Town of Goshen, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
General prohibition. No Town officer, employee or Town consultant shall use his or her official position, office or employment or take or fail to take any action in a manner which he or she knows or has reason to know may result in a personal financial benefit for any of the following persons:
(1) 
The Town officer, employee, or consultant;
(2) 
His or her outside employer or business;
(3) 
A member of his or her household;
(4) 
A customer or client;
(5) 
A relative; or
(6) 
A person from whom the officer or employee has received election campaign contributions of more than $1,000 in aggregate during the past 12 months.
B. 
Recusal. A Town officer, employee or consultant shall promptly recuse himself or herself from acting on a matter before the Town when acting on the matter, or failing to act on the matter, may financially benefit any of the persons listed in Subsection A of this section.
C. 
Gifts. A Town officer or employee shall not solicit anything of value from any person who has received or sought a financial benefit from the Town, nor accept anything of value from any person who the Town officer, employee or consultant knows or has reason to know has received or sought a financial benefit from the Town within the previous 24 months.
D. 
Representation. A Town officer or employee shall not represent any other person in any matter which that person has before the Town nor represent any other person in any matter against the interest of the Town. A Town consultant shall not represent any person in any matter which that person has before the Town agency or board to which the consultant provides consulting services.
E. 
Appearances. A Town officer or employee shall not appear before any agency of the Town, except on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the Town.
F. 
Confidential information. A Town officer, employee or consultant or former Town officers, employees or consultants shall not disclose any confidential information or use it to further anyone's personal interests.
G. 
Political solicitation. A Town officer or employee shall not knowingly request or knowingly authorize anyone else to request any subordinate of the Town officer or employee to participate in an election campaign or contribute to a political committee.
H. 
Revolving door. A Town officer or employee shall not appear or practice before the Town, except on his or her own behalf, or receive compensation for working on any matter before the Town, for a period of one year after the termination of his or her Town service or employment; however, the bar shall be permanent as to particular matters on which the Town officer or employee personally worked while in Town service. A Town consultant shall not appear or practice before the Town agency or board to which the consultant provides consulting services for a period of one year after the termination of his or her Town service or employment; however, the bar shall be permanent as to particular matters on which the consultant personally worked while in Town service.
I. 
Avoidance of conflicts. Town officers, employees and consultants shall not knowingly acquire, solicit, negotiate for or accept any interest, employment or other thing of value which would put them in violation of this Code of Ethics.
J. 
Inducement of others. A Town officer, employee or consultant shall not induce or aid another Town officer, employee or consultant to violate any of the provisions of this Code of Ethics.
A. 
Whenever a Town officer, employee or consultant is required to recuse himself or herself under the Code of Ethics set forth in § 14-1 of this chapter, he or she shall:
(1) 
Immediately refrain from participating further in the matter.
(2) 
Promptly inform his or her superior, if any, and
(3) 
Promptly file with the Town Clerk a signed statement disclosing the nature and extent of the prohibited action or, if a member of a board, shall state that information upon the public record of the board.
B. 
A Town officer, employee or consultant shall not be required to file a disclosure statement pursuant to this section if he or she, with respect to the same matter, has filed with the governing body of the Town a disclosure statement complying with requirements of § 14-5 of this chapter.
The provisions of §§ 14-1 and 14-2 of this chapter shall not prohibit, or require recusal or transactional disclosure as a result of:
A. 
An action specifically authorized by statute, rule or regulation of the State of New York or of the United States.
B. 
A ministerial act.
C. 
Gifts:
(1) 
Received by the Town officer, employee or consultant from his or her parent, spouse or child; or
(2) 
Having an aggregate value of $75 or less during any twelve-month period; or
(3) 
Accepted on behalf of the Town and transferred to the Town.
D. 
Gifts or benefits having a value of $50 or less that are received by a Town officer, employee or consultant listed in § 11 of the Domestic Relations Law of the State of New York for the solemnization of a marriage by that officer or employee at a place other than his or her normal public place of business or at a time other than his or her normal hours of business.
E. 
Awards from charitable organizations.
F. 
Receipt of Town services or benefits, or use of Town facilities, that are generally available on the same terms and conditions to residents or a class of residents in the Town.
G. 
Representation of constituents by elected officials without compensation in matters of public advocacy.
H. 
Town officers and employees appearing or practicing before the Town or receiving compensation for working on a matter before the Town after termination of their Town service or employment where they performed only ministerial acts while working for the Town.
No person, whether or not a Town officer or employee, shall induce or attempt to induce a Town officer or employee to violate any of the provisions of § 14-1 or 14-2 of this chapter.
A. 
Prohibited interests. No Town officer, employee or consultant shall have an interest in a contract with the Town, or an interest in a bank or trust company, that is prohibited by § 801 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York. Any contract willfully entered into by or with the Town in which there is an interest prohibited by that section shall be null, void and wholly unenforceable, to the extent provided by § 804 of that law.
B. 
Discloseable interests. Any Town officer, employee or consultant who has, will have or later acquires an interest in any actual or proposed contract with the Town shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of that interest in accordance with § 803 of the General Municipal Law. The Clerk of the governing body of the Town shall cause a copy of that disclosure to be filed promptly with the Ethics Board.
C. 
Violations. Any Town officer, employee or consultant who willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, to the extent provided by § 805 of the General Municipal Law.
Unless otherwise stated or unless the context otherwise requires, when used in this chapter the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPEAR and APPEAR BEFORE
Communicating in any form, including, without limitation, personally, through another person, by letter or by telephone.
CUSTOMER or CLIENT
Any person to whom a Town officer, employee or consultant has supplied goods or service during the previous 24 months having, in the aggregate, a value greater than $1,000 or any person to whom a Town officer's, employee's or consultant's outside employer or business has supplied goods or services during the previous 24 months having, in the aggregate, a value greater than $1,000 but only if the Town officer, employee or consultant knows or has reason to know the outside employer or business supplied the goods or services.
ETHICS BOARD
The Ethics Board of the Town of Goshen established pursuant to § 14-14 of this chapter.
GIFT and FINANCIAL BENEFIT
Include any money, service, license, permit, contract, authorization, loan, travel, entertainment or hospitality, or any promise thereof, or any other gratuity or promise thereof or anything of value. A financial transaction may be a financial benefit but shall not be a gift unless it is on terms not available to the general public. "Gift" and "financial benefit" do not include campaign contributions authorized by law.
INTEREST
Any claim, account or demand against or in agreement with the Town, express or implied, including designation of a depository of public funds and the designation of an official newspaper, and direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an officer or employee as a result of a business or professional transaction with the Town. For the purposes of this chapter, an officer or employee shall be deemed to have a direct interest in the affairs of.
A. 
His spouse, minor children and dependents.
B. 
A business concern, partnership or association of which such officer or employee is a member, partner, owner, director or employee.
C. 
A corporation of which such officer or employee is an officer, director or employee.
D. 
A corporation any stock of which is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such officer or employee.
MINISTERIAL ACT
An action performed in a prescribed manner without the exercise of judgment or discretion as to the propriety of the act.
A. 
Any activity, other than service to the Town, from which the Town officer, employee or consultant received compensation for services rendered or goods sold or produced.
B. 
Any entity, other than the Town, of which the Town officer, employee or consultant is a member, officer, director or employee and from which he or she received compensation for services rendered or goods sold or produced.
C. 
Any entity in which the Town officer, employee or consultant has an ownership interest, except a corporation of which the Town officer or employee owns less than 5% of the outstanding stock.
For the purposes of this definition, "compensation" shall not include reimbursement for necessary reasonable expenses, including travel expenses.
PERSON
Includes both individuals and entities.
RELATIVE
A spouse, child, step-child, brother, sister or parent of the Town officer or employee, or a person claimed as a dependent on the Town officer's or employee's latest individual state income tax return.
SUBORDINATE OF A TOWN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
Another Town officer or employee over whose activities he or she has direction, supervision or control, except those who serve in positions that are in the exempt classification under § 41 of the Civil Service Law of the State of New York or in the unclassified service under Subdivisions (a) through (f) of § 35 of that law.
TOWN
The Town of Goshen but shall not include the Town Court.
TOWN CONSULTANT
Any individual, group or firm which renders ongoing services on behalf of the Town to any Town officer, Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or any other Town agency or commission. "Town consultant" shall not include a consultant specially retained solely for a particular project.
TOWN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
Any officer or employee of the Town, whether paid or unpaid, and includes, without limitation, all members of any office, board, body, advisory board, council, commission, agency, department, district, administration, division, bureau, or committee of the Town. "Town officer or employee" shall not include:
A. 
A judge, justice, officer or employee of the unified court system.
B. 
A volunteer firefighter or civil defense volunteer, except a fire chief or assistant fire chief.
C. 
A member of an advisory board of the Town if, but only if, the advisory board has no authority to implement its recommendations or to act on behalf of the Town or to restrict the authority of the Town to act. No entity established pursuant to the General Municipal Law of the State of New York shall be deemed an advisory board for purposes of this subsection.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, the outside employer or business of a Town officer, employee or consultant shall not appear before the particular agency in which the Town officer, employee or consultant serves or by which he or she is employed.
B. 
Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, the outside employer or business of a Town officer, employee or consultant shall not appear before any other Town agency if the Town officer, employee or consultant has the authority to appoint any officer, employee or member of the agency or to review, approve, audit or authorize any budget, bill, payment or claim of the agency.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the outside employer or business of a Town officer, employee or consultant from:
(1) 
Appearing on its own behalf, or on behalf of the Town, before a Town agency.
(2) 
Seeking or obtaining a ministerial act.
(3) 
Receiving a Town service or benefit, or using a Town facility, which is generally available to the public.
A. 
Officers and employees required to file. Officers and employees holding the following job titles or positions shall be required to file a signed annual disclosure statement:
(1) 
Town Supervisor.
(2) 
Town Councilpersons.
(3) 
Town Clerk.
(4) 
Deputy Town Clerk.
(5) 
Highway Superintendent.
(6) 
Receiver of Taxes.
(7) 
Deputy Receiver of Taxes.
(8) 
Assessor.
(9) 
Planning Board Members.
(10) 
Zoning Board of Appeals Members.
(11) 
Building and Zoning Inspector.
(12) 
Town Engineer.
(13) 
Town Attorney.
(14) 
Assessment Board of Review.
(15) 
Environmental Review Board.
(16) 
Town Board of Ethics.
B. 
Time and place for filing. Annual disclosure statements shall be filed with the Ethics Board:
(1) 
Within 120 days after the effective date of this section;
(2) 
Within 30 days after becoming subject to the requirements of Subsection A of this section; and
(3) 
No later than May 15 of each year thereafter.
C. 
Changes in disclosed information. Within 30 days after a change in the information contained in his or her most recently filed annual disclosure statement, an officer or employee shall file a signed amendment to the statement indicating the change.
D. 
Contents of annual disclosure statement. The annual disclosure statement shall disclose:
(1) 
The location of any real property within the Town, or within one mile of the boundary of the Town, in which the officer or employee, or his or her relative, has a financial interest.
(2) 
With respect to each outside employer or business of the Town officer or employee:
(a) 
Its name (if any);
(b) 
The nature of its business;
(c) 
Whether it is self employment, a sole proprietorship or an entity and, if an entity, what type of entity;
(d) 
The Town officer's or employee's relationship to it, such as owner, partner, officer, director, member, employee or shareholder.
(3) 
With respect to each outside employer or business of the Town officer's or employee's spouse: the information required by Subsection D(2) of this section.
E. 
Good-faith efforts. Failure to disclose the information required by Subsection D of this section with respect to a Town officer's or employee's spouse or other relative shall not constitute a violation of that subsection if the officer or employee has made a good-faith effort to obtain the information and if he or she also sets forth those efforts in his or her disclosure statement.
A. 
Where a person requests the Town or a Town officer or employee to take or refrain from taking any action (other than a ministerial act) that may result in a financial benefit both to the requester and to either any officer or employee of the Town or one of the other persons listed in § 14-1A of this chapter, the requester shall disclose the names of any such persons, to the extent known to the requester at the time of the request.
B. 
If the request is made in writing, the disclosure shall accompany the request. If the request is oral and made at a meeting of a public body, the disclosure shall be set forth in the public record of the body. If the request is oral and not made at a meeting of a public body, the disclosure shall be set forth in a writing filed with the Town Clerk.
C. 
A person shall not be required to file a disclosure statement pursuant to this section if he or she, with respect to the same matter, has filed a disclosure statement complying with requirements of § 14-10 of this chapter.
A. 
Disclosure. Every application, petition or request submitted for a variance, amendment, change of zoning, approval of a plat, exemption from a plat or official map, license or permit, pursuant to the provisions of any ordinance, local law, rule or regulation constituting the zoning and planning regulations of the Town, shall state the information required, to the extent required, by § 809 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
B. 
Violations. Any person who willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, to the extent provided by § 809 of the General Municipal Law.
Any contract or agreement entered into by or with the Town which results in or from a violation of any provision of § 14-1, 14-2 or 14-7 of this chapter shall be void unless ratified by the governing body of the Town. Such ratification shall not affect the imposition of any criminal or civil penalties pursuant to this chapter or any other provision of law.
A. 
Disciplinary action. Any Town officer or employee who engages in any action that violates any provision of this chapter may be warned or reprimanded or suspended or removed from office or employment, or be subject to any other sanction authorized by law or collective bargaining agreement, by the appointing authority or person or body authorized by law to impose such sanctions. A warning, reprimand, suspension, removal or other authorized sanction may be imposed in addition to any other penalty contained in this chapter or in any other provision of law.
B. 
Civil fine. Any Town officer or employee who violates any provision of this chapter may be subject to a civil fine of up to $1,500 for each violation. A civil fine may be imposed in addition to any other penalty contained in any other provision of law or in this chapter, other than a civil forfeiture pursuant to Subsection D of this section. A civil fine may not be imposed for a violation of § 14-5 of this chapter.
C. 
Damages. Any person, whether or not a Town officer or employee, who violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable in damages to the Town for any losses or increased costs incurred by the Town as a result of the violation. Such damages may be imposed in addition to any other penalty contained in any other provision of law or in this chapter, other than a civil forfeiture pursuant to Subsection D of this section.
D. 
Civil forfeiture. Any person, whether or not a Town officer or employee, who intentionally or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter may be subject to a civil forfeiture to the Town of a sum equal to three times the value of any financial benefit he or she received as a result of the conduct that constituted the violation. A civil forfeiture may be imposed in addition to any other penalty contained in any other provision of law or in this chapter, other than a civil fine pursuant to Subsection B or damages pursuant to Subsection C of this section. Civil forfeiture shall not be available for a violation of § 14-5 of this chapter.
E. 
Misdemeanor. Any person, whether or not a Town officer or employee, who intentionally or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, if a Town officer or employee, shall forfeit his or her Town office or employment. This subsection shall not apply to a violation of § 14-5 of this chapter.
A. 
Any person, whether or not a Town officer or employee, who intentionally or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be prohibited from entering into any contract with the Town for a period not to exceed three years. Debarment may not be imposed for a violation of § 14-5 of this chapter.
B. 
No person, whether or not a Town officer or employee, shall enter into a contract in violation of a bar imposed pursuant to Subsection A of this section.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person from receiving a service or benefit, or from using a facility, which is generally available to the public.
D. 
Under this section, a corporation, partnership or other entity shall not be held vicariously liable for the actions of an employee. A corporation, partnership or other entity shall not be debarred because of the actions of an employee unless the employee acted in the execution of company policy or custom. A store, region, division or other unit of an entity shall not be debarred because of the actions of an employee of that unit unless the employee acted at the direction, or with the actual knowledge or approval, of the manager of the unit.