[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Philipstown 12-4-1970 as L.L. No. 1-1970. Section 21-6A amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 17.
The Town Board of the Town of Philipstown recognizes that there are state statutory provisions mandating towns to establish rules and standards of ethical conduct for public officers and their employees, which, if observed, can enhance public confidence in local government and tend to assure a high caliber of public administration. It is the purpose of this chapter to implement this objective. The standards, prohibited acts and procedures established herein are in addition to any prohibited acts, conflict-of-interest provisions or procedures prescribed by statute or by common law rules and judicial decisions relating to the conduct of municipal officers.
Editor's Note: See § 806 of the General Municipal Law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any board, commission, agency, department or unit of the government of the Town of Philipstown.
- TOWN EMPLOYEE
- Any officer or employee of the Town of Philipstown, whether paid or unpaid, whether serving in a full-time, part-time or advisory capacity.
No town employee shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.
No town employee shall:
Directly or indirectly solicit any gift, or accept or receive any gift having a value of $25 or more, whether in the form of money, service, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or in any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him, or could reasonably be expected to influence him, in the performance of his official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his part.
Disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties or use such information to further his personal interests.
Receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for service to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency for which he is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
Receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of his municipality, whereby his compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter, provided that this subsection shall not prohibit the fixing at any time of fees based upon the reasonable value of the services rendered.
Accept other employment which will impair his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.
Use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or others.
Engage in any transaction as representative or agent of the town with any business entity in which he has a direct or indirect financial interest that might reasonably tend to conflict with the proper discharge of his official duties.
By his conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence him or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties or that he is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.
Pursue a course of conduct which will raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust.
After termination of service or employment with the town, appear before any board or agency of the town in relation to a case, proceeding or application in which he participated during his period of service or employment.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any such town employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this chapter may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment in the manner provided by law.
There is hereby established a Board of Ethics to consist of at least three members which shall be appointed by the Town Board, all of whom shall reside in the Town of Philipstown and who shall serve without compensation. Said Board shall be appointed from time to time to serve at the pleasure of the Town Board for the purposes designated at the time of appointment thereof. A majority of the members shall not be officers or employees of the town but at least one shall be an elected or appointed town officer or employee.
The Board of Ethics so established shall render advisory opinions to the Town Board upon written request and make recommendations to the Town Board as deemed advisable. The opinions of the Board of Ethics shall be advisory and confidential, and in no event shall the identity of the town employee be disclosed except to authorized persons and agencies. Such opinions shall be on the advice of counsel employed by the Board or, if none is employed, by the Town Attorney.
The Board of Ethics shall promulgate its own rules and regulations as to the procedures followed for the handling of any requests and shall maintain appropriate records of its opinions and proceedings. Upon rendering its report to the Town Board, its duties shall be discharged unless further request is made of said Board of Ethics by the Town Board.
Upon adoption of this chapter, the Town Supervisor shall cause a copy thereof to be distributed to every town employee of this town. Failure to distribute any such copy or failure of any town employee to receive such copy shall have no effect upon the duty of compliance with this code, nor the enforcement of provisions hereof. The Town Supervisor shall further cause a copy of this chapter to be kept posted conspicuously in each public building under the jurisdiction of the town. Failure to so post this chapter shall have no effect on the duty of compliance herewith nor the enforcement provisions hereof.
The Town Board may appropriate moneys from the general town funds for the maintenance of and for personal services to a Board of Ethics that may be established from time to time under this chapter, but the Board of Ethics may not commit the expenditure of town moneys without approval of the Town Board, nor except within the appropriations provided herein.