[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Logan 11-25-2003 by Ord. No. 19-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Administration and government — See Ch. 4.
Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following term shall have the meaning indicated:
- MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL
- A present or former municipal employee, appointee, official, elected official or member of the various boards, agencies and commissions of the Township of Logan, whether full-time or part-time, appointed, elected or hired.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 59:10-1 et seq. and subject to the provisions of this chapter, the Township of Logan is authorized to provide for the defense of actions brought against its municipal officials and shall indemnify such officials to the extent permissible by law as hereinafter set forth and shall save harmless and protect such persons from financial loss resulting from litigation. Such indemnification shall arise out of any action or legal proceeding of a noncriminal nature directly related to or incidental to the performance of the duties of the position or office held by such municipal official. The Township of Logan may indemnify an employee for exemplary or punitive damages resulting from the employee's civil violation of state or federal law if, in the opinion of the Council of the Township of Logan, the acts committed by the employee upon which damages are based did not constitute actual fraud, actual malice, willful misconduct or an intentional wrong.
The municipal official shall not be entitled to indemnification or reimbursement pursuant to this chapter unless within 10 calendar days of the time such official is served with any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading the official delivers the original or a copy thereof to the Township Attorney. The municipal official shall be obliged to cooperate with the Township in the conduct of the official's defense. Whenever competent and disinterested legal counsel is available to the Township through any insurance coverage, the municipal official shall be obliged to be represented by such counsel. If the Township decides to use the Township Attorney or the attorney for any board or committee of the Township to defend that action, the municipal official shall be obliged to be represented by that attorney unless there is a conflict of interest. The refusal of the municipal official to cooperate with the Township shall terminate the Township's obligation to reimburse the municipal official.
A resolution shall be adopted appointing counsel for the defense and determining counsel fees. The hourly rate shall not exceed the then rate paid to the Township Attorney without a written resolution of the Council.
Nothing in this section shall preclude the Township and the Township Attorney from demanding and reviewing periodically any costs and attorneys fees in connection with the defense of the municipal official. In the event a dispute over attorneys fees arises, the Township reserves the right to submit the dispute to the Fee Arbitration Committee of the district or pursue any other course of legal action.
The Township shall not be obligated to provide reimbursement in the following instances:
Where the act or omission was not within the scope of employment or authority;
Where the act or omission complained of was because of actual fraud, willful misconduct or actual malice;
Where the legal proceeding is instigated or brought by the Township of Logan against the municipal official;
Where the legal proceeding involves a question concerning the election laws;
Where the action is brought against the Township by the municipal official.
If any such legal proceeding shall be dismissed or finally determined in favor of the municipal official or employee, the official or employee shall be reimbursed for the expense of the defense, provided that:
The amount the Township is obliged to reimburse the municipal official shall be reduced by any insurance coverage payable to the municipal official by the net amount (that is, any recovery less attorneys' fees, disbursements and court costs) of any money received by the municipal official in any counteraction against the person or persons bringing the action against him.
If the legal proceeding is terminated by an agreement among or between the parties, then the Township shall not be obligated to reimburse the municipal official unless the Township approves the settlement agreement.
If the municipal official files a counteraction in the legal proceedings, the Township shall not be obligated to reimburse for any attorney fees or court costs attributable to such counteraction.
The obligation of the Township to reimburse a municipal official for expenses shall arise upon final determination of the legal proceedings. In its discretion, the Township may reimburse a municipal official for a portion of expenses incurred prior to a final decision.
To the extent that N.J.S.A. 40A:14-l55 provides broad indemnification to members of the Township of Logan Police Department, that statute shall supersede this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect 20 days after final passage and publication according to law. Any legal proceeding which may be covered by this chapter which has not been reduced to a final judgment as of the date of passage shall be covered by the terms of this chapter.