[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Piermont 9-20-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005; amended in its entirety 9-17-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 12.
The following words and terms used in this chapter shall have the meanings indicated:
- Unless the context otherwise requires, any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the Village of Piermont, whether or not compensated, but shall not include an independent contractor. The term "employee" shall include a former employee or his or her estate or judicially appointed personal representative. The benefits of this chapter shall inure only to employees as defined herein and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party.
The Village shall provide for the defense of an employee in any civil action or proceeding in any court or administrative action arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred or is alleged to have occurred while the employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of his or her public employment or duties as determined by resolution of the Board of Trustees; provided, however, that the duty of the Village to defend, indemnify or save harmless shall be conditioned upon:
Delivery to the office of the Village Clerk by the employee of the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within five days after he or she is served with such document. Such delivery shall be deemed a request by the employee that the Village provide for his or her defense pursuant to this chapter, subject to written confirmation by the employee that the Village provide for his or her defense.
The full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in the defense of any action or proceeding against the Village based upon the same act or omission and in the prosecution of any appeal.
Deliberations, findings and determinations of the Village Board and its legal counsel as to whether employees were acting within the scope of their employment shall be made in executive session and shall remain confidential.
This duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the Village of Piermont.
The employee shall be entitled to be represented by the Village Attorney; provided, however, that the employee shall be entitled to representation by private counsel as selected by the Board of Trustees in any civil judicial proceeding whenever the Village Board determines, based upon its investigation and review of the facts and circumstances of the case, that representation by the Village Attorney would be inappropriate, or whenever a court of competent jurisdiction, upon appropriate motion or by a special proceeding, determines that a conflict of interest exists and that the employee is entitled to be represented by private counsel. The Village Attorney, or other outside counsel retained by the Village Board, shall notify the employee, in writing, of such determination that the employee is entitled to be represented by private counsel as selected by the Board of Trustees.
The Village Board may require, as a condition to payment of the fees and expenses of such representation by private counsel, that appropriate groups of such employees be represented by the same counsel.
Reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation expenses shall be paid by the Village to such private counsel from time to time during the pendency of the civil action or proceeding upon the audit and warrant of the Village Attorney or the Village Board.
Any dispute with respect to representation of multiple employees by a single counsel, or the amount of litigation expenses or the reasonableness of attorneys' fees, shall be resolved by the court upon motion or by way of a special proceeding,
Where the employee delivers process and a request for a defense to the Village Clerk, as required by this chapter, the Village Board shall take the necessary steps, including the retention of private counsel, under the terms and conditions herein provided, on behalf of the employee to avoid entry of a default judgment pending resolution of any question pertaining to the obligation to provide for a defense.
The Village shall indemnify and save harmless an employee in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employee in any court or in any administrative action or in the amount of any settlement of any claim brought against such employee, provided that the act or omission from which such judgment or settlement arose occurred while the employee was acting or in good faith purporting to act within the scope of his or her public employment duties. The duty to indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this subsection shall be conditioned upon the employee's compliance with the requirements set forth in this chapter, as well as any other applicable provisions of this section; provided, however, that the duty to indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this subsection shall not arise where the injury or damage resulted from intentional wrongdoing, maliciousness, or recklessness on the part of the employee.
When an employee is represented by the Village Attorney and the Village Attorney has before him or her any proposed settlement, or an employee represented by private counsel shall submit to the Village Board any proposed settlement, the Village Attorney or other outside counsel retained by the Village Board shall, after reviewing such proposals as to form and content, give a recommendation to the Village Board. If the Village Board believes it is in the best interest of the Village to accept such settlement, it shall give its approval thereto. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Village to indemnify or save harmless an employee with respect to a settlement not so reviewed and approved by the Village Board.
Upon entry of a final judgment against the employee or upon the settlement of the claim, the employee shall cause to be served a copy of such judgment or settlement, personally or by certified or registered mail, within 30 days of the date of entry or settlement, upon the Village Treasurer. Upon the Village Board's approval, the judgment or settlement shall be paid upon the audit and warrant of the Village Treasurer.
Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the Village to indemnify or save harmless an employee with respect to punitive or exemplary damages, fines or penalties or money recovered from an employee pursuant to Article 7-A of the State Finance Law.
The provisions of this chapter shall inure only to employees as defined herein and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party, nor shall any provision of this chapter be construed to affect, alter or repeal any provision of the Workers' Compensation Law.
This chapter shall not in any way affect the obligation of any claimant to give notice to the Village under any provision of law.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, the provisions of this chapter 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 Village 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 provision of state or federal statutory or common law.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending upon the effective date thereof or thereafter instituted.