[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Bridgeton 1-4-1982 by Ord. No. 82-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes any officer or employee whether or not compensated or part-time who is authorized to perform any act or service for the City of Bridgeton; provided, however, that the term shall specifically exclude any independent contractor, but is intended to include any professional staff of the City of Bridgeton, who, for purposes of this chapter shall not be regarded as an independent contractor.
- OFFICIAL or MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL
- A present or former municipal appointee, official, elected official or member of the various boards, agencies and commissions of the City of Bridgeton.
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 employee or official holding or formerly holding any office, position or employment with the City of Bridgeton, for any action or commission arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of such office, position or employment, the City 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 City Solicitor, or another attorney selected by the Mayor, shall represent the employee or official.
The City shall not defray the costs of defending any criminal action against any employee or official as may be authorized by state statute or other municipal ordinance or resolution of the City of Bridgeton, and, in those circumstances, the responsibility for defraying the costs of defending such employee or official 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 City determine that there is good cause to discipline the employee or official arising out of the incident or related incidents of the criminal prosecutions, the City will not reimburse the employee or official for legal defense and costs of defending the suit, even though criminal proceedings against the employee or official may be dismissed or the employee or official found not guilty.
The obligation of the City of Bridgeton to defend and indemnify its employees or officials 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 City itself would be liable for the acts of its employees or officials under the doctrine of respondeat superior, except that the City shall defend any such official or employee sued under the Federal Civil Rights Act, provided that the Mayor and/or City Council shall not have concluded that such act or omission was outside the scope of the responsibilities of said official or employee.
Furthermore, the City shall not defend and save harmless any employee or official 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 City shall not be responsible for the defense or indemnification of any official or employee of the City when the City Council 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 proceedings would create a conflict of interest between the City and the public employee.
The defense of the action or proceeding is provided for by an insurance policy or policies, whether obtained by the City or by any other person.
The public employee failed to deliver to the City Administrator, within 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 City provides any defense required of it under this chapter, the City, through counsel, may assume exclusive control over the representation of the public employee, and such employee or official shall cooperate fully with the defense.
The defense shall be at the option of the City. The City of Bridgeton may provide any defense required of it under this chapter through an attorney from the staff of the Department of Law or by employing other counsel at the option of the Mayor and City Council.
In addition, in any case where the City would be required to provide a defense under this chapter except for the fact that such defense is provided for by insurance, the City shall provide indemnification as aforesaid, but only to the extent not covered by insurance.
Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the City to pay for punitive or exemplary damages or damages resulting from the commission of a crime.