter involving a conflict of interest.
(1) 
Any member of any Board of the Village of Montgomery who has a direct or indirect financial or other private interest in any matter before said Board shall immediately disclose on the public record of that Board the nature and extent of such interest and shall immediately recuse himself or herself from any further participation or vote on such matter. Any Village officer or employee who may have a direct or indirect financial or other private interest in any matter before any Board of the Village of Montgomery in which he or she participates in the discussion before, makes a recommendation to or gives an opinion to said Board on the matter shall promptly inform his or her superior of such interest, shall file with the Village Clerk a signed statement disclosing the nature and extent of the interest and shall refrain from participating any further in the matter before the Board.
[Amended 8-2-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]
(2) 
All elected and appointed paid officials, department heads and their assistants and Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural and Historic Review Board and Ethics Board members are required, within 30 days of taking office, to file a confidential disclosure statement on a form as provided by the Village of Montgomery pursuant to this section.
[Amended 8-2-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]
(3) 
In the event that a change occurs with respect to any of the information required on the aforesaid confidential disclosure statement, the party required to file such a statement shall file an amended statement reflecting any such change in circumstances within 60 days from the date thereof, unless requested by the Board of Ethics to do so sooner, in which case such amended statement shall be filed within 10 days of the request for same.
H. 
Investments or other interest in conflict with official duties. No officer or employee of the village shall invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with his or her official duties.
I. 
Private employment. No officer or employee shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his or her official duties.
J. 
Future employment. No officer or employee shall, after the termination of service or employment with the village, appear before any board or agency of the Village of Montgomery in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he or she personally participated during the period of his or her service or employment or which was under his or her active consideration.
K. 
Political activity. No municipal officer or employee, except the Mayor and the members of the Board of Trustees, shall use his or her official position on behalf of any political party, club, association, society or committee. This provision shall not be interpreted or construed as precluding any municipal officer or employee from being involved in the political affairs of the village as a private citizen, nor shall it exempt any municipal officer or employee from any federal, state or local rules, regulations, codes of conduct or other restrictions imposed by law.
No officer or employee of the village or of any service or other organization chartered by or directly or indirectly sponsored or supported by the village shall:
A. 
Discriminate or cause involuntary segregation, directly or indirectly, based upon creed, color or national origin, or allow the preceding to be factors affecting the recruitment, selection, placement, assignment, compensation or promotion of any officer, employee or member of such service or other organization.
B. 
Permit, directly or indirectly, the use of any village property, equipment or service by any person or persons, organizations, corporations or any other group which directly or indirectly discriminates as set forth in Subsection A.
C. 
Allow the village knowingly to have any financial or business dealings with any organization which discriminates as set forth in Subsection A above.
When an officer or employee has doubt as to the applicability of a provision of this Code to a particular situation, he or she should apply to the Board of Ethics constituted for the implementation of this Code for an advisory opinion and be guided by that opinion when given. The officer or employee shall have the opportunity to present his or her interpretation of the facts at issue and of the applicable provision(s) of the Code before such advisory decision is made. This Code shall be operative in all instances covered by its provisions except if superseded by an applicable statutory provision.
[Amended 8-2-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]
The Clerk of the Village shall cause a copy of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Village within 30 days after the effective date of this section. Each municipal officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy of Article 18 and this Code before entering upon the duties of his official duties. Additionally, the Village Clerk will annually distribute a copy of this Code to all officers and employees of the Village. The Clerk shall obtain each municipal officer's and employee's signature acknowledging receipt of the Code and further acknowledging that he or she has read it and understands it.
A. 
There is hereby established a Board of Ethics of the Village, consisting of five members, one of whom shall be a municipal officer or employee of the Village, and a majority of such members shall be persons other than a municipal officer or employee. All members shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees for a term of five years, each term to expire at the end of the Village's official year, except that of those first appointed, one shall be appointed for five years, one shall be appointed for four years, one shall be appointed for three years, one shall be appointed for two years and one shall be appointed for one year. The Board shall elect its own Chairman. The Village Attorney shall be a member ex officio with no vote. There shall be a recording secretary who shall be the Clerk of the Board in charge of its minutes, books and records.
[Amended 2-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
B. 
The Board of Ethics shall have the powers and duties prescribed by Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and shall render advisory opinions to the officers and employees of the Village with respect to Article 18 of the General Municipal law and any Code of ethics adopted pursuant to such article. In addition, the Board may make recommendations with respect to the drafting and adoption of a Code of ethics or amendments thereto upon request of the Board of Trustees.
C. 
The Board of Ethics shall convene at least twice a year and at such times as may otherwise be necessary. The Board of Ethics may adopt rules and regulations relative to the conduct of its business, but may only render advisory opinions subject to these limitations:
(1) 
Requests shall be in writing.
(2) 
Requests or inquiries must originate with a municipal officer or employee.
(3) 
Requests or inquiries must relate to the conflict of interest law or Code of Ethics.
(4) 
The opinion must be approved as to legal sufficiency by the Village Attorney.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of the Code may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.
The Board of Trustees, by the adoption of this L.L. No. 1-1991, hereby incorporates this Code of Ethics into the Village Code as Chapter 2 thereof for all future reference.