Town of Mount Airy, MD
Carroll County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Town of Mounty Airy 10-6-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-3.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 13, Ethics, adopted 6-13-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-7, as amended.
This chapter may be cited as the "Town of Mount Airy Public Ethics Ordinance."
A. 
The provisions of this chapter apply to all Town of Mount Airy:
(1) 
Elected officials;
(2) 
Employees;
(3) 
Persons appointed to commissions or boards pursuant to the Code of the Town of Mount Airy; and
(4) 
Persons appointed to task forces, boards or advisory committees pursuant to § C4-4B(1) of the Town Charter.
A. 
There is a Town of Mount Airy Ethics Commission that consists of four members and an alternate appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council. The terms of members shall be staggered. On or as soon as practicable after the effective date of this chapter, the Mayor, with the Town Council's advice and consent, shall appoint new members plus an alternate, and/or extend or shorten the terms of the members and/or alternate as of the effective date of this chapter, such that the terms of members of the commission shall expire respectively on August 1, 2013, April 1, 2014, June 1, 2015, and August 1, 2016 and the term of the alternate shall expire on May 1, 2015. Commission members and the alternate shall thereafter serve four-year terms or until their successors are appointed, and the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, shall thereafter appoint or reappoint members and an alternate upon the expiration of the respective terms of the position for which appointment is being made. All appointees shall be residents of Mount Airy. Successors will fill the unexpired term of the departing member. No member may participate in any matter concerning that member's conduct. The members so appointed shall select from among their number a Chair who shall preside at all meetings of the Commission whenever present and a Vice Chair who shall preside in the absence of the Chair. The Chair or Vice Chair, if presiding, shall be entitled to participate in all discussions and debates of the Commission but who shall not cast any vote with respect to the issuance of an advisory opinion or a determination as to any complaint unless necessary at the time in order to constitute a quorum for conducting business or break a tie of voting members present.
B. 
The Commission shall:
(1) 
Devise, receive, and maintain all forms required by this chapter;
(2) 
Develop procedures and policies for advisory opinion requests and provide published advisory opinions to persons subject to this chapter regarding the applicability of the provisions of this chapter to them;
(3) 
Develop procedures and policies where necessary for the processing of complaints filed pursuant to Subsection G below in order to make appropriate determinations regarding complaints filed by any person alleging violations of this chapter; and
(4) 
Conduct a public information program regarding the purposes and application of this chapter.
(5) 
Administer, review, and make determinations on complaints filed under Subsection G below and carry out any other duties and responsibilities contained in the Town of Mount Airy Public Ethics Ordinance.
(6) 
Issue a report to the Town Council annually summarizing its activities to the extent they are matters of public record.
C. 
The Commission may seek advice from the Town Attorney or other counsel if expenditures are approved in accordance with the Charter.
D. 
The Commission shall certify to the State Ethics Commission on or before October 1 of each year that the Town is in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland, for elected local officials.
E. 
The Commission shall determine if changes to this chapter are required to be in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland, and shall forward any recommended changes and amendments to the Town Council for enactment.
F. 
The Commission may adopt other policies and procedures to assist in the implementation of the Commission's programs established in this chapter.
G. 
Filing of complaints and prehearing dispositions.
(1) 
Any person, who shall be referred to as the "complainant," may file a notarized, written, signed complaint with the Commission alleging a violation of any provision of this chapter. The Town official, employee or appointee against whom the complaint is directed shall be referred to as the "respondent." The Commission will acknowledge to the complainant receipt of the complaint as soon as practicable along with written notice of the confidentiality provisions set forth in Subsection K below. If such a complaint is not notarized or is not signed, the Commission shall summarily dismiss the complaint and inform the complainant in writing of the dismissal and the reasons for the dismissal. The Commission may issue a complaint on its own motion alleging a violation of this chapter. Any complaint, unless summarily dismissed, shall be provided by the Commission to the respondent along with written notice of the confidentiality provisions set forth in Subsection K below.
(2) 
Any complaint not summarily dismissed shall be reviewed by the Commission as soon as practicable. If the complaint is dismissed as without merit on its face, the complainant and respondent shall be notified of the dismissal in writing.
(3) 
If the Complaint is not summarily dismissed or dismissed as without merit on its face, the Commission, with the assistance of the Town Attorney or other counsel if the expenditures are approved in accordance with the Charter, shall collect evidence relating to the allegations of the complaint. As soon as practicable thereafter, the Commission shall make a preliminary determination as to whether there has been a violation of this chapter by the respondent.
(4) 
If after investigation and accumulation of the evidence, and upon a preliminary review thereof, the Commission determines that the evidence does not merit further proceedings because the evidence does not establish a violation of this chapter by the respondent, the complaint shall be dismissed without further proceedings by the Commission in a signed order. An order of dismissal shall be sent to the complainant and to the respondent.
(5) 
If, within 15 days after receipt of the complaint as provided for in Subsection G(1), the respondent takes action to cure all alleged violations, the complaint shall be closed by a signed order, reviewed by the Town Attorney or other counsel, as long as the Commission finds that the action cures all alleged violations and determines that such action is not contrary to the purposes of this chapter.
(6) 
If at any time prior to issuing findings of fact and conclusions of law the respondent and Commission mutually agree to any action that may be available to cure all alleged violations, the complaint shall be closed by a signed order if the Commission finds such action is not contrary to the purposes of this chapter, Settlements by mutual agreement may include remedies not specifically stated in § 13-9.
(7) 
If the complaint is not summarily dismissed pursuant to Subsection G(1) or dismissed without merit pursuant to Subsection G(2) or otherwise closed as provided in Subsection G(4), (5) or (6), the Commission shall, as soon as practicable, after appropriate notice, hold a hearing on the complaint.
H. 
Hearing.
(1) 
As soon as practicable, but not less than 15 days, before the hearing, the Commission shall make available for inspection and copying all evidence gathered by the Commission during its investigation and/or which has been submitted to the Commission, to include any such evidence that may tend to establish that the respondent has not committed a violation of this chapter.
(2) 
At the hearing, the Commission will present evidence relating to the complaint and may recommend such disposition of the complaint as appears appropriate. The respondent may be represented by counsel, and the proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with provisions of the Maryland Administrative Procedures Act to the extent that act is consistent with this chapter.
I. 
Post-hearing disposition.
(1) 
After consideration of all the evidence and any legal and professional advice, the Commission shall, within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing, or as soon as practicable, make findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to each of the alleged violations, and advise the complainant and respondent.
(2) 
The Commission may, after issuing findings of fact and conclusions of law, enter into a consent order with the respondent that cures all alleged violations, prohibits future violations, and is not contrary to the purposes of this chapter. Such consent order shall be part of the public record upon the conclusion of the matter, and the complainant shall be notified.
(3) 
If the Commission concludes that the respondent has not violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the Commission shall enter an order dismissing the complaint and shall advise the complainant and respondent.
(4) 
If the Commission decides that the respondent has violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the Commission may take actions as provided for in § 13-9.
(5) 
If the Commission, in the course of considering a complaint, finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent may have committed a criminal offense, the matter shall be referred promptly to an appropriate prosecuting authority.
J. 
Judicial review and judicial relief.
(1) 
If aggrieved by the final order of the Commission, the respondent may request judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Maryland Administrative Procedure Act.
(2) 
The final order of the Commission shall be stayed automatically until the time for seeking judicial review has expired. If a timely appeal for judicial review is filed, the final order shall be further stayed until the final disposition of the matter by the court.
(3) 
The Commission may seek judicial relief as provided in § 13-9 of this chapter.
K. 
Confidentiality of proceedings.
(1) 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, following the filing of a complaint and unless and until the matter is either referred for criminal prosecution or there has been a finding of a violation by the Commission, the proceedings, meetings and activities of the Commission in connection with the complaint shall be conducted in a confidential manner. Except as set forth in Subsection K(1)(a) through (c) below, the Commission, its staff, and the complainant and respondent shall not disclose any information relating to the complaint, to include the identities of the complainant and respondent. As set forth in Subsection G(1) above, complainant and respondent shall be provided written notice of the confidentiality provisions of this subsection. Notwithstanding the foregoing, release of otherwise confidential information may, and in the case of Subsection K(1)(c) below shall, be made at any prior time under the following circumstances:
(a) 
If the Commission grants a release in writing upon request of the respondent, the respondent may make disclosure of otherwise confidential information concerning the complaint as set forth in the written release issued by the Commission.
(b) 
If release of otherwise confidential information has been agreed to in writing by the respondent expressly waiving the confidentiality of the information concerning the complaint, the Commission, its staff and/or the complainant may make disclosure of otherwise confidential information.
(c) 
The identity of the complainant shall be disclosed to the respondent, at the request of the respondent, at any time.
A. 
In this section, "qualified relative" means a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.
B. 
All Town officials, employees and appointees described in § 13-2 above are subject to this section.
C. 
Participation prohibitions. Except as permitted by Commission regulation or opinion, an official, employee or appointee may not participate in and must recuse himself or herself from:
(1) 
Except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision of the matter, any matter in which, to the knowledge of the official or employee, the official or employee, or a qualified relative of the official or employee has an interest.
(2) 
Except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision with respect to the matter, any matter in which any of the following is a party;
(a) 
A business entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest of which the official or employee may reasonably be expected to know;
(b) 
A business entity for which the official, employee, or a qualified relative of the official or employee is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee;
(c) 
A business entity with which the official or employee or, to the knowledge of the official or employee, a qualified relative is negotiating employment or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment.
(d) 
If the contract reasonably could be expected to result in a conflict between the private interests of the official or employee and the official duties of the official or employee, a business entity that is a party to an existing contract with the official or employee, or which, to the knowledge of the official or employee, is a party to a contract with a qualified relative;
(e) 
An entity, doing business with the Town, in which a direct financial interest is owned by another entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest, if the official or employee may be reasonably expected to know of both direct financial interests; or
(f) 
A business entity that:
[1] 
The official or employee knows is a creditor or obligee of the official or employee or a qualified relative of the official or employee with respect to a thing of economic value; and
[2] 
As a creditor or obligee, is in a position to directly and substantially affect the interest of the official or employee or a qualified relative of the official or employee.
(3) 
A person who is disqualified from participating under Subsection C(1) or (2) above shall disclose the nature and circumstances of the conflict and may participate or act if:
(a) 
The disqualification leaves a body with less than a quorum capable of acting;
(b) 
The disqualified official or employee is required by law to act; or
(c) 
The disqualified official or employee is the only person authorized to act.
(4) 
The prohibitions of Subsection C(1) and (2) do not apply if participation is allowed by regulation or opinion of the Commission.
D. 
Employment and financial interest restrictions.
(1) 
Except as authorized pursuant to Subsection D(2) below, an official or employee may not during his or her service to or employment with the Town also:
(a) 
Be employed by or have a financial interest in any entity that has not been disclosed to and approved by any applicable appointing authority and the Commission pursuant to Subsection D(2)(c)[2] below and:
[1] 
That regularly has matters for consideration, decision or recommendation by the Town office, agency, board, advisory committee, commission or other body on or in which the official serves as would, upon recusal by the official on each such matter, regularly prevent the official from fulfilling his or her responsibilities to the Town and would, without recusal on each such matter, regularly impair the appearance of impartiality or independence of judgment of the official; or
[2] 
That regularly has matters for consideration, decision or recommendation by the Town that relate to the employee's scope of duties for the Town as would, upon recusal by the employee on each such matter, regularly prevent the employee from fulfilling his or her responsibilities to the Town and would, without recusal on each such matter, regularly impair the appearance of impartiality or independence of judgment of the employee; or
[3] 
That is negotiating or has entered into a contract with the Town office, agency, board, advisory committee, commission or other body on or in which the official serves; or
[4] 
That is negotiating or has entered into a contract with the Town the award of which relates to the employee's scope of duties to the Town or the performance of which is or will be supervised or administered by the employee on behalf of the Town.
(2) 
This prohibition does not apply to:
(a) 
An official or employee who is appointed to a regulatory or licensing authority pursuant to a legislative requirement or other criteria applicable to the authority that persons subject to the jurisdiction of the authority be represented in appointments to the authority;
(b) 
Appointment to service without pay on a purely advisory committee where the appointing authority has determined it to be advantageous to obtain advice on matters from such a committee comprised in whole or in part of members who hold business interests in the matters about which the committee is to provide advice;
(c) 
Subject to other provisions of law, an official or employee in regard to a financial interest or employment held at the time of appointment or acquired thereafter, provided:
[1] 
The financial interest or employment is publicly disclosed to the appointing authority if applicable and to the Commission; and
[2] 
The appointing authority if applicable and Commission authorize the simultaneous holding of his or her position with the Town and the financial interest or employment upon a finding that:
[a] 
Said interest or employment will not regularly require recusal by the official or employee so as to impair the performance of his or her duties to the Town and without recusal would regularly impair the appearance of impartiality or independence of judgment of the official or employee; and
[b] 
Said interest or employment is not with an entity that is negotiating or has entered into a contract with the Town office, agency, board, advisory committee, commission or other body on or in which the official serves or is to serve; or the award of which relates to the employee's or prospective employee's scope of duties to the Town or the performance of which is or will be supervised or administered by the employee or prospective employee on behalf of the Town.
(d) 
An official or employee whose duties are ministerial, if the private employment or financial interest does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, as permitted by and in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commission; or
(e) 
An official or employee who terminates employment, or divests himself or herself of any financial interest, without transfer of such to a straw purchaser with intent of future transfer back to the official or employee or to a person related by blood or marriage, of the type prohibited in Subsection D(1)(a) above before undertaking his or her duties for the Town.
E. 
Post-employment limitations and restrictions.
(1) 
A former official or employee may not assist or represent any party other than the Town for compensation in a case, contract, or other specific matter involving the Town if that matter is one in which the former official or employee significantly participated as an official or employee.
(2) 
A former member of the Town Council may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action in which the former member significantly participated for a period of two years after leaving office.
F. 
Contingent compensation. Except in a judicial or quasijudicial proceeding, a current official or current employee may not assist or represent a party for contingent compensation in any matter before or involving the Town.
G. 
Use of prestige of office.
(1) 
An official or employee may not intentionally use the prestige of office or public position for the private gain of that official or employee or the private gain of another.
(2) 
This subsection does not prohibit the performance of usual and customary constituent services by an elected local official without additional compensation.
H. 
Solicitation and acceptance of gifts.
(1) 
An official or employee may not solicit any gift. A "gift," as used throughout this chapter, includes the transfer of any right, property, thing or service of any value for which the recipient has not furnished identifiable and adequate consideration.
(2) 
An official or employee may not directly solicit or facilitate the solicitation of a gift, on behalf of another person, from an individual regulated lobbyist.
(3) 
An official or employee may not knowingly accept a gift, directly or indirectly, from a person that the official or employee knows or has the reason to know:
(a) 
Is doing business with or seeking to do business with the Town office, agency, board, advisory committee, or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated;
(b) 
Has financial interests that may be substantially and materially affected, in a manner distinguishable from the public generally, by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of the official or employee;
(c) 
Is engaged in an activity regulated or controlled by the official's or employee's governmental unit; or
(d) 
Is a lobbyist with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the official or employee.
(4) 
Notwithstanding Subsection H(3), an official or employee may accept the following:
(a) 
Meals and beverages consumed in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity;
(b) 
Ceremonial gifts or awards that have insignificant monetary value;
(c) 
Unsolicited gifts of nominal value that do not exceed $20 in cost or trivial items of informational value;
(d) 
Reasonable expenses for food, travel, lodging, and scheduled entertainment of the official or the employee at a meeting which is given in return for the participation of the official or employee in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting;
(e) 
Gifts of tickets or free admission extended to an elected local official to attend a charitable, cultural, or political event, if the purpose of this gift or admission is a courtesy or ceremony extended to the elected official's office;
(f) 
A specific gift or class of gifts that the Commission exempts from the operation of this subsection upon a finding, in writing, that acceptance of the gift or class of gifts would not be detrimental to the impartial conduct of the business of the Town and that the gift is purely personal and private in nature;
(g) 
Gifts from a person related to the official or employee by blood or marriage, or any other individual who is a member of the household of the official or employee; or
(h) 
Honoraria for speaking to or participating in a meeting, provided that the offering of the honorarium is in not related in any way to the official's or employee's official position.
(5) 
Subsection H(4) does not apply to a gift;
(a) 
That would tend to impair the impartiality and the independence of judgment of the official or employee receiving the gift;
(b) 
Of significant value that would give the appearance of impairing the impartiality and independence of judgment of the official or employee; or
(c) 
Of significant value that the recipient official or employee believes or has reason to believe is designed to impair the impartiality and independence of judgment of the official or employee.
I. 
Disclosure of confidential information. Other than in the discharge of official duties, an official or employee may not disclose or use confidential information, that the official or employee acquired by reason of the official's or employee's public position and that is not available to the public, for the economic benefit of the official or employee or that of another person.
J. 
Participation in procurement.
(1) 
An individual or a person that employs an individual who assists a Town agency in the drafting of specifications, an invitation for bids, or a request for proposals for a procurement may not submit a bid or proposal for that procurement or assist or represent another person, directly or indirectly, who is submitting a bid or proposal for the procurement.
(2) 
The Commission may establish exemptions from the requirements of this section for providing descriptive literature, sole source procurements, and written comments solicited by the procuring agency.
A. 
Required disclosures - general.
(1) 
This section applies to all local elected officials and candidates to be local elected officials. In this section, "immediate family" means a spouse or dependent child.
(2) 
Except as provided in § 13-5C(3)(a) below, a local elected official or a candidate to be a local elected official shall file the financial disclosure statement required under this section:
(a) 
On a form provided by the Commission;
(b) 
Under oath or affirmation; and
(c) 
With the Commission.
B. 
Deadlines for filing statements: local elected officials.
(1) 
An incumbent local elected official shall file a financial disclosure statement annually no later than April 30 of each year for the preceding calendar year.
(2) 
An individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy in an office for which a financial disclosure statement is required and who has not already filed a financial disclosure statement shall file a statement for the preceding calendar year within 30 days after appointment.
(3) 
An individual who, other than by reason of death, leaves an office for which a statement is required shall file a statement within 60 days after leaving the office.
(4) 
The statement shall cover:
(a) 
The calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the individual left office, unless a statement covering that year has already been filed by the individual; and
(b) 
The portion of the current calendar year during which the individual held the office.
C. 
Deadlines for filing statements: candidates to be local elected officials.
(1) 
Except for an official who has filed a financial disclosure statement under another provision of this section for the reporting period, a candidate to be an elected local official shall file under a financial disclosure statement each year beginning with the year in which the certificate of candidacy is filed through the year of the election.
(2) 
A candidate to be an elected local official shall file a statement required under this section;
(a) 
In the year of candidacy, upon being nominated or when a candidate declares himself or herself to be a write-in candidate and/or begins campaigning for elective office; and
(b) 
In all other years for which a statement is required, on or before April 30.
(3) 
A candidate to be an elected official:
(a) 
May file the statement required under § 13-5C(2)(a) of this chapter with the Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors when nominated or when a candidate declares himself or herself to be a write-in candidate and/or begins campaigning for elective office, or may file the statement with the Commission prior thereto; and
(b) 
Shall file the statements required under § 13-5C(2)(b) with the Commission.
(4) 
If a candidate fails to file a statement required by this section within 10 calendar days after written notice is provided by the Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors, the candidate is deemed to have withdrawn the candidacy.
(5) 
The Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors may not accept any certificate of candidacy unless a statement has been filed in proper form.
(6) 
Within 10 calendar days of the receipt of a statement required under this section, the Town Clerk or Board of Election Supervisors shall forward the statement to the Commission or the office designated by the Commission.
D. 
Public record.
(1) 
The Commission or office designated by the Commission shall maintain all financial disclosure statements filed under this section.
(2) 
Financial disclosure statements shall be made available during normal office hours for examination and copying by the public subject to reasonable fees and administrative procedures established by the Commission.
(3) 
If an individual examines or copies a financial disclosure statement, the Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall record:
(a) 
The name and home address of the individual reviewing or copying the statement; and
(b) 
The name of the person whose financial disclosure statement was examined or copied.
(4) 
The Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall provide the official with a copy of the name and home address of the person who reviewed the official's financial disclosure statement.
E. 
Retention requirements. The Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall retain financial disclosure statements for 10 years from the date of receipt at which time they shall be destroyed pursuant to the Town's approved Records Retention and Disposal Schedule.
F. 
Contents of statement. The disclosure statements required by this section shall contain:
(1) 
Interests in real property.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in real property wherever located.
(b) 
For each interest in real property, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The nature of the property and the location by street address, mailing address, or legal description of the property.
(2) 
Interests in corporations and partnerships.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in any corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability corporation except those that are publicly traded in which the interest held is less than 5% of the ownership.
(3) 
Interests in business entities doing business with the Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in any business entity that does business with the Town, other than interests reported under Subsection E(2).
(b) 
For each interest reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
[2] 
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions to and encumbrances on the interest;
[3] 
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received in exchange for the interest, and, if known, the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[4] 
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
[a] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired; and
[b] 
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired.
(4) 
Gifts.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of each gift in excess of $20 in value or a series of gifts totaling $100 or more received during the reporting period from or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any one person who does business with or is regulated by the Town.
(b) 
For each gift reported, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
A description of the nature and value of the gift; and
[2] 
The identity of the person from whom, or on behalf of whom, directly or indirectly, the gift was received.
(5) 
Employment with or interests in entities doing business with Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all offices, directorships, and salaried employment by the individual or member of the immediate family of the individual held at any time during the reporting period with entities doing business with the Town.
(b) 
For each position reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
[2] 
The title and nature of the office, directorship, or salaried employment held and the date it commenced; and
[3] 
The name of each Town agency with which the entity is involved.
(6) 
Indebtedness to persons or entities "doing business with" Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all liabilities, excluding retail credit accounts, owed at any time during the reporting period to persons or entities "doing business with" the Town, which for the purposes of this subsection shall mean persons or entities that are or become regulated by, are in contract with or that are seeking a contract with or other benefit from the Town but shall not include persons or entities that perform regular and routine banking services or extend credit by means of a credit card to the Town and the person required to make disclosure under this section:
[1] 
Of the individual; or
[2] 
Of a member of the immediate family of the individual if the individual was involved in the transaction giving rise to the liability.
(b) 
For each liability reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The identity of the person to whom the liability was owed and the date the liability was incurred;
[2] 
The amount of the liability owed as of the end of the reporting period;
[3] 
The terms of payment of the liability and the extent to which the principal amount of the liability was increased or reduced during the year; and
[4] 
The security given, if any, for the liability.
(7) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the immediate family members of the individual employed by the Town in any capacity at any time during the reporting period.
(8) 
Sources of earned income.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the name and address of each place of employment and of each business entity of which the individual or, except as set forth in Subsection F(8)(b) below, a member of the individual's immediate family was a sole or partial owner and from which the individual or member of the individual's immediate family received earned income, at any time during the reporting period.
(b) 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection F(8)(a) above, a dependent child's employment or business ownership need not be disclosed if the child's employer or business is not "doing business with" the Town as that term is defined in Subsection F(5)(a) above.
(9) 
A statement filed under this section may also include a schedule of additional interests or information that the individual making the statement wishes to disclose.
(10) 
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, the financial disclosure required by this section need not disclose interests in publicly traded mutual funds unless such funds are comprised primarily of interests in a specific sector that is regulated by the Town.
G. 
For the purposes of Subsection F(1), (2) and (3) above, the following interests are considered to be the interests of the individual making the statement:
(1) 
An interest held by a member of the individual's immediate family, if the interest was, at any time during the reporting period, directly or indirectly controlled by the individual.
(2) 
An interest held by a business entity in which the individual held a 30% or greater interest at any time during the reporting period.
(3) 
An interest held by a trust or an estate in which, at any time during the reporting period;
(a) 
The individual held a reversionary interest or was a beneficiary; or
(b) 
If a revocable trust, the individual was a settlor.
H. 
The Commission shall review the financial disclosure statements submitted under this section for compliance with the provisions of this section and shall notify an individual submitting the statement of any omissions or deficiencies.
I. 
The Town Ethics Commission may take appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with this section.
A. 
This section only applies to the following appointed officials and employees;
(1) 
All Town employees;
(2) 
All appointees to boards, advisory committees, and commissions.
B. 
A statement filed under this section shall be filed with the Commission under oath or affirmation.
C. 
On or before April 30 of each year during which an official or employee holds office, an official or employee shall file a statement disclosing gifts received during the preceding calendar year from any person that contracts with the Town, or bids on a contract with the Town, has business before the Town, or is regulated by Town, including the name of the donor of the gift and the approximate retail value at the time or receipt.
D. 
An official or employee shall disclose employment and interests that raise conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest in connection with a specific proposed action by the employee or official sufficiently in advance of the action to provide adequate disclosure to the public.
E. 
The Commission shall maintain all disclosure statements filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying as provided in § 13-5D of this chapter.
A. 
A person shall file a lobbying registration statement with the Commission if the person:
(1) 
Personally appears before a Town official or employee with the intent to influence that person in performance of the official duties of the official or employee; and
(2) 
In connection with the intent to influence, expends or reasonably expects to expend in excess of $20 on a single gift or $100 or more on a series of gifts in a given calendar year on food, entertainment, or other gifts for officials or employees of Town of Mount Airy.
B. 
A person shall file a registration statement required under this section on or before the later of January 15 of the calendar year or within five days after first performing an act that requires registration in the calendar year.
C. 
Registration contents.
(1) 
The registration statement shall identify:
(a) 
The registrant;
(b) 
Any other person on whose behalf the registrant acts; and
(c) 
The subject matter on which the registrant proposes to make appearances specified in Subsection A of this section.
(2) 
The registration statement shall cover a defined registration period not to exceed one calendar year.
D. 
Within 30 days after the end of any calendar year during which a person was registered under this section, the person shall file a report with the Commission disclosing;
(1) 
The value, date, and nature of any food, entertainment, or other gift provided to a Town official or employee; and
(2) 
If a gift to a single official or employee of the Town of Mount Airy exceeds $20 in value, or a series of gifts totaling $100 or more given in one calendar year, the identity of the official or employee.
E. 
The Commission shall maintain the registrations and reports filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying for four years after receipt by the Commission.
A. 
The Commission may upon application grant exemptions and modifications to the provisions of §§ 13-4 and 13-6 of this chapter to employees and to appointed members of Town Boards, Advisory Committees, and Commissions if the Commission finds that the applicant has established by a preponderance of the evidence that an exemption or modification would not be contrary to the essential purposes of this chapter and that:
(1) 
Relative to the disclosure requirements set forth in § 13-6:
(a) 
A disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy;
(b) 
The impact of complete nondisclosure is minimal or may be mitigated and thus be rendered minimal by partial disclosure or that the invasion of privacy may be mitigated to an acceptable level as determined by the Commission by means of redacting certain of the information that would be considered private and yet would disclose enough information such that the impact of nondisclosure would be minimal; and
(c) 
A disclosure would, were others similarly situated required to make the same or similar disclosure, significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service.
(2) 
Relative to conflicts of interest and the provisions of § 13-4 of this chapter:
(a) 
The impact of granting an exemption or modification is minimal;
(b) 
The risk of the applicant being improperly influenced in making decisions and/or in the performance of his/her duties is minimal; and
(c) 
Not granting an exemption or modification would significantly reduce the availability of similarly situated qualified persons for public service.
A. 
The Commission may:
(1) 
Assess a late fee of $2 per day up to a maximum of $250 for a failure to timely file a financial disclosure statement required under § 13-5 or 13-6 of this chapter;
(2) 
Assess a late fee of $10 per day up to a maximum of $250 for a failure to file a timely lobbyist registration or lobbyist report required under $13-7 of this chapter; and
(3) 
Issue a cease and desist order against any person found to be in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Upon a finding of a violation of any provision of this chapter, the Commission may:
(1) 
Issue an order of compliance directing the respondent to cease and desist from the violation;
(2) 
Issue a reprimand;
(3) 
Recommend to the appropriate authority other appropriate discipline of the respondent, including censure or removal if that discipline is authorized by law.
(4) 
Pursue other remedies as provided for in the Code of the Town of Mount Airy.
C. 
If the Commission finds that a respondent has violated § 13-7 of this chapter, the Commission may:
(1) 
Require a respondent who is a registered lobbyist to file any additional reports or information that reasonably related to the information that is required under § 13-7 of this chapter;
(2) 
Impose a fine not exceeding $5,000 for each violation; or
(3) 
Suspend the registration of an individual registered lobbyist if the Commission finds that the lobbyist has knowingly and willfully violated § 13-7 of this chapter or has been convicted of a criminal offense arising from lobbying activities.
D. 
Upon request of the Commission, the Town Attorney may file a petition for injunctive or other relief in the circuit court of Carroll County, or in any other court having proper venue for the purpose of requiring compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the court may;
(1) 
Issue an order to cease and desist from the violation;
(2) 
Except as provided in Subsection D(4) below, void an official action taken by an official or employee with a conflict of interest prohibited by this chapter when the action arises from or concerns the subject matter of the conflict and if the legal action is brought within 90 days of the occurrence of the official action, if the court deems voiding the action to be in the best interest of the public; or
(3) 
Impose a fine of up to $5,000 for any violation of the provisions of this chapter, with each day upon which the violation occurs constituting a separate offense.
(4) 
Notwithstanding Subsection D(2) above, a court may not void any official action appropriating public funds, levying taxes, or providing for the issuance of bonds, notes, or other evidences of public obligations.
E. 
In addition to any other enforcement provisions in this chapter, a person who the Commission or a court finds has violated this chapter:
(1) 
Is subject to termination or other disciplinary action; and
(2) 
May be suspended from receiving payment of salary or other compensation pending full compliance with the terms of an order of the Commission or a court.
F. 
A Town official or employee found to have violated this chapter is subject to disciplinary or other appropriate personnel action, including removal from office, disciplinary action, suspension of salary, or other sanction.
G. 
Violation of § 13-7 of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to one year.
H. 
A finding of a violation of this chapter by the Commission is public information.
If any section, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter is held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the ruling shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.