In Section 7-148h of the General Statutes, the Legislature of the State of Connecticut delegates to local government units the power to establish a commission to investigate allegations of unethical conduct, corrupting influence or illegal activities levied against any municipal official, officer or employee. Therefore, the Town of Old Saybrook, does hereby ordain as follows.
There shall be an Ethics Commission consisting of five members, each of whom shall be appointed by unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen. Members of the Commission shall serve for a term of four years. No more than three members shall be members of the same political party.
All members shall be electors of the Town. No member of such Commission shall be employed by the Town or its Board of Education nor shall any member hold or be a candidate for any other municipal office in the Town. A vacancy shall exist when a member ceases to be an elector of the Town or accepts employment by the Town or its Board of Education or accepts another municipal office in the Town or becomes a candidate for any municipal office. For the purpose of this section, a "candidate" shall be any person who declares himself as such or is a candidate as defined under the election laws of the State of Connecticut.
Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen. If the Board of Selectmen fails to fill any such vacancy within 45 days of notice to the Board that a vacancy exists, then the remaining members of the Commission shall fill such vacancy by a majority vote of its members within 45 days following the Board of Selectmen's forty-five-day period.
The Commission shall have the power to:
Amend the Code of Ethics, from time to time, provided such amendments shall become effective only upon ratification by the electors and those qualified to vote at Town Meetings.
Establish regulations and procedures regarding distribution of the Code of Ethics to all Town officials and employees affected thereby.
Establish regulations and procedures for the initiation and handling of complaints, including a procedure by which citizens may file complaints.
Establish regulations and procedures whereby Town officials, employees and other citizens may request and receive advisory opinions from the Commission as to whether certain conduct by Town officials and employees complies with the Code of Ethics.
The Commission shall have all the powers and protections afforded to a municipal Ethics Commission by Section 7-148h of the Connecticut General Statutes.
In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, Sections 7-148h and 1-82a, and notwithstanding any other provision of the General Statutes, the Town Charter and Town ordinances, the provisions of General Statutes Section 1-82a, governing confidentiality of complaints, evaluations of possible violations, investigations, and publication of findings, shall apply to the Commission.
If the Commission finds that there has been a violation of the Code of Ethics:
The Commission shall not have the power to fire, suspend, fine, or punish any Town official or employee, including, but not limited to, any Board of Education official or employee. The Commission may make recommendations as to actions it deems appropriate to whoever has the power to hire and fire such employee or official; or, in the case of an appointed official who is not an employee of the Town, the Commission may make such recommendations to the appointing body; or in the case of an elected official, the Commission may make such recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.
The Commission may also report its findings and recommendations to any other authority the Commission deems appropriate for any action deemed necessary.