City of Absecon, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 31-1 Definitions.

[1997 Code § 31-1]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OFFICIAL or EMPLOYEE
Includes:
A. 
Mayor and Councilmembers.
B. 
City Clerk, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, City Attorney, City Engineer, Auditor and the assistant or assistants of any of them.
C. 
Any other elected or appointed officer, official or employee of any board, commission or agency and advisory board, whether paid or unpaid, created by the Mayor or the Governing Body of the City of Absecon City, except members of the Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department of the City of Absecon City.

§ 31-2 Conflicts of interest.

[1997 Code § 31-2]
No official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or shall have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties in the public interest or would tend to impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties.

§ 31-3 Incompatible employment.

[1997 Code § 31-3]
A. 
No official or employee shall engage in or accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties or would tend to impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties.
B. 
No official or employee shall solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept employment with any person, firm or corporation with which he is engaged in behalf of the City in the transaction of business or which is or may be affected by his official action.

§ 31-4 Confidential information.

[1997 Code § 31-4]
No official or employee shall, without proper legal authorization, disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the City, nor shall be use such information to advance the financial or other private interest of himself or others. The City Council of the City shall pass a resolution as shall, from time to time, be necessary, determining what information shall be deemed confidential for the purpose of this chapter.

§ 31-5 Gifts and gratuities.

[1997 Code § 31-5]
No official or employee shall accept any gift or gratuity, whether in the form of service, loan or promise or in any other form, from any person, firm or corporation, the acceptance of which may tend to influence him in the discharge of his official duties in behalf of the City of Absecon City.

§ 31-6 Representing private interests.

[1997 Code § 31-6]
No official or employee shall represent private interest before the City Council or before any board, commission or agency of the City. He shall not represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interests of the City in any litigation to which the City is a party.

§ 31-7 Financial or personal interest.

[1997 Code § 31-7]
Any official or employee who has a financial interest in any transaction or contract with the City or in the sale or purchase of real estate, materials, supplies or services to or from the City shall make known to the Mayor and City Council, in writing, such interest in any matter on which he may be called to act in his official capacity. He shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in the transaction or the making of such contract, sale or purchase.

§ 31-8 Legislative interest.

[1997 Code § 31-8]
A. 
No Councilmember or member of any City committee or of any agency thereof shall vote for the adoption or defeat of any legislation or for the payment or nonpayment of any indebtedness owing or allegedly owing by the City in which he has any financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, nor shall any official or employee recommend or lobby for the adoption or defeat of any legislation or for the institution or defense of any legal or quasi-legal action whatsoever in which he has or may have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect.
B. 
Any official or employee who has or may have such interest in such legislation, indebtedness or action and who participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the City Council or agency with respect thereto shall disclose on the records of the City Council or agency the nature and extent of such interest.

§ 31-9 Abuse of official position.

[1997 Code § 31-9]
No official or employee shall use his official position to obtain a personal discount or any preferential or favored treatment or any rights, benefits, advantages or privileges for himself or for any other person.

§ 31-10 Violation of standards.

[1997 Code § 31-10]
A. 
In the event that any official or employee of the City does not comply with the standards set forth in this chapter, a charge of the violation of this chapter may be instituted by the City Council or any individual when he has knowledge or information indicating that a violation exists. Such charge or charges shall be in writing, under oath and shall be signed by the person charging a violation thereof, as the case may be, and shall contain a clear and concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute such violation. Such charge or charges shall be filed with the City Clerk on a form prescribed by the City Clerk. The City Council shall promptly set a date for formal hearing of the charges and shall serve a copy of the charges on the accused and shall advise him, in writing, of the date and place of such hearing at least 10 days prior thereto. At such hearing, charges shall be presented and evidence in support thereof shall be received, and the accused shall be offered an opportunity, either personally or by counsel, to cross-examine the witnesses to be heard and to present evidence on his own behalf.
B. 
As soon as practicable after conclusion of said hearing, but not later than 30 days, the City Council shall render a written decision on the charges and shall mail a copy thereof to the accused and file a copy with the City Clerk.
C. 
In the event that the accused shall be the Mayor or a member of the City Council, said accused shall not take any part in the deliberations of the City Council with respect to the hearing.

§ 31-11 Disclosure.

[1997 Code § 31-11]
In the event that any official or employee discloses, in writing, to the City Council any possible involvement by that individual with regard to a possible violation of this chapter prior to the time that said individual engages in the action, then no charges shall be brought against the individual, provided that the individual does not vote for, participate in, lobby for or attempt to influence any City board, agency, official and/or employee with whom or which said individual might have any possible involvement.

§ 31-12 Immunity.

[1997 Code § 31-12]
Any person filing charges pursuant to Section 31-10 of this chapter shall not be exempt from the libel and slander laws of the State of New Jersey by reason of his filing thereof, nor shall any of the charges filed by an individual pursuant to Section 31-10 be considered as privileged under the libel and slander laws of the State of New Jersey.

§ 31-13 Approval of action by authority.

[1997 Code § 31-13]
In the event that any action complained of has been approved by or has been taken pursuant to a state statute or local ordinance, or if said action has been approved by the courts of the State of New Jersey, then no charges of possible violation of this chapter shall be brought against any officer or employee of the City.

§ 31-14 Violations and penalties.

[1997 Code § 31-14]
Upon a final finding, in accordance with the procedures prescribed in Section 31-10 of this chapter, of a violation of any of the provisions, the Mayor and City Council may suspend, demote or dismiss such official or employee in accordance with applicable statutory authority of the State of New Jersey.

§ 31-15 Employment conditional on compliance.

[1997 Code § 31-15]
Compliance with this chapter shall be deemed a condition of employment or continued employment for all City employees and appointed officials.

§ 31-16 Professional appointments.

[1997 Code § 31-16; Ord. No. 15-97]
The City Council, all Municipal Boards such as the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and any other Board, Commission or Agency and Advisory Board shall follow the following procedures regarding any anticipated change in a professional appointment such as attorney, engineer, auditor, planner or any other professional:
A. 
Interviews of applicants shall be conducted by the City Council, Board, Commission or Agency and Advisory Board or a Committee designated by the President or Chairman of the Board. The number of interviews which shall be conducted will rest solely in the discretion of the Municipal Council or Board, Commission or Agency and Advisory Board.
B. 
At all times, professional appointments shall continue to remain an exception to the competitive bidding process pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.