Village of Manorhaven, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
There is hereby established a Board of Ethics for the Village. The Board of Ethics shall consist of five members, appointed by the Village Board of Trustees. The members of the Board of Ethics shall receive no salary or compensation for their services as members of the Board of Ethics.
B. 
The Village hereby exercises its authority under the New York Municipal Home Rule Law to supersede § 808, Subdivision 2, of the New York General Municipal Law as follows: The members of the Board of Ethics shall serve for fixed, staggered terms of three years, with the first members so appointed serving for terms of three years, two years, and one year, respectively. No member of the Board of Ethics shall otherwise be an officer or employee of the Village.
C. 
The Board of Ethics shall meet at least once each quarter.
D. 
The Board of Ethics shall elect a Chairperson from among its members at the first meeting of each year.
E. 
The Board of Ethics shall have the confidential advice of legal counsel employed by the Village Board of Trustees or, if none, the Village Attorney, and the services of a confidential secretary employed by the Village.
A. 
The Board of Ethics shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) 
To prescribe and promulgate rules of procedure for the discharge of its duties;
(2) 
To review, index, maintain on file, and dispose of complaints and to make notifications and conduct investigations pursuant to this chapter;
(3) 
To conduct hearings, recommend disciplinary action, assess penalties, make referrals, and initiate appropriate actions and proceedings pursuant to this chapter;
(4) 
To grant waivers pursuant to this chapter;
(5) 
To render, index, and maintain on file advisory opinions pursuant to this chapter;
(6) 
To provide ethics training and education to Village officers and employees;
(7) 
To prepare an annual report and recommend changes to this chapter; and
(8) 
To provide for public inspection and copying of its records, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this chapter and in the Freedom of Information Law (Article 6 of the New York Public Officers Law).
B. 
Investigations.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a complaint by any person alleging a violation of this chapter, any applicable state or local law relating to conflicts of interest and municipal ethics, including, but not limited to, Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, or any related rule, regulation, policy or procedure of the Village of Manorhaven, or upon determining on its own initiative that any such violation may exist, the Board of Ethics shall have the power and duty to conduct such investigation as it deems necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
The Board of Ethics shall acknowledge receipt of all complaints that it receives, and shall proceed with reasonable promptness to conduct such investigations thereof as it deems necessary or appropriate.
(3) 
In conducting an investigation, the Board of Ethics may administer oaths or affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, and require the production of books or records that it deems relevant and material.
(4) 
Complainants shall be afforded such whistleblower protections as may be provided by law, including but not limited to the protections set forth in New York Civil Service Law § 75-b and New York Labor Law § 740, to the extent applicable.
(5) 
The Board of Ethics shall state in writing the disposition of every complaint that it receives and of every investigation that it conducts and shall set forth the reasons for the disposition. All such statements and all complaints shall be indexed and maintained on file by the Board of Ethics.
(6) 
Any person filing a complaint with the Board of Ethics shall be notified in writing of the disposition of the complaint, to the extent permitted by law.
(7) 
All documents and hearings relating to the investigation and hearing of any alleged violation of this chapter shall be confidential and not available for public inspection or open to the public, except as otherwise required by this chapter or by the Freedom of Information Law (Article 6 of the New York Public Officers Law). All dispositions, including negotiated dispositions, in which the Board of Ethics finds a violation of this chapter shall be available for public inspection and copying.
(8) 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Board of Ethics to conduct an investigation of itself or of any of its members or staff. If the Board of Ethics receives a complaint alleging that the Board of Ethics or any of its members or staff has violated any provision of this chapter, or of any other law, the Board of Ethics shall promptly transmit to the Village Board of Trustees a copy of the complaint.
C. 
Assessment of penalties; referral for prosecution.
(1) 
Civil fine. In its discretion, after a hearing providing for due process procedural mechanisms, the Board of Ethics may assess a civil fine, not to exceed $10,000 for each violation, upon any Village officer, employee or independent contractor found by the Board of Ethics to have violated this chapter. The civil fine shall be payable to the Village.
(2) 
Referral to prosecutor. The Board of Ethics may refer to the appropriate prosecutor any matter that, in the judgment of the Board of Ethics, might involve criminal misconduct. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to restrict the authority of any prosecutor or the Attorney General to prosecute a violation of this chapter or of any other law. If such a referral is made, the Board of Ethics shall defer taking any further action in the matter pending a determination by the prosecutor that the matter will or will not result in a prosecution.
D. 
Recommendation of other sanctions. In its discretion, after a hearing providing for due process procedural mechanisms and subject to any applicable provisions of law and collective bargaining agreements, the Board of Ethics may recommend that the Village Board of Trustees impose one or more of the following sanctions:
(1) 
Disciplinary action. The Board of Ethics may recommend that the Village impose appropriate disciplinary action.
(2) 
Damages. The Board of Ethics may recommend that the Village initiate an action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to obtain monetary damages.
(3) 
Civil forfeiture. The Board of Ethics may recommend that the Village initiate an action or special proceeding, as appropriate, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to obtain civil forfeiture.
(4) 
Debarment. The Board of Ethics may recommend that the Village initiate an action or special proceeding, as appropriate, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for an order of debarment.
(5) 
Injunctive relief. The Board of Ethics may recommend that the Village initiate an action or special proceeding, as appropriate, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for injunctive relief to enjoin a violation of this chapter or to compel compliance with this chapter.
E. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Board of Ethics to take any action with respect to any alleged violation of this chapter, or of any other law, by the Board of Ethics or by any member or staff member thereof.
F. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Board of Ethics to take any action which would violate the terms of any collective bargaining agreement to which the Village is a party.
G. 
Waivers.
(1) 
Upon written application by a current or former Village officer, employee or independent contractor, and upon written approval by his or her agency head, the Board of Ethics may grant the applicant, or his or her private employer or business, a waiver of any of the provisions of §§ 7-4 (Use of Village position for personal or private gain), 7-6 (Recusal), 7-8 (Investments in conflict with official duties), 7-9 (Private employment in conflict with official duties), 7-10 (Future employment), 7-14 (Nepotism), and 7-17B and D (Gifts) of this chapter, where the Board of Ethics finds that waiving such provision would not be in conflict with the purposes and interest of the Village; provided, however, that no such waiver shall permit any conduct or interest otherwise prohibited by Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.
(2) 
Waivers shall be in writing, shall state the grounds upon which they are granted, and shall be available for public inspection and copying. All applications, decisions, and other records and proceedings relating to waivers shall be indexed and maintained on file by the Board of Ethics.
H. 
Advisory opinions.
(1) 
Upon the written request of any current or former Village officer, employee or independent contractor inquiring about himself or herself, or upon the request of the head of a Village department, agency, board or commission inquiring about a person subject to his or her supervision, the Board of Ethics shall render a written advisory opinion with respect to the interpretation or application of this chapter, any applicable state and local laws relating to conflicts of interest and municipal ethics, including, but not limited to, Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, and all related rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the Village of Manorhaven, to the future, continuing or recurring conduct or interests of such Village officer, employee, independent contractor or his or her outside employer or business.
(2) 
Advisory opinions and requests for advisory opinions shall be indexed and maintained on file by the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics shall publish such of its advisory opinions as it believes will provide guidance to other Village officers or employees; provided, however, that the publicly available copy of such opinions shall contain such deletions as may be necessary to prevent disclosure of the identity of the involved officer, employee, independent contractor or his or her outside employer or business. Advisory opinions and requests for advisory opinions shall otherwise be confidential and not available for public inspection or open to the public, except as required by this chapter or by the Freedom of Information Law (Article 6 of the New York Public Officers Law).
I. 
Training and education. The Board of Ethics:
(1) 
Shall make information concerning this chapter available to the officers, employees and independent contractors of the Village, to the public, and to persons interested in doing business with the Village;
(2) 
Shall develop educational materials and an educational program on the provisions of this chapter for the officers, employees and independent contractors of the Village, for the public, and for persons interested in doing business with the Village.
(3) 
The Village Mayor shall assist the Board of Ethics in the publication, posting, and distribution of a plain language guide and other ethics information and educational materials, including but not limited to posting such ethics information and educational material on the Village website, and in the development and presentation of ethics educational programs.
(4) 
Each Village officer and employee shall receive ethics training, in such form as determined by the Board of Ethics, within six months of the effective date of this chapter, and at least biannually thereafter.
J. 
Annual reports; review of ethics laws.
(1) 
The Board of Ethics shall prepare and submit an annual report to the Village Board of Trustees summarizing the activities of the Board of Ethics. The report may also recommend changes to the text or administration of this chapter.
(2) 
The Board of Ethics shall periodically review this chapter and the administrative procedures promulgated by the Board of Ethics, to determine whether they promote integrity, public confidence, and participation in Village government and whether they set forth clear, reasonable and enforceable standards of conduct.