[Ord. No. 7 §1, 9-1-1995]
In the light of a tendency today on the part of some people to downgrade our local governments and to discredit our public servants and our free institutions generally, it appears necessary that every effort be made to assure the highest caliber of public administration of this town as part of our State's important system of local government. It is the purpose of this Chapter to implement this objective through the establishment of standards of conduct and disclosure requirements, to provide for punishment of violation of such standards and to create an Ethics Commission to render advisory opinions to the town's officers and employees as provided herein.
[Ord. No. 7 §2, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
This policy is enacted pursuant to Section 105.485.4, RSMo., 1994, and shall apply to all officers and employees of the City of Wildwood and to any person or business entity filing any papers with, appearing before, doing business with, or having any dealings or transactions of any kind with any officer, employee, or agency acting on behalf of the City of Wildwood.
[Ord. No. 7 §3, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
As used in this Chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BUSINESS ENTITY
- Means any corporation, limited liability company, general or limited partnership, sole proprietorship (including a private consulting firm, person, entity or operation), joint venture, unincorporated association or firm, institution, trust, any combination of individuals and/or artificial entities, foundation or other organization, whether or not organized for profit.
- DIRECTLY BENEFIT
- To derive special private advantage as opposed to a general advantage derived as a member of a large class or of the public at large.
- A person performing service for, or holding a position of employment with the City of Wildwood on a full-time, regular or part-time basis, or as a consultant or volunteer, whether on a paid or unpaid basis.
- IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- The officer or employee and his/her spouse and their parents, children, grandchildren, domestic partner, brothers, sisters, and spouses thereof.
- A person holding any office, position as department or division head, membership on any board or commission, whether by election or appointment, whether serving with or without compensation, for the City of Wildwood.
- 2. The receipt by an employee or officer or his/her immediate family of salary, gratuity, compensation or other remuneration of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) or more in any calendar year from a business entity; or
- 3. When an officer or employee, or his/her immediate family member, serves as a director, officer, trustee, authorized agent or representative of a business entity.
[Ord. No. 7 §4, 9-1-1995]
All elected and appointed officials as well as employees of the City shall comply with Section 105.454, RSMo., relating to conflicts of interest as well as this Chapter and any other State law governing official conduct.
[Ord. No. 7 §5, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
It shall be unlawful for any officer or employee to engage in any activity which would place him/her in a position of conflict between his/her private interest and the public interest of the City of Wildwood, Missouri, which shall include by example but not be limited to:
Engaging in any private activity which involves the improper use of information gained through his/her public position or;
Using the prerogative of his/her official position for his/her direct benefit or on behalf of any member of his/her immediate family's direct benefit; or
Accepting any fee, compensation, gift, payment or expenses or any other thing of monetary value, either directly or indirectly, under circumstances in which acceptance may result in any conflict of interest.
Any officer or employee who violates this Section shall be subject to forfeiture of his/her position or office in accordance with applicable provisions of the City Charter, City Code or other rules and regulations relating to removal from office or termination of employment. In addition, if any officer or employee of the City of Wildwood shall violate any provision of this Section, the City of Wildwood shall be entitled to recover from said officer or employee in a court of proper jurisdiction, an amount equal to any considerations received by said officer or employee in the transaction involving the violation of this Section, and this remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy or penalty provided by law.
[Ord. No. 7 §8, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 564 §§4 — 5, 9-13-1999; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
The following shall be deemed to be prohibited conflicts of interest, and it shall be unlawful for any officer or employee to act related to a matter in such circumstances:
When any officer or employee shall have discretion to act in any matter wherein he/she or a member of his/her immediate family or any business entity in which he/she or a member of his/her immediate family may have a substantial interest may directly benefit from such action.
When any officer or employee shall have discretion to act in any matter which may directly benefit any person or business entity with whom that person or entity and said officer or employee or member of his/her immediate family shall have had a substantial interest in the same business entity or both within the period of two (2) years prior to such action.
When any officer or employee shall have discretion to act in any matter which may directly benefit any person or business entity with whom such officer or employee or member of his/her immediate family has a substantial or private interest with the parties that may be directly benefited.
When any officer or employee shall have discretion to act in any matter, and has accepted or agreed to accept anything of monetary value, either directly or indirectly, from any person or business entity who may directly benefit from the matter, given with the intent to influence his/her vote, opinion, judgment, or decision on such matter or to induce him/her to neglect his/her duty or to perform such duty with partiality or favor, or otherwise than is required by law. No officer or employee shall accept any gift from any person seeking any discretionary act from that officer or employee, other than items which are mass produced and have a nominal value of ten dollars ($10.00) or less. Receipt of food, drink, entertainment, or other nominal things of value coincident with attendance at social or public gatherings shall not be deemed a violation of this Chapter.
When any officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself/herself or others.
When any officer or employee shall appear in behalf of private interests in any action or proceeding against the City in any litigation to which the City is a party, or receive any compensation or retainer that may be contingent upon a specific action by a City agency. A City Councilmember shall not appear in a representative capacity before any administrative agency or board of the City exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
When any officer or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired by him/her in the course of his/her official duties or use such information to further his/her personal interest. He/she shall not disclose any non-public information concerning the affairs of the City of Wildwood. Any inquiring person shall be directed to the public records of the City or another official not in conflict.
When any officer or employee uses City-owned vehicles, equipment, materials 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 officials in the conduct of official business.
When any officer or employee grants a special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizen beyond that which is reasonably available to other citizens similarly situated.
When any officer or employee engages in, solicits, negotiates for or promises to accept private employment or renders services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his/her official duties. The following concern particular offices or departments:
Department of Planning and Public Works. Neither the Inspector, the City Engineer, the Director of Planning, nor any assistant shall engage within the City in the real estate, insurance, building contracting or building material business during the course of his or her employment. This shall not prevent such persons who have a real estate license or an insurance license in effect at the time he/she acquired his/her position from continuing such license in effect.
Office of the Assessor Collector. The Assessor, Assistant Assessor, Collector and any employee thereof shall not use the records and information of his/her department for any private use whatever.
[Ord. No. 7 §6, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 564 §§1 — 3, 9-13-1999; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
Every person or business entity filing any application, petition, or other formal request for action by any officer or employee of the City of Wildwood shall fully and truthfully disclose with such application the name of every person or business entity for whom he/she is acting when requested to do so by said officer or employee.
Every officer or employee shall fully and truthfully disclose to his/her superior, as defined in Section 125.090 herein, any interest he/she may have, or benefit he/she may receive, in any matter over which he/she shall have discretion to act.
Any member of the Council who has a substantial or private interest in any measure, bill, order or ordinance proposed or pending before such Governing Body must disclose that interest to the Secretary or Clerk of such body before the body takes action thereon, and such disclosure shall be recorded in the appropriate journal of the Governing Body. Such disclosure shall be in writing with a copy given to the City Clerk. The City Clerk shall read such disclosure into the record at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting after the approval of the previous meeting minutes but prior to any other business being conducted during that meeting.
Every officer, the Chief Administrative Officer and the Chief Purchasing Officer, shall disclose by April 1 the information required in Section 105.485.4, RSMo., for the previous calendar year, or applicable reporting period.
Every officer or employee shall be required to disclose any conflict of interest in writing to the appropriate parties as soon as possible after such conflict has been determined to exist but never later than the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. Should there be any uncertainty as to whether a conflict exists or not, the officer or employee shall be required to ask in writing for the Board of Ethics to review the facts and make determination regarding the potential conflict of interest. The City Clerk shall provide a copy of any and all such written requests to all elected officials of the City of Wildwood, Missouri, by way of written notice that does not contain the names of the parties involved.
[Ord. No. 7 §7, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
The financial interest statements shall be filed at the following times, but no person is required to file more than one (1) financial interest statement in any calendar year:
Every person required to file a financial interest statement shall file the statement annually not later than April 1, and the statement shall cover the calendar year ending the immediately preceding December 31; provided that any member of the City Council may supplement the financial interest statement to report additional interests acquired after December 31 of the covered year until the date of filing of the financial interest statement.
Each person appointed to office shall file the statement within thirty (30) days of such appointment or employment.
[Ord. No. 7 §9, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 564 §6, 9-13-1999]
In the event that any officer, employee or member of a board or commission shall have a prohibited conflict of interest in any matter in which he/she shall have discretion to act, he/she shall be disqualified to act in such matter and shall immediately inform his/her superior who shall thereupon relieve him/her of his/her assignment in that particular matter, and shall exercise the discretion to act therein. For purposes of this Subsection, the superior to any employee shall be the City Administrator.
The superior to the City Administrator shall be the City Council, and in cases involving the City Councilmembers, the superior shall be the Mayor. In the case of the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem of the Council shall be deemed his/her superior. In the case of a member of any board or commission, the superior shall be the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem in his/her absence. If sufficient members of the board or commission remain who are not disqualified, the board or commission may continue to act on the matter. If there are not sufficient members to act who are not disqualified, then any such matter pending before any board or commission of the City of Wildwood shall be transferred to the City Council for action.
[Ord. No. 7 §10, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to pay or engage to pay, or to offer or attempt to pay any officer or employee, any member of his/her immediate family or any business entity in which said officer or employee or member of his/her immediate family shall have a substantial or private interest, any commission, gratuity or consideration, directly or indirectly, with respect to any matter in which said officer or employee has discretion to act.
[Ord. No. 7 §11, 9-1-1995]
It shall be unlawful for any person, having been an officer or employee of the City of Wildwood, Missouri, within three (3) years after termination of his/her service or employment, knowingly to act as agent or attorney for anyone other than the City of Wildwood in connection with any judicial or other proceeding, application, claim, controversy, or other particular matter in which the City of Wildwood is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and in which he/she participated personally and substantially as an officer or employee while so employed. The Council may waive compliance with this policy with respect to any contract, purchase, lease, or other transaction if by prior resolution reciting the pertinent facts it finds such action to be in the best interest of the City.
[Ord. No. 7 §12, 9-1-1995; Ord. No. 564 §7, 9-13-1999; Ord. No. 1991 §1, 1-27-2014; Ord. No. 2003 §1, 4-28-2014]
Board Construction. The Board of Ethics shall consist of five (5) members plus two (2) alternates appointed by the Mayor and approved by a majority of the members of the City Council. The terms of the regular members shall be for five (5) years and shall be staggered so that each year one (1) seat is up for appointment. The terms of the alternate members shall be for two (2) years and shall also be staggered so that each year one (1) seat is up for appointment.
Enforcement Of Code Of Ethics. The Board of Ethics shall be empowered to receive complaints, either written or oral, and shall conduct inquiries as it deems appropriate to determine if there is cause to believe a violation has occurred. If the Commission concludes there is cause, it shall make a full report to the City Council in an executive session. The City Council may, at its discretion, conduct further inquiries. If a majority of the members of the City Council determine, by a motion and roll call vote, that a violation has occurred, the offending officer or employee may be subject to forfeiture of his/her position or office in accordance with the applicable provisions of the City Charter, City Code or other rules and regulations relating to removal from office or termination of employment. The Council may, in conjunction with the City Attorney, seek the recovery of any damages, or may recommend legal prosecution of the offender.
Administration. Upon adoption of this Code of Ethics, the City Administrator shall cause a copy thereof to be distributed to every City employee. Failure to distribute any such copy or failure to receive such copy shall have no effect on the duty of compliance with this Code nor the enforcement of provisions hereof.
Board Recommendation. Upon request of any officer or employee, the Ethics Board shall give an opinion as to whether a stated set of facts creates a conflict of interest or otherwise violates this Code, and actions taken by the officer or employee consistent with such opinion shall not be considered a violation of this Code. Nothing herein shall require any officer or employee to seek such opinion prior to their action.
[Ord. No. 7 §13, 9-1-1995]
A certified copy of this Chapter, adopted prior to September 15, 1995, shall be sent within ten (10) days of its adoption to the Missouri Ethics Commission. The filing of this Chapter shall exempt the municipality from all less restrictive or duplicative disclosure provisions of Section 105.485, RSMo.
[Ord. No. 2307, 10-9-2017]
Any City resident may file a complaint with the City Clerk alleging a violation of the City Charter. Such complaints shall be sworn and notarized and submitted on forms prepared by the Special Prosecutor, which shall require, at a minimum, the following information:
Name, address and phone number of the Complainant;
Name of the City official alleged to have violated the City Charter;
The text and section number of the provision of the Charter alleged to have been violated;
A statement of all facts supportive of the allegation of a violation of the City Charter;
Copies of any exhibits supportive of the facts alleged.
Upon submission of a complaint pursuant to this Section, the City Clerk shall immediately advise the Mayor and City Council of the Complaint, and refer the complaint to the Special Prosecutor.
The Special Prosecutor shall review the complaint, and, within thirty (30) days of its filing either:
Report to the City Council that, based upon the allegations made in the complaint, there is probable cause to believe that a violation of the City Charter occurred;
Report to the City Council that, based upon the allegations made in the Complaint, the complaint has been dismissed and the reasons therefor; or
Request the City Council for additional time to review the complaint.
Upon receipt of a report to the City Council that there is probable cause to believe that a violation of the City Charter occurred, the City Council shall direct the Special Prosecutor to prepare a resolution setting forth the facts and law alleging a violation of the City Charter which shall include a copy of the filed complaint. Such resolution shall be presented to the City Council at its next Regular Meeting.
[Ord. No. 2308, 10-9-2017]
No City officer, board member, Council member, commission member or employee shall use official authority or official influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election to City office.
Any City officers or employees:
Using his or her official title while participating in political activity;
Using his or her authority to coerce any person to participate in political activity; and
Soliciting, accepting, or receiving uncompensated individual volunteer services from a subordinate for any political purpose; and