[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Long Branch 3-9-1982 by Ord. No. 1060 (Sec. 2-30 of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a Code of Ethics to regulate the conduct and activities of the officials and employees of the City of Long Branch, County of Monmouth and State of New Jersey.
The terms used in this chapter are hereby defined as follows:
- FINANCIAL INTEREST
- Any interest which shall yield, directly or indirectly, a monetary or other material benefit (other than the duly authorized salary or compensation for his services to the municipality) to the official or employee of the municipality.
- The Municipality of the City of Long Branch.
- OFFICIAL or EMPLOYEE
- Any person elected or appointed to, or employed or retained by, any public office or public body of the municipality, whether paid or unpaid, and whether part-time or full-time.
- PUBLIC BODY or PUBLIC OFFICE
- Any agency, board, body, authority, commission, committee, department or office of the municipality.
No official or employee shall engage in any business or transaction or shall have any financial or personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties in the public interest.
"Interest" is defined as having the ownership or control of more than 10% of the profits, assets or stock of a business organization but shall not include the control of assets in a nonprofit entity or labor union.
[Added 1-14-2003 by Ord. No. 68-02]
No official or employee shall engage in or accept private employment or render services for private interests where such employment of service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties.
No official or employee shall solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept employment with any person, firm or corporation with which he is engaged on behalf of the municipality in the transaction of business which may be affected by his official action and which gives said person, firm or corporation an advantage.
No official or employee shall grant or make available to any person any consideration, treatment or advantage beyond that which is in the general practice to grant or make available to the public at large.
No official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of any publicly owned or publicly supported property, vehicle, equipment, labor or services for the personal convenience or the private advantage of himself or any other person. This subsection shall not, however, operate to prohibit an official or employee from using, requesting or permitting the use of such publicly owned or publicly supported property, vehicle, equipment, labor or services which is the general practice to make available to the public at large or which is provided as a matter of stated public policy for the use of officials and employees in the conduct of official business.
No official or employee shall, without proper legal authorization, disclose any confidential information concerning any other official or employee or any other person or any property of governmental affairs of the municipality.
Whether or not it shall involve disclosure, no official or employee shall use or permit the use of any such confidential information to advance the personal or financial interest of himself or any other person.
No official or employee shall accept any gift or gratuity, whether in the form of service, loan or corporation, the acceptance of which would influence him in the discharge of his official duties on behalf of the municipality.
No official or employee shall represent private interests, other than those of himself, before any public body in the municipality.
No official or employee shall vote for the adoption or defeat of any legislation for the payment or nonpayment of any indebtedness owing or allegedly owing by the municipality in which he has any financial interest, directly or indirectly, nor shall any official or employee recommend or lobby for the adoption or defeat of any legislation or for the institution of defense of any legal or quasi-legal action whatever in which he has or may have a financial interest, whether said interest be direct or indirect.
Any official or employee who has or may have such interest in such legislation, indebtedness or action and who participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the Council or to any board or agency of the municipality with respect thereto shall disclose on the records of the Council or said board or agency the nature and extent of such interest.
No official or employee who has financial interest in any transaction or contract with the municipality or in the sale or purchase of materials, real estate, supplies or services to or from said municipality shall vote in favor or in opposition to said transaction or contract, irrespective of whether said financial interest be direct or indirect.
Any official or employee who has or may have such interest in such transaction or contract and who participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the Council or to any board, agency or authority of the municipality with respect thereto shall disclose on the records of said Council or said board, agency or authority the nature and extent of such interest.
[Added 5-25-1982 by Ord. No. 1066]
The following persons holding the municipal offices or positions are required to file a financial disclosure statement with the office of the City Clerk concerning any financial interest in the City of Long Branch:
[Amended 6-9-1983 by Ord. No. 1105]
Said disclosure statement, which shall be provided in writing in conformance with a form to be provided by the office of the City Clerk, shall include:
[Amended 6-9-1983 by Ord. No. 1105]
A list of any and all real property owned, leased or in which a security interest is held by the person(s) listed in Subsection A. Each description shall include the lot and block number, street address, use to which the property is put and the assessed value thereof. Nothing herein shall require the reporting of the identity and value of the residence of the person concerned or any of the aforementioned interests if the title or interest is held in a corporate name or in the name of a partnership or joint venture when the individual filing the report holds a ten-percent or less interest in said entity.
Business relationships, whether the same be a financial interest in a partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship or any other association of persons in which each individual holding more than a ten-percent interest may be involved where said firm or association provides a service to the City as a direct contractor or subcontractor. Said individual shall further set forth the name of the firm or business and whether or not the individual is employed by such firm or firms.
Said disclosure statement shall further contain certification to the effect that, in the event that there should be any change or modification in the disclosure of interest, that such individuals shall amend said disclosure within 30 days from the date that such individual is knowledgeable thereof.
Said disclosure statement shall further certify that all officials and employees acknowledge that the delivery and execution of the disclosure of interest in no way relieves such individual from compliance with the statutes made and provided in this state relating to conflict of interest nor the ethics of any profession of which he or she may be a member.
Compliance with provisions.
Each individual affected by the provisions of this section who is presently serving in any of the categories set forth in Subsection A(1) through (3) shall comply with the requirements herein no later than 10 days after the effective date of this section. Each individual affected by these provisions who is elected or appointed subsequent to the effective date of this section shall comply with the requirements herein within 30 days of the date of their election or appointment.
It shall be the obligation of each affected individual to complete the financial disclosure statement, place it in a sealed envelope and deliver the same to the City Clerk's office where, upon receipt, the Official Seal of the City shall be affixed and the date and time of receipt shall be recorded upon the envelope. All materials required to be filed with the City Clerk shall be deposited in a safe deposit box retained by the City to utilize the same exclusively for said purpose.
[Amended 6-9-1983 by Ord. No. 1105]
It is the intent and purpose of this section that the filings and disclosures required hereunder shall be filed with the City Clerk and held confidential subject to review by the City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney and, as such, shall not be subject to public disclosure unless there arises a question presented to the City of Long Branch concerning an officer or employee of the City required to comply with any provisions of this section. In that event, then said questions shall be turned over to the office of the City Attorney, who shall have the right, at said time, to review the records filed by the individual in question and shall render an opinion surrounding whether or not there might exist a possible violation of any section of this chapter. In no event, however, shall the City Attorney make any disclosure as to the contents of the requirements in this section unless there is a violation of said section, in which event the City Attorney's opinion, which may be disclosed as a result of said investigation, may contain information required to be filed under this section.
In the event that a court of law or any other person or entity with jurisdiction to rule on the validity of this section should determine that the information required to be filed with the office of the City Clerk is not a proper subject matter for confidentiality, then, and in that event, this section shall be void ab initio, and any and all documents filed with the City Clerk shall be returned to those individuals who filed the same without the disclosure of said documents to any party.
Compliance with this chapter shall be deemed to be a condition of employment or continued employment of all municipal employees and officials.
In the event that any action complained of has been approved by or has been taken pursuant to a state statute or local ordinance or said action has been approved by the courts of the State of New Jersey, then no charges of possible violation of this chapter shall be brought against any such officer or employee of the city.
Any person who willfully and knowingly, or with intent to conceal or misrepresent any financial transaction or relationship required to be disclosed pursuant to this chapter, files a disclosure statement which is false, inaccurate or incomplete in any material particular or who fails to or refuses to file any such financial disclosure statement when required to do so pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be in violation of this chapter and, upon conviction, shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, and each day the same is violated, shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
In addition to the penalty provided hereinabove, any officer or employee who is determined to have violated any provision of this chapter or of any statute or ordinance relating to conflict of interest shall be liable to removal from office.
[Amended 6-9-1983 by Ord. No. 1105]