[Adopted 2-4-1987 by Ord. No. 87-3 (Ch. 3, Art. III, of the 1975 Municipal Code)]
Editor's Note: See also Art. IX, Defense and Indemnification: Civil Actions.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the City of Ithaca in any capacity, whether or not working on a full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary or seasonal basis, and whether or not working for compensation or as a volunteer expressly authorized to participate in a City-sponsored volunteer program. The term "employee" shall include any person paid by the City with City funds or with funds derived from other than City tax revenues and shall include any person serving on any City administrative or advisory board, commission or committee. The term "employee" shall also include a former employee or said employee's estate or judicially appointed personal representative. The term "employee" shall not include an independent contractor.
Upon compliance by the employee with the provisions of § 90-30 of this article and subject to the conditions set forth in Subsection B of this section, it shall be the duty of the City of Ithaca to pay reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees at rates prevailing in the local legal community and litigation expenses incurred by or on behalf of an employee for the defense of a criminal proceeding in a state or federal court arising out of any act or omission which occurred or allegedly occurred while such employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of his/her public employment or duties, upon complete acquittal or upon the dismissal of all criminal charges against such employee, and reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees incurred in connection with an appearance before a grand jury which returns no true bill against the employee, where such appearance was required as a result of any act which occurred while such employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of such employee's public employment or duties, unless such appearance occurs in the normal course of the public employment or duties of such employee. The employee shall be entitled to private counsel of his/her own choice, except that the City Attorney may require that appropriate groups of City employees be represented by the same private counsel.
Upon application for reimbursement for reasonable attorneys' fees or litigation expenses, or both, made by or on behalf of an employee, as provided in § 90-30 of this article, the City Attorney shall investigate and review the facts and circumstances of the case and make a recommendation to the Common Council whether such reimbursement shall be paid. The Common Council shall review the facts and circumstances of the case and determine whether to pay such reimbursement in light of the provisions of this article. The Common Council shall notify the employee, in writing, of such determination. Upon determining that such reimbursement should be provided, the Common Council shall so certify to the City Controller. Upon such certification, reimbursement shall be made for such fees or expenses, or both, upon the audit and warrant of the City Controller. Any dispute with regard to entitlement to reimbursement or the amount of litigation expenses or the reasonableness of attorneys' fees shall be resolved by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Reimbursement of reasonable attorneys' fees or litigation expenses, or both, by the City of Ithaca as prescribed by this article shall be conditioned upon:
Delivery to the City Attorney at City Hall by the employee of a written request for reimbursement of such fees and expenses, together with the original or a copy of an accusatory instrument, within 30 days after such employee is arraigned upon such instrument or, in the case of a grand jury appearance, written documentation of evidence of such appearance; and
The full cooperation of the employee in defense of any action or proceeding against the City based upon the same act and in the prosecution of any appeal.
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, the provisions of this article shall not be construed in any way to impair, alter, limit, modify, abrogate or restrict any immunity available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the City of Ithaca or any right to defense and/or indemnification provided for any governmental officer or employee by, in accordance with or by reason of any other provisions of state or federal statutory or common law.
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional or invalid in whole or in part by any court of competent jurisdiction, such holding of unconstitutionality or invalidity shall in no way affect or impair any other provision of this article or the application of any such provision to any other person or circumstances.
This article shall apply to any act or omission which occurs or is alleged to occur on or after its effective date.