[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lacey 2-4-1982 as Ord. No. 4-82 (Ch. 26 of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Officers and employees — See Ch. 79.
[Amended 12-19-1991 by Ord. No. 72-91]
Subject to the limitations set forth in the subsequent sections of this chapter, whenever any civil action has been or shall be brought against any person (hereinafter referred to as "employee") holding or formerly holding any office, position or employment within the Township of Lacey, including but not limited to members of the Planning Board and/or Board of Adjustment and/or any other municipal board, body, committee, agency or commission within the Township of Lacey for any action or omission arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of such office, position or employment, the township shall defray all costs of defending such action, including reasonable counsel fees and expenses, together with costs of appeal, if any, and shall save harmless and protect such persons from any financial loss resulting from the litigation. The Township Attorney or another attorney selected by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Township Committee shall represent the township official or employee.
The township shall not defray the costs of defending any criminal action against any municipal employee except as may be authorized by state statute or other municipal ordinance or resolution of the Township of Lacey, and, in those circumstances, the responsibility for defraying the costs of defending such employee shall be applicable only when such criminal proceedings shall have been dismissed or result in a final disposition in favor of the employee. However, should the township determine that there is good cause to dismiss the employee arising out of the incident or related incidents of the criminal prosecution, the township will not reimburse the employee or official for legal defense and costs of defending the suit, even though criminal proceedings against the employee may be dismissed or the employee found not guilty.
The obligation of the Township of Lacey to defend and indemnify its employees for acts or omissions arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of that person shall be limited to those circumstances under which the township itself would be liable for the acts of its employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior, except that the township shall defend any such officer or employee sued under the Federal Civil Rights Act, provided that the Mayor and/or Committee shall not have concluded that such act or omission was outside the scope of the responsibilities of said officer or employee.
Furthermore, the township shall not defend and save harmless any employee committing an intentional or willful act or willful omission arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of such office, position or employment.
Also specifically excluded from the provisions of this chapter are any municipal employee or official providing any form of professional medical services, such as doctors and nurses, insofar as said civil action arises out of or concerns those professional medical services.
The township shall not be responsible for the defense or indemnification of any official or employee of the township, when the Township Committee has determined that:
The act or omission was not within the scope of employment.
The act or failure to act was because of actual fraud, willful misconduct or actual malice.
The defense of the action or proceeding would create a conflict of interest between the township and the public employee.
The defense of the action or proceeding is provided for by an insurance policy or policies, whether obtained by the township or by any other person.
The public employee failed to deliver to the Township Administrator, within ten (10) calendar days after the time he is served with any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading, the original or a copy of the same.
The public employee has failed to cooperate fully with the defense.
Whenever the township provides any defense required of it under this chapter, the township, through counsel, may assume exclusive control over the representation of the public employee, and such employee shall cooperate fully with the defense.
In any case where the township is required to provide a defense under this chapter, the township shall pay or shall reimburse the public employee for:
Any bona fide settlement agreements entered into by the employee.
Any judgments entered against the employee.
If the township has failed to provide such required defense, all costs of defending the action, including reasonable counsel fees and expenses, together with costs of any appeal.
In addition, in any case where the township would be required to provide a defense under this chapter except for the fact that such defense is provided for by insurance, the township shall provide indemnification as aforesaid, but only to the extent not covered by insurance.
Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the township to pay for punitive or exemplary damages or damages resulting from the commission of a crime.