Green Lake County, WI
 
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Authority for this ethics article derives from § 19.59(1m), Wis. Stats.
A. 
The following sections of the Wisconsin Statutes, as amended from time to time, are incorporated by reference and made a part of this article: § 19.01, § 19.21, §§ 19.81 to 19.98, § 19.59 and §§ 946.10 to 946.18.
B. 
Board members shall comply with the sections of the Wisconsin Statutes incorporated in this article and failure to do so shall constitute a violation of this article.
A. 
The proper operation of democratic government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; 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, this article applies to all officials and employees of the County, whether elected or appointed, and to members of County boards and commissions. The purpose of this article is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all such officials and employees by setting forth those acts or actions that are incompatible with the best interests of the County and by directing disclosure by such officials and employees of private financial or other interests in matters affecting the County. Nothing contained in this article is intended to deny to any individual the rights granted by the United States Constitution, the state constitution, the laws of the state, or the rights stated by labor agreements negotiated with certified employee bargaining representatives, or the rights accorded individuals by virtue of resolutions or ordinance of the County Board or by any other provision of law.
B. 
The proper operation of County government demands that:
(1) 
Green Lake County officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people;
(2) 
Decisions be made in the proper channels of the County governmental structure;
(3) 
County offices should not be used for personal gain; and
(4) 
County business should be conducted in such a way as to reinforce the public's confidence in its integrity.
The purpose of this article is to establish ethical standards of conduct for all County officials and employees by identifying those acts or actions that are not compatible with the best interests of the County. Because representatives of the County are drawn from society, they cannot and should not be without all personal and economic interest in the decisions and policies of government. Citizens who are appointed to serve as County officials and employees retain their rights as citizens to personal and economic interests. Therefore, the standards of ethical conduct for County officials and employees must distinguish between minor and inconsequential conflicts which are unavoidable and those conflicts which are substantial and material. The provisions of this article, and such rules and regulations that may be established, are to be interpreted in the context of the above principles and are deemed to be in the best interest of the public.
This article applies to every County official and employee.
In this article, the following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ADVISORY OPINION
An interpretation requested by an official or employee and issued by the Ethics Board regarding the propriety of any matter to which the official or employee is or may become a party.
ANYTHING OF VALUE
Any money or property, favor, gift, service, payment, advance, forbearance, loan, or promise of future employment, including without restriction by enumeration tickets, passes, lodging, travel, recreational expense, and admission offered and provided by persons doing business, or interested in doing business, with the County. Anything of value does not include such things as compensation and expenses paid by the state or County, political contributions that are reported under Ch. 11, Wis. Stats., occasional meals and beverages, fees, honorariums and expenses, unsolicited advertising or promotional material such as pens, pencils, notepads, calendars, informational or educational materials of unexceptional value, plaques, or other advertising giveaways, hospitality of nominal value or extended for a purpose unrelated to County business, business-related seminars, trade shows or other training-related activities or any other thing which is not likely to influence the judgment of individuals covered by this article.
CONTRACT
All agreements executed between the County or a subunit thereof and another party or parties for the provision of goods, materials, supplies, construction, or services in exchange for valuable and sufficient consideration.
EMPLOYEE
All persons filling an allocated position of County employment and all members of boards, committees, and commissions except members of the County Ethics Board and those individuals included in the definition of "official."
FAMILY
Any individual related to a public official as spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law and step relations of the above, or a legal designee for tax purposes.
FINANCIAL INTEREST
Any interest that shall yield, directly or indirectly, a monetary or other material benefit to the official or employee or to any person employing or treating the services of the official or employee.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
An official or employee's spouse or family member who contributes more than half the support of the official or employee or receives that level of support from the official or employee.
OFFICIAL
All County department heads or directors, County supervisors, and all other County elected officers, except judges and district attorneys.
PERSON
Any natural person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, joint venture trust, or other legal entity recognized as such by the laws of the State of Wisconsin.
PERSONAL INTEREST
Any interest arising from blood or marriage relationships or from close business or political associations, whether or not any financial interest is involved.
PRIVILEGED INFORMATION
Any written or oral material related to County government which has not become part of the body of public information and which is designated by statute, court decision, lawful orders, ordinances, resolution or custom as privileged.
A. 
County officials and employees are agents of public purpose and hold office to serve the public interest. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin and to carry out efficiently and impartially all laws of the United States, the State of Wisconsin and Green Lake County.
B. 
Each is bound to observe in their official acts the standards of ethics set forth in this article, state statutes and faithfully discharge the duties of their office in the highest standards of morality and regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their primary concern. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach to foster respect for all government.
A. 
The Green Lake County Board of Supervisors is a nineteen-member team responsible for the ensuring that the County is properly managed by planning, implementing policy and making decisions where the Board of Supervisors has reached agreement in a regular or special session. Members of the Board of Supervisors act on behalf of and for the welfare of the people in their respective districts and for the benefit of the County as a whole.
B. 
Individual Supervisors exercise the authority and responsibility of their position only when the Board of Supervisors is in session, but the public regards the person as a member of the Board of Supervisors 24 hours a day. The Supervisor's own interest and desire to serve the community through membership in the Board of Supervisors continues even when the Board of Supervisors is not in session. An individual Supervisor has no authority and cannot speak for the Board of Supervisors (with the exception of the Chair in certain situations), but the public has the right to expect the member to be able to discuss the County's matters with understanding.
C. 
The Board of Supervisors can only transact business that is legally binding on the County when the Board of Supervisors is in regular or special session with a quorum present, or at officially designated Committee meetings of the Board of Supervisors, and its proceedings duly recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Members of the Board of Supervisors shall not represent, by personal commitment, any special group, interest, or position.
A. 
No official or employee may use or disclose privileged information gained in the course of or by reason of his or her official position or activities in any way that could result in financial gain for himself, herself or for any other person.
B. 
No official or employee shall knowingly disclose or permit the disclosure of confidential information to any person not authorized by statute, ordinance, or common law to receive such confidential information.
A. 
The Board of Supervisors should avoid taking direct action in the administration of the County, thereby keeping the functions and responsibilities of its appointed officials clear to members of the public and staff.
B. 
The Board of Supervisors retains full budgetary control, legislative authority and policymaking responsibility in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes and the expressed will of the electorate, but delegates all administrative, supervisory, and instructional authority to the County Administrator under the direction of the County Board Chair and the Administrative Committee.
A. 
At times, a person or group may confront a single Board member with a problem or complaint that should be handled by management personnel. Each Board member must decide how much time one can spend on complaints and what courtesy is appropriate. The official Board of Supervisors policy is:
"No member, nor the Board of Supervisors itself, will officially consider problems or complaints until they have been submitted to the proper administrative authority and a report by the authority is submitted to the Board of Supervisors or governing Committee, convened in legal session."
B. 
No member of the Board of Supervisors shall consider a complaint from any employee unless the member has determined that the complainant has gone through the normal chain of command, including the County Administrator. Employees should be directed to the Personnel Policies and Procedure Manual for the proper chain of command for complaints.
C. 
Public grievances or complaints should be referred to the County Administrator or the County Board Chair. Grievances or complaints will be handled in the following order:
(1) 
Referred to the County Administrator who will investigate the matter along with the appropriate department head and who will report to the governing committee with jurisdiction over the matter.
(2) 
Referred to the next immediate session of the Board of Supervisors for official consideration and possible action.
D. 
When a Board member seeks information about a specific problem, the member should ask the County Administrator to prepare a report on the matter with the aid of staff, if necessary. No single County Board member may create a committee to investigate a complaint or grievance.
E. 
If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved by this procedure, the Board of Supervisors may, if it deems advisable, grant a hearing to the person(s) interested and the hearings will be held during either a regular or special session of the Board of Supervisors.
A. 
Offer or acceptance of gifts. No official or employee, directly or indirectly, may solicit or accept from any person, directly or indirectly, anything of value without full payment, if it could reasonably be expected to influence the official or employee's duties and responsibilities or a vote, official actions or judgment, or could reasonably be considered as a reward for any official action or inaction on the part of the official or employee. An item offered or received with a fair market value greater than the amount set by the Wisconsin Ethics Commission (currently $25) shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the item could be reasonably expected to influence the official or employee or be considered a reward.
(1) 
Examples of prohibited gifts: sporting event tickets, vacation trips, hotel stays, televisions, gaming consoles, etc., even if entered into a raffle drawing while engaged in County business.
(2) 
Examples of permissible gifts: promotional items of a small value with advertising prominently displayed such as baseball caps, calendars, pens, pencils, water bottles, notepads, etc.
B. 
Financial and personal interest prohibited. No official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or shall act in regard to financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of the official duties in the public interest contrary to the provisions of this article or state statute or would tend to impair independence of judgment or action in the performance of official duties.
C. 
Incompatible employment. No official or employee shall engage in or accept private employment or render service for private interests when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of official duties unless otherwise permitted by law and unless disclosure is provided.
D. 
Kickbacks. No official or employee may accept payments, gifts, gratuities by, from or on behalf of a potential vendor, contractor, or subcontractor, as an inducement for selection.
E. 
Financial interest in legislation. Any official or employee who has a financial interest or personal interest in any proposed legislation before the County Board or a committee shall disclose on the record of the County Board or the constituent committee the nature and extent of such interest and shall refrain from participating in the discussion of, and voting on the legislation. A member of the County Board shall request to be excluded by the Board or Committee Chair for the duration of any deliberations and voting on the legislation.
F. 
Contracts with the County. No official or employee shall, in a private capacity, negotiate, bid for, enter into, make or perform a contract in which the official or employee, immediate family member or any business or organization with which a Board member, employee, local public official or immediate family member is associated, has a direct or indirect financial interest, if the official or employee is authorized by law to participate in the official or employee's capacity as such the official or employee in the making of that contract or to perform in regard to that contract some official function requiring the exercise of discretion on the Board member's, employee's or local public official's part. If the official or employee will not be involved with the contract in an official capacity, the contract may be allowed only if awarded through a process of public notice and competitive bidding in conformity with all applicable laws. This provision is intended to comply with, and in no way contradict or invalidate, the guidelines in § 946.13, Wis. Stats.
A. 
No official or employee shall grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any person beyond which is available to every other person. This section does not affect the duty of County Board Supervisors to diligently represent their constituency.
B. 
No official or employee shall request or permit the unauthorized use of County-owned vehicles, equipment, materials, privileged information or property for personal convenience or profit, unless those services or use are available to the public generally.
A. 
Each Board member will be provided with a County e-mail account. While no Board member is required to conduct County business by e-mail, a Board member who does so is required to use the County e-mail account for all communications that pertain to County business.
B. 
A Board member may communicate with other Board members by e-mail for setting a meeting time, place and agenda; but a Board member should not engage in any substantive discussion of County business with any other Board member by e-mail.
C. 
These standards apply to all members of County governmental bodies.
A. 
Cellular and smart phone etiquette.
(1) 
All cellular telephones and smart telephones shall be in silent mode during meetings.
(2) 
If a Board member is expecting a call on an important matter while attending a meeting on County property:
(a) 
The Board member shall inform the Chair before the meeting is called to order.
(b) 
Cellular phones in vibrate mode shall not be placed on the Board member's workstation as the vibration will cause noise and disrupt the meeting.
(3) 
If a Board member must take a call on an important matter during a County Board meeting, he shall mark himself absent, and immediately leave the County Board Room or meeting room before answering the telephone call.
(4) 
In no instance shall any Board member answer a personal cellular telephone call while present in the County Board room while the Board is in session.
(5) 
In no instance shall any Board member answer a personal cellular telephone call while present in a committee meeting.
(6) 
Smart phones may be used to read and review meeting materials, and access information pertinent to the items being discussed at a meeting.
(7) 
All notifications/alerts (audible and vibrating) for phone functions shall be turned off during meetings, e.g., incoming calls, text message, e-mails, SMS messaging, etc.
(8) 
Smart phones shall not be used during Board and committee meetings to surf the web [except as stated in Subsection A(2) above], e-mail, engage in instant or text messaging of any kind or to engage in non-county-related business.
B. 
Laptops, tablets, iPads, and other computing devices.
(1) 
Laptops, tablets, iPads or other computing devices may be used during Board and committee meetings to read and review meeting materials, and access information pertinent to the items being discussed at a meeting.
(2) 
Laptops, tablets, iPads or other computing devices shall not be used during Board and committee meetings to surf the web [except as stated in Subsection B(1) above], e-mail, engage in instant or text messaging of any kind or to engage in non-county-related business.
C. 
E-mail, instant or text messaging.
(1) 
All communications between Board members during a County Board or committee meeting shall be completed verbally. Exceptions to this rule may be made in the case of a disability where the member is unable to communicate by using his voice due to illness, injury or disability.
(2) 
A Board member shall not engage in any e-mail, instant messaging or text messaging during any Board or committee meeting with County employees.
D. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
E-MAIL
A system for sending and receiving messages electronically or over a computer network via telecommunication links between computers, terminals, smart phones, or other electronic devices capable of sending e-mail. Also, a message or messages sent or received on such a system.
INSTANT MESSAGING
Real-time direct text-based chatting communication between two or more people using personal computers or other devices.
TEXT MESSAGING
The exchange of brief written messages between a fixed-line phone or a mobile phone and a fixed or portable device over a network.
This ethics article hereby creates an Ethics Board.
A. 
Membership. The Ethics Board shall consist of five members. Three members shall be members of the legal or law enforcement community, one citizen member who must be a County resident, and one member of the clergy. In no instance may a former County employee be a member of the Ethics Board. The County Administrator or County Clerk shall provide necessary staff assistance to the Ethics Board.
B. 
Appointment and term. The County Board Chair shall appoint members of the Ethics Board subject to the confirmation by the Board of Supervisors, and terms of office shall be three-year staggered terms.
C. 
Powers and duties. The Ethics Board shall be responsible for investigating complaints and conducting hearings under this article. The Ethics Board will interpret the County Code of Ethics consistent with interpretations handed down by the State of Wisconsin Ethics Commission or its successor boards or commissions.
D. 
Assistance of counsel. The Corporation Counsel shall furnish the Ethics Board whatever legal assistance is necessary to carry out its functions. The Corporation Counsel may retain outside counsel to provide this assistance as necessary. In all other sections of this article where the term "corporation counsel" is used, it shall include any counsel retained by the Corporation Counsel under this section.
E. 
Open meetings. The Ethics Board is subject to Ch. 19, Wis. Stats., and shall comply with all open meetings statutes.
A. 
Complaints.
(1) 
All complaints shall be verified and in writing. The complaint shall state the specific provision(s) of the County Ethics Code or Wisconsin Statutes section(s) or both believed to have been violated and shall include sufficient information to support the allegations.
(2) 
The complaint shall also include the following:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the complainant;
(b) 
The name, address and position of the individual who is the subject named in the complaint;
(c) 
The facts constituting the alleged ethics violation(s) set forth clearly and in detail;
(d) 
If complainant(s) believes that any Board member has a conflict of interest or bias, the complaint shall state it in the complaint.
(3) 
Complaints that do not meet the minimum pleading requirements in Subsection 2(a) and (b) above shall be dismissed without prejudice.
(4) 
No action may be taken on any complaint that is filed later than six months after a violation of the Ethics Code is alleged to have occurred.
(5) 
All written complaints shall be submitted to the County Clerk, 571 County Road A, Green Lake, WI 54941. The County Clerk shall forward the complaint to the Chair of the Ethics Board and the Corporation Counsel. The complaint is a public document.
B. 
Preliminary procedure; notice.
(1) 
The Corporation Counsel shall review the complaint to assure that it meets all procedural and technical requirements. If the complaint is defective, the Corporation Counsel shall notify the complainant of the defect within 10 days of receipt of the complaint. The complainant must correct the defect within 30 days of the Corporation Counsel's notification or the complaint will be administratively closed.
(2) 
The Corporation Counsel shall send notice, including a copy of the complaint to the respondent(s) and complainant within seven business days of the receipt of the complaint by the Chair. The notice shall be sent via certified mail or by personal service.
(3) 
The notice shall inform the respondent that they may file a written statement of their position with the Ethics Board within 10 business days of the date the notice was sent.
(4) 
The respondent may request that any hearing be held in open session.
(5) 
The Corporation Counsel shall contact the members of the Ethics Board to schedule a probable cause hearing.
C. 
Investigations and powers. Pursuant to any investigation or hearing conducted under this ethics article, the Ethics Board has the authority to:
(1) 
Require any person to submit in writing such reports and answers to questions relevant to the proceedings conducted under this article as it may prescribe, such submission to be made within such period and under oath or otherwise as the Ethics Board may determine.
(2) 
Administer oaths and require by subpoena issued by it pursuant to § 885.01, Wis. Stats., the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of any documentary evidence relating to the investigation or hearing being conducted.
(3) 
Order testimony to be taken by deposition before any individual who is designated by it and has the power to administer oaths, and, in such instances, to compel testimony and the production of evidence in the manner as authorized by Subsection C(2), above.
(4) 
Pay witnesses the same fees and mileage as are paid in like circumstance by the courts in Wisconsin.
(5) 
Request and obtain from the Department of Revenue copies of state income tax returns and access to other appropriate information under § 71.78(4), Wis. Stats., regarding all persons who are the subject of such investigation.
(6) 
Retain outside counsel and other experts as needed in connection with any of the Ethics Board's responsibilities hereunder after solicitation of recommendations from the office of the District Attorney and upon such contract for services approved for content and form by the Corporation Counsel.
D. 
Hearings.
(1) 
Procedure; burden of proof. All hearings conducted by the Ethics Board under this article are subject to the following:
(a) 
The burden of proof at all hearings shall rest with the complainant to prove the allegations by evidence that is clear, satisfactory and convincing.
(b) 
The Ethics Board shall conduct all hearings in accordance with the rules of civil procedure and shall keep a record of the hearing and all admitted evidence at the hearing. However, the common law or statutory rules of evidence do not apply. The Ethics Board shall admit all testimony having reasonable probative value, but shall exclude immaterial, irrelevant or unduly repetitious testimony. The Ethics Board shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. Basic principles of relevancy, materiality and probative force shall govern the proof of all questions of fact.
(c) 
All hearings shall be in closed session, pursuant to § 19.85, Wis. Stats., unless the respondent requests an open hearing.
(d) 
The Ethics Board shall convene in closed session following any hearing for the purpose of deliberation on the evidence.
(e) 
All hearings shall be conducted under oath or affirmation.
(f) 
Corporation Counsel will direct the proceedings of the hearing.
(g) 
The parties may make a brief opening statement to acquaint the Ethics Board with the nature of the complaint.
(h) 
The parties shall be allowed to question each other and present witnesses on their behalf, consistent with the subject matter before the Ethics Board.
(i) 
The Ethics Board may direct questions to any party or witness.
(j) 
The Ethics Board may, in its sole discretion, extend the deadlines for taking action on a verified complaint or request. Failure of the Ethics Board to take action within the time frames in this article shall not preclude the Ethics Board from pursuing a complaint.
(2) 
Initial/probable cause hearing.
(a) 
The Ethics Board shall set a time for an probable cause hearing on the complaint that is within 15 business days following the 10 business day time for response by the respondent. The probable cause hearing date shall be set prior to the notice being sent out so that the notice will include the date, time and place of the probable cause hearing of the Ethics Board regarding the complaint.
(b) 
At the probable cause hearing the Ethics Board shall determine if it has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint and to determine if there is a basis for the complaint. The complainant must be present. If the complainant does not personally appear, the Ethics Board may dismiss the complaint without prejudice. If the Ethics Board determines that there is no basis for the complaint, it may immediately dismiss the complaint with prejudice and without further hearing. In determining if there is a basis for the complaint, the Ethics Board must review the complaint, assuming that every allegation is true.
(c) 
An agenda shall be filed and posted by the County Clerk prior to the probable cause hearing and the respondent's name will not be included in the meeting notice and public access to records pertaining to the complaint shall be restricted in accordance with § 19.35, Wis. Stats., unless the respondent has requested an open hearing.
(d) 
The corporation counsel shall send a copy of the response(s) received from the respondent(s) to the Ethics Board and the complainant(s) at least five business days prior to the probable cause hearing.
(3) 
Fact-finding hearing.
(a) 
If after the probable cause hearing the Ethics Board finds that probable cause exists for believing the allegation(s) in the complaint, the Ethics Board shall schedule a fact-finding hearing not less than 30 business days after making the finding of probable cause.
(b) 
If the Ethics Board sets the matter for a fact-finding hearing, it may direct the parties to appear before it for a conference to consider:
[1] 
The clarification of issues;
[2] 
The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;
[3] 
The possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;
[4] 
The limitation of the number of witnesses;
[5] 
Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.
(c) 
Upon the conclusion of the fact-finding hearing, the Ethics Board shall adjourn into closed session for deliberations. Any person not a member of the Ethics Board, including County Board supervisors, shall be excluded from the Ethics Board's deliberations; however, the County Clerk or County Administrator and the Corporation Counsel, who are charged with providing administrative and legal assistance to the Board, shall remain.
E. 
Disposition.
(1) 
Upon completion of deliberations, the Ethics Board shall issue a written decision within 10 business days from the conclusion of deliberation and may direct the Corporation Counsel to draft the decision for signature by the Ethics Board Chair. The decision shall be filed with the County Clerk's office and a copy sent to the complainant and the respondent.
(2) 
If the Ethics Board determines by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that a violation of this article has occurred, the Ethics Board shall refer the matter to the proper County authority:
(a) 
For matters involving allegations against a County employee or department head: the County Administrator and governing committee;
(b) 
For matters involving allegations against the County Administrator: the Administrative Committee;
(c) 
For matters involving constitutional officers, e.g., County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, Treasurer or Clerk of Circuit Court: to the official or body with the authority to remove the officer from office under County ordinance or Wisconsin Statutes.
(d) 
For matters involving a County Board Supervisor, the County Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
If the Ethics Board does not find a violation by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that a violation of this article has occurred, it shall dismiss the complaint.
(4) 
Recommendations. The Ethics Board may make recommendations to the proper authority which may include, but are not limited to:
(a) 
In the case of an official who is an elected County Board Supervisor, the County Clerk, Treasurer or Surveyor, that the County Board consider sanctioning, censuring, or removing the person under § 17.09(1), Wis. Stats.
(b) 
In the case of the Clerk of Circuit Court, referring the matter to the Circuit Court judge to consider sanctioning, censuring, or removing the Clerk of Circuit Court under § 17.09(2), Wis. Stats.
(c) 
In the case of the Sheriff, coroner or Register of Deeds, referring the matter to the Governor for sanctioning, censuring, or removal under § 17.09(3), Wis. Stats.
(d) 
In the case of an employee, referring the matter to the appropriate County officer or committee to consider discipline, up to and including discharge of the employee.
(e) 
The return of County property or funds or gifts and/or restitution for the value of the gifts, property and funds procured, obtained or retained as a violation of this ethics article. An order for return/restitution shall include a deadline for return or making restitution.
(f) 
An order requiring the accused to conform his or her conduct to this article.
(g) 
An order requiring an individual who has been determined to have violated this ethics article to forfeit an amount not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each offense along with a payment deadline.
(h) 
Referral to the District Attorney to commence enforcement and penalties as permitted by Wisconsin Statutes.
(5) 
No recommendation of the Ethics Board becomes effective until 20 days after it is issued or while an application for rehearing or rehearing before the Board is pending, or the Board has announced its final determination on rehearing.
F. 
Review.
(1) 
Any party appearing before the Ethics Board who is dissatisfied with the decision may request a review.
(2) 
The review is initiated by filing a written request with the County Clerk within 15 days of the Ethics Board's written decision or as required under the grievance procedure in a collective bargaining agreement. The filing of an appeal shall stay any recommendations issued by the Ethics Board. The appeal shall be to the County Board and shall be heard at the next regularly scheduled County Board meeting.
G. 
Violations. It is unlawful for:
(1) 
A person to violate any provision of this article or state statutes incorporated herein.
(2) 
Any person to file a complaint for the purpose of harassment, knowingly provide false information, make a false statement, or fail to provide or misrepresent any material fact to a County agent, board, commission, committee, department, employee, officer, or official acting in an official capacity under this article.
(3) 
A person to disobey, fail, neglect, or refuse to comply with or otherwise resist an order issued pursuant to this article.
H. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any official or employee violating the provisions of this article shall be subject to a nonreimbursable forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.
(2) 
The minimum forfeiture specified in this subsection is doubled for a person who is convicted of violating the same provision of this article within a twenty-four-month period.
(3) 
A separate offense is deemed committed on each day that a violation occurs or continues.
(4) 
The enumerated penalties and sanctions in this section shall not be construed to limit the authority of the Ethics Board or the County from imposing any additional penalties or sanctions. Any person found by the Ethics Board to have violated any portions of this article shall be subject to private reprimand, public reprimand, denial of salary or merit increase, suspension without pay, removal from employment or office in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes or other disciplinary actions pursuant to the recommendations of the Ethics Board or judgment of the official or body to whom the decision of the Ethics Board is referred under this section. Any action taken by an official or employee that is deemed in violation of this section may be deemed void by Green Lake County.
(5) 
Any other recommendations or others as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out the intent and purpose of this article.
A. 
Anyone who is subject to this article may request an advisory opinion from the Ethics Board on any matter relating to their official duties by submitting a written request to the office of the Corporation Counsel, but a request should be made only after the person has given the question careful consideration.
B. 
The request should:
(1) 
Clearly and fully state the question presented for an opinion.
(2) 
Fully state the facts giving rise to the question presented.
(3) 
Identify any information that the requestor is aware of that is relevant to the question presented. This includes identifying any specific administrative codes, guidelines, ordinances, regulations, or statutes that are relevant and any authorities or other sources that have been consulted and the responses received.
C. 
The Corporation Counsel shall forward a copy of the request to the Ethics Board within five business days of its receipt.
D. 
The Ethics Board shall convene to consider the request within 30 days of the date it is forwarded by the Corporation Counsel. The Ethics Board will convene in open session, but its consideration of the request will take place in a closed session. The Ethics Board shall provide a written opinion within 20 business days and may direct the Corporation Counsel to prepare the advisory opinion for signature by the Ethics Board's Chair.
E. 
The request for an advisory opinion, the record of the Ethics Board's proceedings, and the advisory opinion are deemed confidential and shall not be made available for public inspection, but may be made public with the consent of the person who made the request.
F. 
The Ethics Board may provide a public summary of any advisory opinion provided that the summary does not disclose the identity of the person who requested the opinion.
G. 
A person who receives an advisory opinion shall be guided by the opinion rendered.