[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Easton 3-25-1980 as Title ID of the 1980 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There shall continue to be a Code of Ethics established in order to acquaint the public with a desired level of ethics in local government; to set suitable ethical standards for all public officials and employees; to set forth general principles of conduct to guide such officials and employees; and to prohibit acts or actions of such officials and employees which are incompatible with the discharge of proper public duties.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Personal matters and financial matters which, if disclosed, would be of detrimental interest to the Town and a violation of the trust placed in that person.
- FINANCIAL INTEREST
- Any financial interest, direct or indirect, which is more than nominal and which is not common to the interest of other citizens of the Town.
- INDIRECT INTEREST
- Includes but is not limited to the interest of any subcontractor in any contract with the Town and the interest of any person or his immediate family in any corporation, firm or partnership which has a direct or indirect interest in any transaction with the Town.
- TOWN OFFICER
- Includes any official, employee, agent, consultant, or member, elected or appointed, of any board, department, commission, committee, legislative body or other agency of the Town of Easton, paid or unpaid, with the exception of employees and agents of the Board of Education who shall be governed by regulations of said Board and the General Statutes.
- Includes the offer, sale or furnishing of any real or personal property, material, supplies or services by any person, directly or indirectly, as vendor, prime contractor, subcontractor or otherwise, for the use and benefit of the Town for a valuable consideration, excepting the services of any person as a Town officer.
Words of the masculine gender shall include the feminine.
No Town officer shall engage in any transactions or shall have a financial interest or other personal interest which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties in the public interest or would tend to impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties. Without limiting the nature and type of potential conflicts of interest, the following examples of specific conflicts are hereby set forth for the guidance of all Town officers:
Incompatible employment. No Town officer shall engage in or accept private employment or render services for private interest when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties or would tend to impair independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties.
Use of Town facilities.
No Town officer shall request or permit the use of Town-owned vehicles, equipment, facilities, materials, or property for personal convenience or profit except when such is available to the public generally or is provided as Town policy for the use of such Town officer in the interest of the Town.
No Town officer shall grant any special consideration, treatment, favor or advantage to any person beyond that which is generally available to residents and taxpayers of the Town.
Gifts and favors. No Town officer or his immediate family shall accept any valuable gift, thing, favor, loan or promise which might tend to influence the performance or nonperformance of his official duties.
Disclosure of confidential information. No Town officer shall, without proper authorization, disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the Town, nor shall he use such information to advance the financial or private interest of himself or others.
Appearance before Town agencies. No Town officer shall appear on behalf of private interests before any board, agency, committee or commission of the Town, nor shall he represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interest of the Town in any litigation to which the Town is a party. Nothing herein shall prohibit a Town officer from appearing before any such board, agency, committee or commission on his own behalf.
Any Town officer having a financial interest in any transaction with the Town, or in any action to be taken by the Town, shall first divulge and disclose such interest in writing to the committee, board or agency involved, and if no such committee, board or agency is involved, to the Board of Selectmen, and shall further refrain from using his office to exert his influence or vote on such transaction or action.
There shall continue to be a Board of Ethics in and for the Town which shall be charged with the administration of this Code of Ethics and which shall consist of five members. Not more than three of said members shall be of the same political party, and none of whom shall hold any of the appointed or elected Town offices, or be a Town employee, or be a member of the Town committee of any political party.
Members of the Board of Ethics shall be appointed for two-year terms. No elector may serve for more than six successive years.
The Board shall promulgate and adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the administration of its proceedings. The rules and regulations so promulgated and all amendments thereto shall be made available at the office of the Town Clerk to any elector of the Town.
The Board shall receive all complaints, in writing, of violation of this code, shall investigate the same and, after giving the Town officer concerned an opportunity to be heard, shall, within 35 calendar days, make such findings and recommendations as it may deem appropriate in each case to the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen shall, thereupon, take such action as it may deem appropriate.
Upon written request of any Town officer, said Board shall render an advisory opinion in writing to such Town officer with respect to this code.