[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Caldwell 5-28-1991 by Ord. No. 907-91. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Public office and employment are a public trust.
The vitality and stability of representative democracy depend upon the public's confidence in the integrity of its elected and appointed representatives.
Whenever the public perceives a conflict of interest between the private interests and the public duties of a government officer or employee, that confidence is imperiled.
Local government has the duty both to provide citizens with standards by which they may determine whether public duties are being faithfully performed and to apprise its officers and employees of the behavior which is expected of them while conducting their public duties.
It is the purpose of this chapter to provide a method of assuring that standards of ethical conduct for borough officers and employees shall be clear, consistent and uniform in their application and to provide borough officers and employees with advice and information concerning possible conflicts of interest which might arise in the conduct of their public duties.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
- The Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.
- BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
- Any corporation, partnership, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust, sole proprietorship, union or other legal entity.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The Borough Council of the Borough of Caldwell.
- The ownership or control of more than 10% of the profits, assets or stock of a business organization, but shall not include the control of assets in a nonprofit entity or labor union.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY
- Any agency, board or governing body, including the chief executive officer, bureau, division, office, commission or other instrumentality within the borough, and any independent local authority, including any entity created by the borough, which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature, but shall not include a school board.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE
- Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, employed by or serving on a local government agency, who is not a local government officer, but shall not mean any employee of a school district.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICER
- Any person whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time: elected to any office of a local government agency, including the Mayor and members of the governing body; serving on a local government agency which has the authority to enact ordinances, approve development applications or grant zoning variances; who is a member of an independent municipal authority; or who is a managerial executive or confidential employee of a local government agency, as defined in Section 3 of the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, P.L. 1941, c.100 (N.J.S.A. 34:13A-3), but shall not mean any employee of a school district or member of a school board.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
- A local government officer or a local government employee.
- MEMBER OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- The spouse or dependent child of a local government officer or employee residing in the same household.
Local government officers and employees shall comply with the following provisions:
No local government officer or employee or member of his immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction or professional activity which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.
Independent local authority.
No independent local authority shall, for a period of one year next subsequent to the termination of office of a member of that authority:
Award any contract which is not publicly bid to a former member of that authority:
Allow a former member of that authority to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before that authority; or
Employ for compensation, except pursuant to open competitive examination in accordance with Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, any former member of that authority.
The restrictions contained in this subsection shall also apply to any business organization in which the former authority member holds an interest.
No local government officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others;
No local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family or a business organization in which he has an interest has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment;
No local government officer or employee shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties;
No local government officer or employee, member of his immediate family or business organization in which he has an interest shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future employment or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing him, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his official duties. This provision shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office, if the local government officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the local government officer in the discharge of his official duties;
No local government officer or employee shall:
[Amended 3-5-2013 by Ord. No. 1272-13]
Use, or allow to be used, his or her public office or employment or any information, not generally available to the members of the public, which he or she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his or her office or employment, for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself or herself, any member of his or her immediate family or any business organization with which he or she is associated;
Use Borough real property and/or personal property for private or political use;
No local government officer or employee or business organization in which he has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the local government in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency in the borough. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit one local government employee from representing another local employee where the local government agency is the employer and the representation is within the context of official labor union or similar representational responsibilities;
No local government officer shall be deemed in conflict with these provisions if, by reason of his participation in the enactment of any ordinance, resolution or other matter required to be voted upon which is subject to executive approval or veto, no material or monetary gain accrues to him as a member of any business, profession, occupation or group to any greater extent than any gain could reasonably be expected to accrue to any other member of such business, profession, occupation or group;
No elected local government officer shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information on behalf of a constituent if no fee, reward or other thing of value is promised to, given to or accepted by the officer or a member of his immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefor; and
Nothing shall prohibit any local government officer or employee, or members of his immediate family, from representing himself or themselves in negotiations or proceedings concerning his or their own interests.
A local government officer or employee may request and obtain from the Local Finance Board an advisory opinion as to whether any proposed activity or conduct would in its opinion constitute a violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Any person may file a signed written complaint with the Local Finance Board alleging that the conduct of any local government officer or employee is in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.