It is the intent and purpose of this article to provide indemnification of, in defense of actions against, municipal officials and public employees as provided for in N.J.S.A. 59:10-1 et seq.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Coverage afforded by insurance policies of every kind whether the premiums shall be paid by the township, the municipal official or someone on his behalf.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL AND EMPLOYEE
- Any officer, employee, board member or committee member appointed or hired by the Readington Township Committee to hold an office or position in or for the township, whether full- or part-time. The term shall also include any person elected by the voters of the Township of Readington to fill any official position in the township or any person subsequently appointed to fill such position.
The township shall provide for the defense of any action brought against a municipal official or public employee on account of any act or omissions in the scope of his employment. This obligation shall extend to any cross actions, counterclaims or cross complaints against such employee or municipal official.
The obligation of the township to provide a defense shall not be applicable when the Township Committee determines 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 proceeding would create a conflict of interest between the township and the public employee or municipal official.
The defense of the action or proceeding is provided for by an insurance policy or policies.
The municipal official or public employee failed to deliver to the Township Administrator within 10 calendar days after the time he was served with any summons, complaint, process, demand or pleading.
The public employee or municipal official has failed to cooperate fully with the defense.
The legal proceeding is instigated or brought by the municipal official.
The legal proceeding is instigated or brought by the Township of Readington against the municipal official.
The legal proceeding involves a question concerning the election laws.
The township may provide any defense required of it under this article through the Township Attorney or by employing other counsel.
Whenever the township provides any defense required of it under this article, the township through counsel may assume exclusive control over the representation of the municipal official or public employee, and such municipal official or public employee shall cooperate fully with the defense.
In any case where the township is required to provide a defense under this article, the township shall pay or shall reimburse the public employee for:
Any bona fide settlement agreements entered into by the employee or municipal official, provided that such settlement is approved by the Township Committee before final agreement.
Any judgments entered against the employee.
If the township has failed to provide such required defense, all costs in defending the action, including reasonable counsel fees and expenses, together with the costs of any appeal.
In addition, in any case where the township would be required to provide a defense under this article except for the fact that such defense is provided for by insurance, the township shall provide indemnification as aforesaid but only to the extent not covered by insurance.
Nothing in this article shall authorize the township to pay for punitive or exemplary damages or damages resulting from the commission of a crime.
To the extent N.J.S.A. 40A:14-155 provides broader indemnification to members of the Township Police Department, that statute shall supersede this article.