[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Rye 2-16-1966 by L.L. No. 1-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The proper operation of the City government requires that its officers and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure; that public office not be used for personal gain; that public officers and employees observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal consideration; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government and the officers and employees thereof. In recognition of these goals, there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all officers of the City of Rye, as defined in its Charter, and for all employees of such City, hereinafter referred to as the "City." In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this/her code and the provisions of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, the latter shall control.
[Amended 9-11-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
Unless otherwise defined herein, all terms shall have the same meanings as set forth in the New York Public Officers Law. No elected official, officer or employee of the City 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 conflict with or might reasonably tend to conflict with the proper discharge of his/her duties in the public interest.
No member of the Rye Golf Club Commission or Boat Basin Commission shall be permitted to engage in any business or transaction with the City for pay or for anything of value.
No elected official, officer, employee, department head or assistant department head (or any spouse/domestic partner of any person holding one of the aforementioned positions) shall be an employee, subcontractor, agent, servant or representative, or hold any other position with a vendor of the City.
[Amended 5-16-1984 by L.L. No. 7-1984; 5-16-1984 by L.L. No. 8-1984]
No elected official or employee of the City shall represent private interests before any department, office or agency of the City nor represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interest of the City or in any litigation to which the City is a party. The preceding sentence shall not preclude any Councilman from appearing in the performance of public or civic obligations. In keeping with Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, a nonpaid voluntary member of the City's various boards, commissions and agencies may not appear for an applicant before the board, commission or agency of which he or she is a member. Prohibited appearances shall include any connection with another's application, including work prepared by, but not identified as work of, such official. No such appearance can be made by such member by surrogate or substitute. However, voluntary, unpaid members of the City's various boards, commissions and agencies may appear before a City board, commission or agency other than his or her own, provided that he or she fully discloses his or her interest in such application, and further provided that his or her compensation for such appearance or application participation is not dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter.
[Amended 9-11-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
A member of the Council or any officer, employee, department head, or board or commission member who has a direct or indirect financial interest in any matter before the Council who participates in the discussion before or makes a recommendation to or gives an opinion to the Council on that matter shall publicly disclose on the official record of the Council the nature and extent of such interest and recuse himself/herself from the discussion and from taking any action on the matter.
[Amended 9-16-1970 by L.L. No. 2-1970; 9-11-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
No officer or employee shall, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift, or accept or receive any gift having a value of $50 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/her or could reasonably be expected to influence him/her in the performance of his/her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his/her part, or grant in the discharge of his/her duties any improper favor, service or thing of value.
No officer or employee of the City shall accept employment or engage in any business or professional activity which will require him/her to disclose confidential information which he/she has gained by reason of his/her official position or authority.
No officer or employee of the City shall disclose confidential information acquired by him/her in the course of his/her official duties nor use such information to further his/her personal interests or the personal interests of others.
An officer or employee of the City shall abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which he/she has reason to believe may be directly involved in decisions to be made by him/her or which will otherwise create conflict between his/her public duty and his/her private interest, and shall refrain from passing upon any questions in which he/she or any member of his/her immediate family has an interest which might reasonably be deemed to create such a conflict.
No officer or employee of the City shall accept other employment which will impair his/her independence of judgment in the exercise of his/her official duties.
No officer or employee of the City shall solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept employment by any person, firm or corporation with which he/she or his/her department, office or agency is engaged on behalf of the City in the transaction of business which is or may be affected by his/her official action.
No officer or employee of the City shall use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself/herself or others to grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizens beyond that which is available to every other citizen.
An officer or employee of the City should not by his/her conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can unduly influence him/her or improperly enjoy his/her favor in the performance of his/her official duties or that he/she is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.
No officer or employee of the City shall direct or cause any officer or employee of the City to do or perform any service or work outside of public work or employment or accept any such service or work, nor shall any officer or employee of the City offer to do or perform any such service or work for such officer or employee. This section shall not preclude any officer or employee from voluntarily performing any such service or work outside of the hours during which he/she is assigned to perform duties for the City.
No officer or employee of the City shall request or permit the use of City-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such services are available to the public generally or are provided as City policy for the use of such officer or employee in the conduct of official business.
No person who holds any compensated appointive City position shall solicit or receive any contribution for any political party or any candidate for public office or take any part in the management, affairs or political campaign of any political party or any such candidate, nor shall any such person make any contribution for any candidate or political party for public office within the City, but he/she may exercise his/her right as a citizen to express his/her opinion privately and to cast his/her vote.
Pursuant to Section 808 of the General Municipal Law, there is hereby created and established a Board of Ethics to consist of the City Manager, Corporation Counsel and three public members to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council, who shall not hold any other City office and shall serve without compensation for a term of three years. The Board shall elect a Chairman from among the public members.
The Board shall render advisory opinions on specific situations to officers and employees of the City with respect to Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and any Code of Ethics adopted pursuant thereto. Such advisory opinions shall be rendered pursuant to the written request of any such officer or employee under such rules and regulations as the Board may deem advisable and shall have the approval of the Corporation Counsel with respect to their validity. The Board shall publish its advisory opinions with such deletions as may be necessary to prevent disclosure of the identity of the officer or employee involved.
[Amended 9-16-1970 by L.L. No. 2-1970]
The City Manager shall cause a copy of the Code of Ethics of the City of Rye to be distributed to every officer and employee of the City. Each officer and employee elected or appointed after the effective date of this chapter shall be furnished a copy of such code before entering upon the duties of his/her office or employment.
[Amended 9-16-1970 by L.L. No. 2-1970]
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly or intentionally violate any of the provisions of this code may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment in the manner provided by law.
[Added 9-11-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
Any officer, employee, department head, or board or commission member may apply for a waiver of the prohibitions set forth in this chapter by following the procedures outlined in Subsections A and B below.
An employee or department head shall apply for a waiver to the City Manager. Any applications shall be in writing. The City Manager has the authority to condition any waiver on reasonable terms. The City Manager shall seek an advisory opinion from the Board of Ethics if he/she needs clarification on an issue. All waivers and advisory opinions shall also be provided to the City Council as soon as such waiver application is received.
An elected or appointed official shall apply for a waiver to the Board of Ethics. All applications shall be in writing. The Board of Ethics has the authority to condition any waiver on reasonable terms.
The City Council shall review all waivers on a monthly basis.