[3-5-2002; 2016 Code]
The proper operation of democratic government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure; that public office not be used for personal gain; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government. In recognition of these goals, there is hereby established a code of ethics for all city of Monroe officials and employees. The purpose of this code is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all such officials and employees, to set forth those acts or actions that conflict with the best interests of the city and conflict with or are incompatible with the proper discharge of duties and required independence of judgment.
[3-5-2002; 2016 Code]
As used in this chapter:
- ANYTHING OF VALUE
- Means any money or property, privilege or benefit, favor, service, payment, advance, forbearance, loan, or promise of future employment, but does not include political contributions which are reported under the campaign financing laws of Wisconsin, or hospitality extended for a purpose unrelated to city business by a person or an organization.
- Includes, when used with reference to an organization, any organization in which a city official or a member of his or her immediate family is a director or officer or owns or controls, directly or indirectly, and severally or in the aggregate, at least two percent of the outstanding equity. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an elected city official who is appointed by the mayor and approved by the council to serve as an officer or board member of a private nonprofit organization does so in his or her official capacity as a representative of the city of Monroe and, as such, is not "associated" with the private organization.
- CITY OFFICIAL
- Means each person holding an elected office of the city, each employee of the city and each member of a city board, committee, commission, subcommittee and ad hoc committee.
- Means each person who performs services on behalf of the city under the auspices of any city department, division, utility or other enterprise, whether such position is paid or unpaid, including, without limitation, members of the Monroe fire department, members of the Monroe police auxiliary and independent contractors.
- IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- Means an individual's spouse or relative by marriage, lineal descent or adoption who receives, directly or indirectly, more than one-half of his or her support from the individual or from whom the individual receives, directly or indirectly, more than one-half of his or her support.
- Means any public or private, profit or nonprofit, religious, educational, charitable, civic or political organization or entity but does not include governmental bodies.
- PERSONAL INTEREST
- Means any interest greater than nominal, direct or indirect, arising from blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or from close business, political or other associations.
[3-5-2002; 2016 Code]
This chapter applies to all city officials.
[3-5-2002; 2016 Code]
City officials are agents of the city and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state and to carry out impartially the laws of the nation, state and municipality. They are bound to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their primary concern. City officials shall adhere to the rules of work and performance established as the standard for their positions by the appropriate authority. They shall not exceed their authority or breach the law or ask others to do so, and shall work in full cooperation with others unless prohibited from so doing by law or by officially recognized confidentiality of their work.
[3-5-2002; 7-1-2014; 2016 Code; 1-7-2019]
Use of office or position. No city official may use or attempt to use his or her position or office to obtain financial gain or anything of value or any advantage, privilege or treatment for the private benefit of himself or herself or his or her immediate family, or for an organization with which he or she is associated. This subsection does not prohibit a city official from using the title or prestige of his or her office to obtain campaign contributions that are permitted and reported as required by the campaign financing laws of Wisconsin.
Influence and reward. No person or entity may offer or give to a city official or member of a city official's immediate family, directly or indirectly, and no city official may solicit or accept from any person or entity, directly or indirectly, anything of value if it could reasonably be expected to influence the city official's vote, official actions or judgment, or could reasonably be considered as a reward for any official action or inaction on his or her part.
Limitations on actions. No city official may take any official action affecting, directly or indirectly, a matter in which he or she, a member of his or her immediate family, or an organization with which he or she is associated, has a financial or personal interest or use his or her office or position in a way that produces or assists in the production of a benefit, direct or indirect, for him or her, a member of his or her immediate family either separately or together, or an organization with which the city official or his or her immediate family member is associated. This subsection does not prohibit a city official from taking any action concerning the lawful payment of salaries or employee benefits or reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, or prohibit a city official from taking official action with respect to any proposal to create, modify or repeal a code, resolution or matter benefiting the public.
Privilege and advantage. No city official shall take for personal use or convenience or grant to any person for the personal use or convenience of such person any privilege, anything of value, special consideration, treatment or advantage beyond that which is available to every other person except as may be specifically provided for by law or authorized by the council, including, without limitation, any use, nominal or otherwise, of city owned equipment, vehicles, materials or property.
Outside employment. No city official shall engage in or accept employment or render service, whether compensated or uncompensated, when such employment or service would impair or reasonably appear to impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of official duties.
Disclosure of matters pertaining to a closed session prohibited. No city official may disclose any information discussed, debated or acted upon in a closed session of the council or its standing committees unless first authorized by council.
Employee restrictions. No employee of the city shall:
Engage in non-city related activities for which compensation is received to such an extent as to interfere with the proper performance of the duties and responsibilities of his or her official position.
Receive and retain anything of value if the employment or activity for which it is given arises from the employee's use of the city's time, information, facilities, equipment, services or supplies which are not generally available to all residents of the city. Employees shall not receive and retain from the city or on behalf of the city transportation, lodging, meals, food or beverage, or reimbursement therefor, unless the same were incurred or received primarily for the benefit of the city, and not primarily for his or her private benefit, or that of any other person.
Receive and retain honoraria, such as money or anything of value, other than commemorative or other items of nominal value for, or in recognition of, activities related to, or arising from, their city roles or positions. Employees may accept and retain from persons or entities other than the city the cost or reimbursement of actual and reasonable expenses related to such activities, whether or not such activities arise from their city roles or positions.
Receipt of money by city employees. When a city employee performs or provides services for persons or entities other than the city, which services arise from their city employment or from the employee's holding his or her position, and the employee's compensation and expenses related thereto are paid for or reimbursed by the city, all monies received by the employee therefor shall be paid promptly to the city treasurer.
Receipt of money by city officials other than city employees. If a city official, other than a city employee, receives anything of value not authorized by this chapter the city official shall not retain it but shall deposit the money or the equivalent cash value or anything of value with the city treasurer or return the payment or thing to the payer or giver.
[3-5-2002; 2016 Code]
Violation of any provisions of this chapter should raise conscientious questions for the city official concerned as to whether voluntary resignation or other action is indicated to promote the best interests of the city. If the ethics board determines that any person has violated any provision of this chapter, the board may, as part of its report, make any of the following recommendations:
In the case of an elected city official, that the council consider sanctioning, censuring or expelling the elected city official;
In the case of a city official who is a member of a board, committee or commission, that the mayor or other appointing authority consider removing the member from the board, committee or commission;
In the case of a city official who is an employee of the city, that the employee's appointing authority consider disciplining or discharging the employee;
As an alternative, or an addition to, the sanctions authorized by this section, any person who violates any provision of the ethics code shall upon conviction be subject to a Class 2 forfeiture. Each violation of the ethics code shall be a separate offense. No citation shall be issued for a violation of any provision of this chapter unless authorized by the ethics board.
[3-5-2002; 2016 Code]
The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter is held to be invalid or unconstitutional or if the application of any provision of this chapter to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such holding shall not affect the other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provisions or applications. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the council that this chapter would have been adopted had any invalid or unconstitutional provisions or applications not been included.