Town of Sharon, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted as Art. 28 of the Town Bylaws]
A. 
Although MGL c. 258, § 2, immunizes all public employees, including elected officers, from liability "for any injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by his negligent or wrongful act or omission while acting within the scope of his office or employment," MGL c. 258, § 9, permits municipalities to indemnify their employees, acting within the scope of their official duties or employment, from personal financial loss or expenses, including legal fees and costs, arising out of intentional torts or civil rights violations, and MGL c. 258, § 13, obligates the Town, which accepted § 13, to "indemnify and save harmless municipal officers, elected or appointed, from personal financial loss and expense including reasonable legal fees and costs, if any, in an amount not to exceed one million dollars, arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of any act or omission...if the official at the time of such act or omission was acting within the scope of his official duties or employment"; those sections deal with claims of third persons against a municipality or an employee or official on account of the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the employee or official. Those sections do not protect the Town Treasurer and Tax Collector from claims against him and his surety and against him by his surety for any losses of money which has come into his possession, even losses resulting without fault on his part. Town of Mansfield v. Hannaford, 250 Mass. 559, 146 N.E. 39 (1925).
B. 
There is no reason why all of the Town officials, including the Treasurer and Tax Collector and Town employees should not be protected in the case of an action commenced by a third person against the Town on account of his or her negligence or other wrongful act or omission, and the Town Treasurer and Tax Collector should be protected in case money which comes into his possession is lost through no fault of his own.
C. 
The purpose of this bylaw is to assure the Town Treasurer and Tax Collector that in case of any loss (except a loss arising out of his or her own personal and willful malfeasance and defaults), he or she will be indemnified and saved harmless and that neither he or she nor any surety company will be sued by the Town on any bond furnished to the Town, except for his or her own personal and willful malfeasance and defaults.
The Select Board members are authorized, if they find it in the public interest so to do, to enter into an agreement with the Town Treasurer and Tax Collector under the terms of which the Town would:
A. 
Agree to indemnify and save harmless the Town Treasurer and Tax Collector from personal financial loss or expense, including reasonable legal fees and costs, if any, arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of any act or omission of any other person or by reason of any action taken, suffered or omitted in good faith or be so liable or accountable for more money or other property than he or she actually receives, or be so liable, accountable or deprived by reason of an honest error of judgment or mistakes of fact or law, or by reason of anything except his or her own personal and willful malfeasance and defaults; and
B. 
Covenant not to sue either him or her or the surety company on any bond given by the Town Treasurer and Tax Collector to the Town for or on account of any act or omission of any other person or by reason of any action taken, suffered or omitted in good faith or be so liable or accountable for more money or other property than he or she actually receives, or be so liable, accountable or deprived by reason of an honest error of judgment or mistakes of fact or law, or by reason of anything except his or her own personal and willful malfeasance and defaults.
The invalidity, unconstitutionality or enforceability of any section or provision of this article shall not affect or impair any other section or provision.