[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hanover 7-8-2010 by Ord. No. 20-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In conformance with the State of New Jersey's Local Government Ethics Law at N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq., as used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
- BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
- Any corporation, partnership, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust, sole proprietorship, union or other legal entity.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The Township Committee of the Township of Hanover.
- 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 nonprofit entity or labor union.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY
- Any agency, board, governing body (including the chief executive officer) bureau, division, office, commission or other instrumentality within a county or municipality, and any independent local authority, including any entity created by more than one county or municipality, and any independent local authority, including any entity created by more than one county or municipality, which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature but shall not include a school board.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE
- Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, employed by or serving on a local government agency who is not a local government officer, but shall not mean any employee of a school district.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICER
- Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, as follows:
- A. Elected to any office of a local government agency;
- B. Serving on a local government agency which has the authority to enact ordinances, approve development applications or grant zoning variances;
- C. Who is a member of an independent municipal, county or regional authority; and
- D. Who is a managerial executive or confidential employee of a local government agency, as defined in Section 3 of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act., P.L. 1941, c. 100 (N.J.S.A. 34:13A-3), but shall not mean any employee of a school district or member of a school board.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- A local government officer or a local government employee.
- MEMBER OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- The spouse or dependent child of a local government officer or employee residing in the same household.
All local government officers, employees and volunteers of the Township of Hanover shall comply with the following standards for conduct which are adopted as follows:
No local government officer, employee or volunteer 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; and
Independent authorities; business organizations.
No independent local authority shall, for a period of one year next subsequent to the termination of office of a member of that authority:
Award any contract which is not publicly bid to a former member of that authority;
Allow a former member of that authority to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before that authority; and
Employ for compensation, except pursuant to open competitive examination in accordance with Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes, and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, any former member of that authority.
The restrictions contained in this subsection shall also apply to any business organization in which the former authority member holds an interest.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer shall use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer shall act in an official capacity in any matter involving a business organization where he or she has a direct or indirect financial interest or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair objectivity or independence of judgment.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his or her independent judgment in the exercise of his or her official duties.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer, in which he or she has an interest in a business organization, shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, 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 or offered for the purpose of influencing him or her directly or indirectly in the discharge of 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 local government officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the local government officer in the discharge of his or her official duties.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer shall use, or allow to be used, his or her public office or employment or any information not generally available to the members of the public which he or she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of office or employment for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself or herself, any member of his or her immediate family or any business organization with which he or she is associated.
No local government officer or volunteer shall participate in the deliberations of the Township Committee, the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Board of Health or Hanover Sewerage Authority concerning any actions or applications before it, if that local government officer or volunteer espouses certain philosophies or strong personal convictions concerning any institution, organization or groups of persons. In such instances, the local government officer or volunteer shall recuse himself or herself from all deliberations.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer shall engage, either directly or indirectly, in any act including the failure to act that constitutes discrimination, harassment or a violation of any person's constitutional rights while such officer, employee or volunteer is engaged in or acting on behalf of the Township's business or using the facilities or property of the Township. In this regard, the Township and its local government officers, employees and volunteers shall comply with the provisions of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
No business organization in which a local government officer, employee or volunteer has an interest shall represent any person or party, other than the local government, in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency in the local government in which he or she serves. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit one local government employee from representing another local government employee where the local government agency is the employer, and the representation is within the context of official labor union or similar representational responsibilities.
No local government officer, employee or volunteer 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 local government 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 the immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefore.
Nothing shall prohibit any local government officer, employee or volunteer from representing himself, herself or themselves in negotiations or proceedings concerning his, her or their own interests.
In accordance with this chapter's declaration of policy and objectives, all local government officers, employees and volunteers shall abide by the following Code of Ethics oath:
To uphold and enforce all federal, state and local ordinances, rules, regulations, policies and court mandates. Desired changes shall be brought about only through legal and ethical means;
To make decisions and set policies that are beneficial and protective of the health, welfare and safety of the residents of Hanover Township and the public in general who visit or do business within the community;
To discharge responsibilities for the good of the Township as a whole and not surrender independent judgment to special interest or partisan political groups or use one's position for personal gain or for the gain of family or friends;
To withhold confidential information on any matters which are discussed in closed executive session and such matters shall not be divulged to any person or released to the public until such time that the reasons for discussing and acting on them in closed executive session no longer exist;
In the case of members of the Township Committee, members shall vote to appoint the best qualified personnel after careful consideration of the experience and expertise of individuals seeking employment.
In accordance with the rules and regulations of the Local Government Ethics Law at N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq., local government officers, employees and volunteers who are covered under the law shall, on or before April 30 of each year, annually file a financial disclosure statement on the form prescribed by the Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs. The original of such form shall be filed with the Hanover Township Clerk and a copy forwarded to the Local Finance Board. All financial disclosure statements filed with the Township Clerk are deemed public records and available for public inspection or duplication.
Failure to file the prescribed statement on the deadline date may result in the removal from office.
Title 5 of the United States Code, Sections 1501 through 1508, and Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 151, are incorporated herein by reference and made a part of this chapter as if set forth in full. All elected officials, officers and employees of the Township shall comply with the provisions of Title 5 of the United States Code, also known as the "Hatch Act."