Town of Brentwood, MD
Prince George's County
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[Adopted 11-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-06[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 86, Code of Ethics, adopted 11-17-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-1 (Ch. 19 of the 1986 Code), as amended.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Brentwood Code of Ethics."
The provisions of this chapter apply to all Town of Brentwood elected officials, candidates for public office (with the exception of § 86-6, Conflicts of Interest), employees, and appointees to boards and commissions of the Town of Brentwood.
A. 
The Town of Brentwood, recognizing that our system of representative government is dependent in part upon the people maintaining the highest trust in their public officials and employees, finds and declares that the people have a right to be assured that the impartiality and independent judgment of public officials and employees will be maintained.
B. 
It is evident that this confidence and trust is eroded when the conduct of the Town of Brentwood's business is subject to improper influence and even the appearance of improper influence.
C. 
For the purpose of guarding against improper influence, the Town of Brentwood Mayor and Council enacts this Code of Ethics to require Town of Brentwood elected officials, candidates for public office, employees, boards and commissions to disclose their financial affairs and to set minimum standards for the conduct of local government business.
D. 
It is the intention of the Mayor and Council that this chapter, except its provisions for criminal sanctions, be liberally construed to accomplish this purpose.
In this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPOINTED TOWN OFFICIAL
A member of any board, commission, or committee or authority of the Town of Brentwood, whether salaried or not, who is appointed to such position by the Mayor and Council.
BUSINESS ENTITY
A corporation, general or limited partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture, unincorporated association or firm, institution, trust, foundation, or other organization, whether or not operated for profit. Business entity does not include a governmental entity.
CHILDREN
Any natural child, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, or grandchild of whatever age.
COMMISSION
The Town of Brentwood Ethics Commission established under § 86-5A of this chapter.
COMPENSATION
Any money or thing of value, regardless of form, received or to be received by any individual covered by this chapter from an employer for service rendered. For the purposes of § 86-9 of this chapter, if lobbying is only a portion of a person's employment, "compensation" means a prorated amount based on the time devoted to lobbying compared to the time devoted to other employment duties.
COMPLAINANT
A person who files a written complaint with the Ethics Commission alleging a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Having or negotiating a contract that involves the commitment, either in a single or combination of transactions, of $5,000 or more of Town-controlled funds;
B. 
Being regulated by or otherwise subject to the authority of the Town; or
C. 
Being registered as a lobbyist under § 86-9 of this chapter.
ELECTED OFFICIAL
Any individual who holds an elective office of the Town of Brentwood.
EMPLOYEE
An individual who is employed by the Town. Employee does not include an elected official.
FAMILY MEMBER
Anyone who is related to an individual by blood, marriage, adoption or is a member of an individual's household. Family members include but are not limited to an individual's spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, cousin, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or anyone who is a member of the individual's household.
A. 
Ownership of any interest as the result of which the owner has received, within the past three years, or is presently receiving, or in the future is entitled to receive, more than $1,000 per year; or
B. 
Ownership, or the ownership of securities of any kind representing or convertible into ownership, of more than 3% of a business entity by a Town official or employee, or the spouse of an official or employee.
GIFT
The transfer of anything of economic value, regardless of the form, without adequate and lawful consideration. Gift does not include a political campaign contribution regulated under Election Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, or any other provision of state or local law regulating the conduct of elections or the receipt of political campaign contributions.
INTEREST
A legal or equitable economic interest, whether or not subject to an encumbrance or a condition, that is owned or held, in whole or in part, jointly or severally, directly or indirectly. For purposes of the financial disclosure provisions of this chapter, interest includes any interest held at any time during the reporting period. Interest does not include:
A. 
An interest held in the capacity of a personal agent, custodian, fiduciary, personal representative, or trustee, unless the holder has an equitable interest in the subject matter;
B. 
An interest in a time or demand deposit in a financial institution;
C. 
An interest in an insurance policy, endowment policy, or annuity contract under which an insurer promises to pay a fixed amount of money either in a lump sum or periodically for life or a specified period;
D. 
A common trust fund or a trust which forms part of a pension or profit sharing plan which has more than 25 participants and which has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be a qualified trust under the Internal Revenue Code; or
E. 
A college savings plan under the Internal Revenue Code.
A. 
Communicating in the presence of a Town official or employee with the intent to influence any official action of that official or employee; or
B. 
Engaging in activities with the express purpose of soliciting others to communicate with a Town official or employee with the intent to influence that official or employee.
LOBBYIST
A person required to register and report expenses related to lobbying under § 86-9 of this chapter.
OFFICIAL
An elected official, an employee of the Town or a person appointed to or employed by the Town or any Town agency, board, commission, or similar entity:
A. 
Whether or not paid in whole or in part with Town funds; and
B. 
Whether or not compensated.
PERSON
Includes an individual or business entity.
RESPONDENT
A person named in a written complaint filed with or initiated by the Ethics Commission alleging a violation by such person of any of the provisions of this chapter.
TOWN ATTORNEY
The Town Attorney of Brentwood, or alternatively designated attorney empowered to represent the Town.
A. 
There shall be a Town of Brentwood Ethics Commission that consists of three members and may include an alternate appointed by the Mayor and Council by resolution effective immediately upon reading and passage.
(1) 
Commission members should have expertise in ethical standards, law, and local government.
(2) 
Former elected officials shall not serve on the Commission.
(3) 
The Commission members shall serve two-year terms.
(4) 
A Commission member may serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
B. 
The Commission shall elect a Chairman from among its members.
(1) 
The term of the Chairman is one year.
(2) 
The Chairman may be reelected for one additional term.
C. 
The Town Attorney shall assist and advise the Commission in carrying out the Commission's duties. If a conflict of interest under § 86-6 of this chapter or other conflict prohibits the Town Attorney from assisting the Commission in a matter, the Town shall provide sufficient funds for the Commission to hire independent counsel for the duration of the conflict.
D. 
The Commission is the advisory body responsible for interpreting this chapter and advising persons subject to this chapter regarding its application.
E. 
The Commission shall hear and decide, with the advice of the Town Attorney, or other legal counsel if appropriate, all complaints filed regarding alleged violations of this chapter by any complainant.
F. 
The Commission or an office designated by the Commission shall retain as a public record all forms submitted by any complainant under this chapter for at least four years after receipt by the Commission.
G. 
The Commission shall certify to the State Ethics Commission on or before October 1 of each year that the Town is in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland, for elected officials.
H. 
The Commission shall:
(1) 
Devise, receive, and maintain all forms required by this chapter;
(2) 
Develop procedures and policies for advisory opinion requests and provide published advisory opinions to persons subject to this chapter regarding the applicability of the provisions of this chapter to them;
(3) 
Develop procedures and policies for the processing of complaints to make appropriate determinations regarding complaints filed by any complainant alleging violations of this chapter;
(4) 
Conduct public information and education programs regarding the purposes, implementation and application of this chapter; and
(5) 
Issue subpoenas, administer oaths and compel attendance of witnesses and production of documents at its proceedings.
I. 
The Commission shall:
(1) 
Determine if changes to this chapter are required to be in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland; and
(2) 
Shall forward any recommended changes and amendments to the Council for enactment.
J. 
Any person subject to this chapter may request an advisory opinion from the Commission concerning the application of this chapter.
(1) 
The Commission shall respond promptly to a request for an advisory opinion and shall provide interpretations of this chapter based on the facts provided or reasonably available to the Commission within 60 days of the request.
(2) 
In accordance with all applicable state, county and Town laws regarding public records, the Commission shall publish or otherwise make available to the public copies of the advisory opinions, with the identities of the subjects deleted.
K. 
The Commission may adopt other policies and procedures to assist in the implementation of the Commission's programs established in this chapter.
L. 
Any person may file a complaint with the Commission alleging a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
(1) 
A complaint shall be in writing and under oath.
(2) 
The complaint shall set forth in sufficient detail the facts supporting the violation and the exact nature of the violation.
(3) 
The Commission may refer a complaint to the Town Attorney, or other legal counsel if appropriate, for investigation and review.
(4) 
The Commission may dismiss a complaint if, after receiving an investigative report, the Commission determines that there are insufficient facts upon which to base a determination of a violation or if the Commission determines that the complaint is not valid or justified.
(5) 
If there is a reasonable basis for believing a violation has occurred, the respondent shall be given an opportunity to respond in writing, under oath, or for a hearing conducted in accordance with the applicable Town rules of procedure established by the Commission. The hearing shall not be open to the public unless otherwise agreed by all interested parties. The Commission may request the appearance of witnesses and issue subpoenas for such purpose.
(6) 
The Commission shall issue a written decision based upon the complaint and response and the evidence produced at the hearing. A final determination of a violation resulting from the hearing shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law.
(7) 
The Commission, when appropriate shall also issue a decision that no violation exists.
(8) 
Upon finding of a violation, the Commission may take any enforcement action provided for in § 86-11 of this chapter.
(a) 
After a complaint is filed and until a final finding of a violation by the Commission, all actions regarding a complaint are confidential.
(b) 
A finding of a violation is public information.
(9) 
The Commission may adopt additional policies and procedures related to complaints, complaint hearings, the use of independent investigators and staff, the use of witness and document subpoenas, and cure and settlement agreements.
A. 
All Town elected officials, officials appointed to Town boards and commissions subject to this chapter, and employees are subject to this section.
B. 
Participation prohibitions. Except as permitted by Commission regulation or opinion, an official or employee shall not participate in:
(1) 
Except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision of the matter, any matter in which, to the knowledge of the official or employee, the official or employee, or a family member of the official or employee, has an interest.
(2) 
Except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision with respect to the matter, any matter in which any of the following is a party:
(a) 
A business entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest of which the official or employee may reasonably be expected to know;
(b) 
A business entity for which the official, employee, or a family member of the official or employee is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee;
(c) 
A business entity with which the official or employee or, to the knowledge of the official or employee, a family member is negotiating employment or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment;
(d) 
If the contract reasonably could be expected to result in a conflict between the private interests of the official or employee and the official duties of the official or employee, a business entity that is a party to an existing contract with the official or employee, or which, to the knowledge of the official or employee, is a party to a contract with a family member;
(e) 
An entity, doing business with the Town, in which a direct financial interest is owned by another entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest, if the official or employee may be reasonably expected to know of both direct financial interests; or
(f) 
A business entity that:
[1] 
The official or employee knows is a creditor or obligee of the official or employee or a family member of the official or employee with respect to a thing of economic value; and
[2] 
As a creditor or obligee, is in a position to directly and substantially affect the interest of the official or employee or a family member of the official or employee.
(3) 
A person who is disqualified from participating under Subsection B(1) or (2) of this section shall disclose the nature and circumstances of the conflict and may participate or act if:
(a) 
The disqualification leaves a body with less than a quorum capable of acting;
(b) 
The disqualified official or employee is required by law to act; or
(c) 
The disqualified official or employee is the only person authorized to act.
(4) 
The prohibitions of Subsection B(1) and (2) of this section do not apply if participation is allowed by regulation or opinion of the Commission.
C. 
Employment and financial interest restrictions.
(1) 
Except as permitted by regulation of the Commission when the interest is disclosed or when the employment does not create a conflict of interest or appearance of conflict, an official or employee may not:
(a) 
Be employed by or have a financial interest in any entity:
[1] 
Subject to the authority of the official or employee or the Town agency, board or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated; or
[2] 
That is negotiating or has entered a contract with the agency, board, or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated; or
(b) 
Hold any other employment relationship that would impair the impartiality or independence of judgment of the official or employee.
(2) 
This prohibition does not apply to:
(a) 
An official or employee who is appointed to a regulatory or licensing authority pursuant to a statutory requirement that persons subject to the jurisdiction of the authority be represented in appointments to the authority;
(b) 
Subject to other provisions of law, a member of a board or commission in regard to a financial interest or employment held at the time of appointment, provided the financial interest or employment is publicly disclosed to the appointing authority and the Commission;
(c) 
An official or employee whose duties are ministerial, if the private employment or financial interest does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, as permitted by and in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commission; or
(d) 
Employment or financial interests allowed by regulation of the Commission if the employment does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest or the financial interest is disclosed.
D. 
Post-employment limitations and restrictions.
(1) 
A former official or employee may not assist, benefit financially or represent any party other than the Town for compensation in a case, contract, or other specific matter involving the Town if that matter is one in which the former official or employee significantly participated as an official or employee.
(2) 
Until the conclusion of one year after the elected official leaves office, a former member of the Town Council may not assist, benefit financially or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action.
E. 
Contingent compensation. Except in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, an official or employee may not assist or represent a party for contingent compensation in any matter before or involving the Town.
F. 
Use of prestige of office.
(1) 
An official or employee may not intentionally use the prestige of office or public position for the private gain of that official or employee or the private gain of another.
(2) 
This subsection does not prohibit the performance of usual and customary constituent services by an elected official without additional compensation.
G. 
Solicitation and acceptance of gifts.
(1) 
An official or employee may not solicit any gift.
(2) 
An official or employee may not directly solicit or facilitate the solicitation of a gift, on behalf of another person, from an individual regulated lobbyist.
(3) 
An official or employee may not knowingly accept a gift, directly or indirectly, from a person that the official or employee knows or has the reason to know:
(a) 
Is doing business with or seeking to do business with the Town office, agency, board, or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated;
(b) 
Has financial interests that may be substantially and materially affected, in a manner distinguishable from the public generally, by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of the official or employee;
(c) 
Is engaged in an activity regulated or controlled by the official's or employee's governmental unit; or
(d) 
Is a lobbyist with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the official or employee.
(4) 
Subsection G(5) of this section does not apply to a gift:
(a) 
That would tend to impair the impartiality and the independence of judgment of the official or employee receiving the gift;
(b) 
Of significant value that would give the appearance of impairing the impartiality and independence of judgment of the official or employee; or
(c) 
Of significant value that the recipient official or employee believes or has reason to believe is designed to impair the impartiality and independence of judgment of the official or employee.
(5) 
Notwithstanding Subsection G(3) of this section, an official or employee may accept the following:
(a) 
Meals and beverages consumed in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity;
(b) 
Ceremonial gifts or awards that have insignificant monetary value;
(c) 
Unsolicited gifts of nominal value that do not exceed $20 in cost or trivial items of informational value;
(d) 
Reasonable expenses for food, travel, lodging, and scheduled entertainment of the official or the employee at a meeting which is given in return for the participation of the official or employee in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting;
(e) 
Gifts of tickets or free admission extended to an elected local official to attend a charitable, cultural, or political event, if the purpose of this gift or admission is a courtesy or ceremony extended to the elected official's office;
(f) 
A specific gift or class of gifts that the Commission exempts from the operation of this subsection upon a finding, in writing, that acceptance of the gift or class of gifts would not be detrimental to the impartial conduct of the business of the Town and that the gift is purely personal and private in nature;
(g) 
Gifts from a family member to the official or employee, or any other individual who is a member of the household of the official or employee; or
(h) 
Honoraria for speaking to or participating in a meeting, provided that the offering of the honorarium is not related in any way to the official's or employee's official position.
H. 
Disclosure of confidential information. Other than in the discharge of official duties, an official or employee may not disclose or use confidential information, that the official or employee acquired by reason of the official's or employee's public position and that is not available to the public, for the economic benefit of the official or employee or that of another person.
(1) 
Participation in procurement.
(a) 
An individual or a person that employs an individual who assists a Town agency in the drafting of specifications, an invitation for bids, or a request for proposals for a procurement may not submit a bid or proposal for that procurement or assist or represent another person, directly or indirectly, who is submitting a bid or proposal for the procurement.
(b) 
The Commission may establish exemptions from the requirements of this section for providing descriptive literature, sole source procurements, and written comments solicited by the procuring agency.
A. 
This section applies to all elected officials and candidates to be elected officials. Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, an elected official or a candidate to be an elected official shall file the financial disclosure statement required under this section:
(1) 
On a form provided by the Commission in compliance with this chapter;
(2) 
Under oath or affirmation; and
(3) 
With the Commission.
B. 
Deadlines for filing statements.
(1) 
An incumbent elected official shall file a financial disclosure statement annually no later than April 30 of each year for the preceding calendar year.
(2) 
An individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy in an office for which a financial disclosure statement is required and who has not already filed a financial disclosure statement shall file a statement for the preceding calendar year within 30 days after appointment.
(3) 
An individual who, other than by reason of death, leaves an office for which a statement is required shall file a statement within 60 days after leaving the office. The statement shall cover:
(a) 
The calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the individual left office, unless a statement covering that year has already been filed by the individual; and
(b) 
The portion of the current calendar year during which the individual held the office.
C. 
Candidates to be elected officials.
(1) 
Except for an official who has filed a financial disclosure statement with the Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors under another provision of this section for the reporting period, a candidate to be an elected local official shall file with the Town Clerk or the Board of Election Supervisors a financial disclosure statement each year beginning with the year in which the certificate of candidacy is filed through the year of the election.
(2) 
A candidate to be an elected official shall file a financial disclosure statement required under this section with the Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors at the time the petition required under Chapter 5 of the Charter is filed.
(3) 
The Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors shall not accept any petition unless a financial disclosure statement has been filed in proper form.
(4) 
Within 15 days of certification of candidates to be an elected official, the Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors shall forward the financial disclosure statement required under this section to the Commission or the office designated by the Commission.
D. 
Public record.
(1) 
The Commission or office designated by the Commission shall maintain all financial disclosure statements filed under this section.
(2) 
Financial disclosure statements shall be made available during normal office hours for examination and copying by the public subject to reasonable fees and administrative procedures established by the Commission.
(3) 
If an individual examines or copies a financial disclosure statement, the Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall record:
(a) 
The name and home address of the individual reviewing or copying the statement; and
(b) 
The name of the person whose financial disclosure statement was examined or copied.
(4) 
Upon request by the official or employee whose financial disclosure statement was examined or copied, the Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall provide the official with a copy of the name and home address of the person who reviewed the official's financial disclosure statement.
E. 
Retention requirements. The Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall retain financial disclosure statements for four years from the date of receipt.
F. 
Contents of statement.
(1) 
Interests in real property.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in real property wherever located.
(b) 
For each interest in real property, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The nature of the property and the location by street address, mailing address, or legal description of the property;
[2] 
The nature and extent of the interest held, including any conditions and encumbrances on the interest;
[3] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom, the interest was acquired;
[4] 
The nature and amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired;
[5] 
If any interest was transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received for the interest, and the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[6] 
The identity of any other person with an interest in the property.
(2) 
Interests in corporations and partnerships.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in any corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability corporation, regardless of whether the corporation or partnership does business with the Town.
(b) 
For each interest reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability corporation;
[2] 
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions and encumbrances on the interest;
[3] 
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received for the interest and, if known, the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[4] 
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
[a] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom, the interest was acquired; and
[b] 
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired.
(c) 
An individual may satisfy the requirement to report the amount of the interest held under Subsection F(2)(b)[2] of this section by reporting, instead of a dollar amount:
[1] 
For an equity interest in a corporation, the number of shares held and, unless the corporation's stock is publicly traded, the percentage of equity interest held; or
[2] 
For an equity interest in a partnership, the percentage of equity interest held.
(3) 
Interests in business entities doing business with the Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in any business entity that does business with the Town, other than interests reported under Subsection F(2) of this section.
(b) 
For each interest reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
[2] 
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions to and encumbrances on the interest;
[3] 
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received in exchange for the interest and, if known, the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[4] 
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
[a] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom, the interest was acquired; and
[b] 
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired.
(4) 
Gifts.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of each gift in excess of $20 in value or a series of gifts totaling $100 or more received during the reporting period from or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any one person who does business with or is regulated by the Town.
(b) 
For each gift reported, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
A description of the nature and value of the gift; and
[2] 
The identity of the person from whom, or on behalf of whom, directly or indirectly, the gift was received.
(5) 
Employment with or interests in entities doing business with Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all offices, directorships, and salaried employment by the individual or family member of the individual held at any time during the reporting period with entities doing business with the Town.
(b) 
For each position reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
[2] 
The title and nature of the office, directorship, or salaried employment held and the date it commenced; and
[3] 
The name of each Town agency with which the entity is involved.
(6) 
Indebtedness to entities doing business with Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all liabilities, excluding retail credit accounts, to persons doing business with the Town owed at any time during the reporting period:
[1] 
By the individual; or
[2] 
By a family member of the individual if the individual was involved in the transaction giving rise to the liability.
(b) 
For each liability reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The identity of the person to whom the liability was owed and the date the liability was incurred;
[2] 
The amount of the liability owed as of the end of the reporting period;
[3] 
The terms of payment of the liability and the extent to which the principal amount of the liability was increased or reduced during the year; and
[4] 
The security given, if any, for the liability.
(7) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the family members of the individual employed by the Town in any capacity at any time during the reporting period.
(8) 
Sources of earned income.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the name and address of each place of employment and of each business entity of which the individual or a family member was a sole or partial owner and from which the individual or family member received earned income, at any time during the reporting period.
(b) 
A minor child's employment or business ownership need not be disclosed if the agency that employs the individual does not regulate, exercise authority over, or contract with the place of employment or business entity of the minor child.
(9) 
A statement filed under this section may also include a schedule of additional interests or information that the individual making the statement wishes to disclose.
G. 
For the purposes of § 86-7F(1), (2) and (3) of this chapter, the following interests are considered to be the interests of the individual making the statement:
(1) 
An interest held by a family member, if the interest was, at any time during the reporting period, directly or indirectly controlled by the individual.
(2) 
An interest held by a business entity in which the individual held a thirty-percent or greater interest at any time during the reporting period.
(3) 
An interest held by a trust or an estate in which, at any time during the reporting period:
(a) 
The individual held a reversionary interest or was a beneficiary; or
(b) 
If a revocable trust, the individual was a settlor.
H. 
The Commission shall review the financial disclosure statements submitted under this section for compliance with the provisions of this section and shall notify an individual submitting the statement of any omissions or deficiencies. The Town Ethics Commission may take appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with this section.
A. 
This section only applies to the following appointed officials and employees:
(1) 
Town Administrator/Manager.
(2) 
Town Attorney(s).
(3) 
Town Treasurer.
(4) 
Chief of Police.
(5) 
All department heads.
(6) 
Police officers.
(7) 
Town Clerk.
(8) 
Assistant to the Police Chief.
(9) 
All other officials and employees who have decision-making and policy responsibilities or have the authority to commit the Town to the expenditure of public funds.
B. 
A statement filed under this section shall be filed with the Commission under oath or affirmation.
C. 
On or before April 30 of each year during which an official or employee holds office, an official or employee shall file a statement disclosing gifts received during the preceding calendar year from any person that contracts with or is regulated by the Town, including the name of the donor of the gift and the approximate retail value at the time or receipt.
D. 
An official or employee shall disclose employment and interests that raise conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest in connection with a specific proposed action by the employee or official sufficiently in advance of the action to provide adequate disclosure to the public.
E. 
The Commission shall maintain all disclosure statements filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying as provided in § 86-7D and E of this chapter.
A. 
A person shall file a lobbying registration statement with the Commission if the person:
(1) 
Personally appears before a Town official or employee with the intent to influence that person in performance of the official duties of the official or employee; and
(2) 
In connection with the intent to influence, expends or reasonably expects to expend in a given calendar year in excess of $100 on food, entertainment, or other gifts for officials or employees of the Town.
B. 
A person shall file a registration statement required under this section on or before January 15 of the calendar year or within five days after first performing an act that requires registration in the calendar year.
C. 
Contents of registration statement; registration period.
(1) 
The registration statement shall identify:
(a) 
The registrant;
(b) 
Any other person on whose behalf the registrant acts; and
(c) 
The subject matter on which the registrant proposes to make appearances specified in Subsection A of this section.
(2) 
The registration statement shall cover a defined registration period not to exceed one calendar year.
D. 
Within 30 days after the end of any calendar year during which a person was registered under this section, the person shall file a report with the Commission disclosing:
(1) 
The value, date, and nature of any food, entertainment, or other gift provided to a Town official or employee; and
(2) 
If a gift or series of gifts to a single official or employee exceeds $100 in value, the identity of the official or employee.
E. 
The Commission shall maintain the registrations and reports filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying for four years after receipt by the Commission as provided in § 86-7D and E of this chapter.
F. 
The Commission shall provide forms for use in the filing of the registration statements and reports required by this chapter to the persons required to file such statement and reports.
The Commission may grant exemptions and modifications to the financial disclosure provisions of §§ 86-7 and 86-8 of this chapter to employees and to appointed members of Town boards and commissions, when the Commission finds that an exemption or modification would not be contrary to the purposes of this chapter, and the application of this chapter would:
A. 
Constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy; and
B. 
Significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service.
A. 
The Commission may:
(1) 
Assess a late fee of $2 per day up to a maximum of $250 for a failure to timely file a financial disclosure statement required under § 86-7 or § 86-8 of this chapter;
(2) 
Assess a late fee of $10 per day up to a maximum of $250 for a failure to file a timely lobbyist registration or lobbyist report required under § 86-9 of this chapter; and
(3) 
Issue a cease-and-desist order against any person found to be in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Upon a finding of a violation of any provision of this chapter, the Commission may:
(1) 
Issue an order of compliance directing the respondent to cease and desist from the violation;
(2) 
Issue a reprimand; or
(3) 
Recommend to the appropriate authority other appropriate discipline of the respondent, including censure, initiate impeachment proceedings in accordance with Section 313.0 or require the forfeiture of office in accordance with Section 312.0 of the Charter of the Town of Brentwood.
C. 
If the Commission finds that a respondent has violated § 86-9 of this chapter, the Commission may:
(1) 
Require a respondent who is a registered lobbyist to file any additional reports or information that reasonably relates to the information that is required under § 86-9 of this chapter;
(2) 
Impose a fine not exceeding $5,000 for each violation; and
(3) 
Suspend the registration of an individual registered lobbyist if the Commission finds that the lobbyist has knowingly and willfully violated § 86-9 of this chapter or has been convicted of a criminal offense arising from lobbying activities.
D. 
Upon request of the Commission, the Town Attorney may file a petition for injunctive or other relief in the Circuit Court of Prince George's County, or in any other court having proper venue for the purpose of requiring compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(1) 
The court may:
(a) 
Issue an order to cease and desist from the violation;
(b) 
Except as provided in Subsection D(2) of this section, void an official action taken by an official or employee with a conflict of interest prohibited by this chapter when the action arises from or concerns the subject matter of the conflict and if the legal action is brought within 90 days of the occurrence of the official action, if the court deems voiding the action to be in the best interest of the public; or
(c) 
Impose a fine of up to $5,000 for any violation of the provisions of this chapter, with each day upon which the violation occurs constituting a separate offense.
(2) 
A court may not void any official action appropriating public funds, levying taxes, or providing for the issuance of bonds, notes, or other evidences of public obligations.
E. 
In addition to any other enforcement provisions in this chapter, a person who the Commission or a court finds has violated this chapter:
(1) 
Is subject to termination or other disciplinary action; and
(2) 
May be suspended from receiving payment of salary or other compensation pending full compliance with the terms of an order of the Commission or a court.
F. 
A Town official or employee found to have violated this chapter is subject to disciplinary or other appropriate personnel action, including removal from office, disciplinary action, suspension of salary, or other sanction.
G. 
Violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to one year.
H. 
A finding of a violation of this chapter by the Commission is public information.