Ventnor City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ventnor City as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-19-1991 by Ord. No. 9114]

§ 16-1 Title.

The Board established by this article shall be known as the "Ventnor City Ethics Board," and any Code of Ethics established pursuant to this article shall be known as the "Ventnor City Ethics Code."

§ 16-2 Findings.

A. 
Public office and employment are a public trust.
B. 
The vitality and stability of representative democracy depends upon the public's confidence in the integrity of its elected and appointed representatives.
C. 
It is desirous never to imperial the confidence that the public may have in any government officer or employee by allowing the perception of a conflict between the private interests and the public duties of said government officer or employee.
D. 
Governments have a duty both to provide their citizens with standards by which they determine whether public duties are being faithfully performed and to apprise their officers and employees of the behavior which is expected of them while conducting their public duties.
E. 
The State of New Jersey has adopted P.L. 1991, c. 29, known as the "Local Government Ethics Law."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq.
F. 
The City of Ventnor is desirous of establishing a Ventnor City Ethics Board and a Ventnor City Ethics Code which meets the new mandates of the State of New Jersey's Local Government Ethics Law.

§ 16-3 Purpose and authority.

A. 
It is the purpose of this article to provide a method of assuring that standards of ethical conduct and financial disclosure requirements for officers and employees of Ventnor City shall be clear, consistent, uniform in their application and enforceable and to provide those officers or employees with advice and information concerning possible conflicts of interest which might arise in the conduct of their public duties.
B. 
It is the further purpose of this article to implement the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law, P.L. 1991, c. 29.
C. 
this article is enacted under the authority of the Local Government Ethics Law, P.L. 1991, c. 29, and under the further authority granted to the City of Ventnor under the provisions of Titles 40 and 40A of the New Jersey Statutes.

§ 16-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENCY
Any agency, board, governing body, including the chief executive officer, office, commission or other instrumentality within the City of Ventnor, and any independent local authority which perform functions other than of a purely advisory nature, but shall not include a school board.
BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
Any corporation, partnership, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust, sole proprietorship, union or other legal entity.
EMPLOYEE
Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, employed by or serving on any agency, board, governing body, bureau, division, office, commission or other instrumentality within the City of Ventnor which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature, who is not an officer, but shall not mean any employee of a school district.
GOVERNING BODY
The Commissioners, including the Mayor or other body, by whatever name it may be known, having charge of the finances of the City of Ventnor.
INTEREST
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.
MEMBER OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY
The spouse or dependent child of an officer or employee of the City of Ventnor residing in the same household as said officer or employee of said City of Ventnor.
OFFICER
Any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, who is one of the following:
A. 
Elected to any office of any agency, board, governing body, office, commission or other instrumentality within the City of Ventnor and any independent local authority created by or appointed under the authority of the City of Ventnor which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature.
B. 
Serving on any agency, board, governing body, office, commission or other instrumentality within the City of Ventnor and any independent local authority created by or appointed under the authority of the City of Ventnor which performs functions other than of a purely advisory nature and which has the authority to enact ordinances, approve development applications or grant zoning variances.
C. 
A member of a municipal authority.
D. 
Any person who formulates management policies or practices and/or is charged with the responsibility of directing the effectuation of such management policies and practices.
E. 
Any person whose functional responsibilities or knowledge in connection with the issues involved in the collective negotiations process would make his or her membership and any appropriate negotiating unit incompatible with his or her official duties.
F. 
Any employee of a school district or member of a school board is specifically not considered an "officer" for the terms of this article.
OFFICER or EMPLOYEE
An officer or employee of the City of Ventnor.

§ 16-5 Ethical standards.

Officers and employees of the City of Ventnor shall meet the following ethical standards and comply with the following provisions:
A. 
No officer or employee or member of his or her 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 or her duties in the public interest.
B. 
No officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself, herself or others.
C. 
No officer or employee shall act in his or her official capacity in any manner where he or she, a member of his or her immediate family or a business organization in which he or she has an interest has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his or her objectivity or independence of judgment.
D. 
No officer or employee shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his or her independence of judgment in the exercise of his or her official duties.
E. 
No officer or employee, member of his or her immediate family or business organization in which he or she 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 purposes of influencing him or her, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his or her 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 officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the officer in the discharge of his or her official duties.
F. 
No officer or employee shall 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.
G. 
No officer or employee or any business organization in which he or she has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the City of Ventnor in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency in the City of Ventnor. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit an employee from representing another employee where the agency is the City of Ventnor and the representation is within the context of official labor union or similar representational responsibilities.
H. 
No officer shall be deemed in conflict with these provisions if, by reason of his or her participation in the enactment of any ordinance, resolution or other matter required to be voted upon or which is subject to executive approval or veto, no material or monetary gain accrues to him or her 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.
I. 
No elected 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 or her immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefor.
J. 
Nothing shall prohibit any officer or employee or members of his or her immediate family from representing himself, herself or themselves in negotiations or proceedings concerning his, her or their own interests.
K. 
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the public defender in the City of Ventnor from representing any person appearing in the Ventnor Municipal Court, regardless of whether said individual falls within the parameters of the Ventnor City Ethics Code.
L. 
Independent local authorities.
(1) 
No independent local authority shall, if the same does indeed exist within a municipality, for a period of one year next subsequent to the termination of office of a member of said authority:
(a) 
Award any contract which is not publicly bid to a former member of that authority;
(b) 
Allow a former member of that authority to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before that authority; or
(c) 
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.
(2) 
The restrictions contained in this subsection shall also apply to any business organization in which the former authority member holds an interest.

§ 16-6 Financial disclosure statements.

Officers of the City of Ventnor shall annually file a financial disclosure statement. All financial disclosure statements shall include the following information, which shall specify, where applicable, the name and address of each source and the officer's job title:
A. 
Each source of income, earned or unearned, exceeding $2,000 received by the officer or a member of his or her immediate family during the preceding calendar year. Individual client fees, customer receipts or commission on transactions received through a business organization need not be separately reported as sources of income. If a publicly traded security is the source of income, the security need not be reported unless the officer or member of his or her immediate family has an interest in the business organization.
B. 
Each source of fees and honorariums having an aggregate amount exceeding $250 from any single source for personal appearances, speeches or writings received by the officer or a member of his or her immediate family during the preceding calendar year.
C. 
Each source of gifts, reimbursements or prepaid expenses having an aggregate value exceeding $400 from any single source, excluding relatives, received by the officer or member of his or her immediate family during the preceding calendar year.
D. 
The name and address of all business organizations in which the officer or a member of his or her immediate family had an interest during the preceding calendar year.
E. 
The address and brief description of all real property in the state in which the officer or a member of his or her immediate family held an interest during the preceding calendar year.

§ 16-7 Filing of financial disclosure forms.

A. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall prescribe a financial disclosure statement form for filing purposes. If a financial disclosure statement form has been promulgated by the New Jersey Local Finance Board, in accordance with the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law,[1] then the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall use that form. If no such financial disclosure statement form has been promulgated by the New Jersey Local Finance Board, then the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall prepare the forms to be used for compliance pursuant to the Ventnor City Ethics Code. The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall make the forms available to the local officers within their jurisdiction.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq.
B. 
The original financial disclosure statement shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk of Ventnor City. A copy of the statement shall be filed with the Ventnor City Ethics Board and the Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs with the State of New Jersey.
C. 
The original financial disclosure statement to be filed in 1991 shall be filed on or before August 19, 1991. All financial disclosure statements to be filed in subsequent years shall be filed on or before April 30 of each respective year.
D. 
All financial disclosure statements filed shall be public records.

§ 16-8 Ethics Board established.

A. 
There is hereby established the Ventnor City Ethics Board which shall consist of six members who are residents of Ventnor City, at least two of whom shall be members of the public. The members of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall be appointed by the Commissioners of Ventnor City. The members shall be chosen by virtue of their known and consistent reputation for integrity and their knowledge of local government affairs. No more than three members of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall be of the same political party.
B. 
The members of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall annually elect a Chairman from among their membership.
C. 
The members of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall serve for a term of five years, except that of the members initially appointed, two of the public members shall be appointed to serve for a term of five years, one member shall be appointed to serve for a term of four years and the remaining members shall be appointed to serve for a term of three years. Each member shall serve until his or her successor has been appointed and qualified. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the unexpired term.
D. 
Members of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed by the City of Ventnor for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

§ 16-9 Facilities and staff.

A. 
The City of Ventnor shall provide the Ventnor City Ethics Board with offices for the conduct of said Ethics Board's business and the preservation of said Board's records and shall supply equipment and supplies as may be necessary.
B. 
All necessary expenses incurred by the Ventnor City Ethics Board and its members shall be paid, upon certification of the Chairman of said Ethics Board, by the City of Ventnor within the limits of funds appropriated by the City of Ventnor in the City of Ventnor's annual budget or by emergency appropriations for those purposes.
C. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board may appoint such employees, including independent counsel, and clerical staff as are necessary to implement the Ventnor City Ethics Code within the limits of the funds appropriated by the City of Ventnor for those purposes.
D. 
Nothing herein shall prevent the Ventnor City Ethics Board from receiving clerical assistance from the clerical staff of the City of Ventnor.

§ 16-10 Adoption of Code of Ethics.

A. 
Within 90 days after the establishment of the Ventnor City Ethics Board, said Ethics Board shall promulgate by resolution a Code of Ethics to be adhered to by the appropriate officers and employees of the City of Ventnor. Officers and employees serving an independent authority in the City of Ventnor, if any, shall be deemed to be serving the City of Ventnor for the purposes of this article.
B. 
The Code of Ethics promulgated by the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall be either identical to or more restrictive than those provisions set forth in the appropriate section of the Local Government Ethics Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq.
C. 
Within 15 days following the promulgation of the Ventnor City Ethics Code, said Ventnor City Ethics Code and a notice of the date of the public hearing to be held thereon shall be published in the Press and Sunday Press and shall be distributed to the City Clerk for circulation among the affected officers and employees within the City of Ventnor.
D. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall hold a public hearing on the Ventnor City Ethics Code not less than 30 days following its promulgation at which any person wishing to be heard shall be permitted to testify. As a result of said hearing, the Ventnor City Ethics Board may amend or supplement the Ventnor City Ethics Code as it deems necessary.
E. 
If the Ventnor City Ethics Code is not identical to the provisions set forth in the appropriate sections of the Local Government Ethics Law, the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall thereafter submit said Ventnor City Ethics Code to the Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey for approval.
F. 
If the Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs fails to act within 60 days of the submission of the Ventnor City Ethics Code by the Ventnor City Ethics Board, said Ventnor City Ethics Code shall be deemed approved. If the Ventnor City Ethics Board elects to submit the Ventnor City Ethics Code to the Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, said Ventnor City Ethics Code shall take effect 60 days after the approval by said Local Finance Board.
G. 
If the Ventnor City Ethics Code is identical to the provisions set forth in the pertinent section of the Local Government Ethics Law, said Ethics Code shall take effect 10 days after the public hearing thereon.
H. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall forward a copy of the Ventnor City Ethics Code to the City Clerk and shall make copies of the Ventnor City Ethics Code available to all individuals who fall within the parameters of said code.

§ 16-11 Powers of Ethics Board.

A. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall have the following powers:
(1) 
To initiate, receive, hear and review complaints and hold hearings with regard to possible violations of the Ventnor City Ethics Code or financial disclosure requirements contained therein by any individual falling within the parameters of the Ventnor City Ethics Code.
(2) 
To issue subpoenas for the production of documents and the attendance of witnesses with respect to its investigation of any complaint or to the holding of a hearing.
(3) 
To forward to the County Prosecutor or the Attorney General or other governmental body any information concerning violations of the Ventnor City Ethics Code or the financial disclosure requirements contained therein by appropriate individuals who fall within the parameters of the Ethics Code which may become the subject of criminal prosecution or which may warrant the institution of other legal proceedings by the Attorney General.
(4) 
To render advisory opinions to individuals who fall within the parameters of the Ventnor City Ethics Code as to whether a given set of facts and circumstances would constitute a violation of any provisions of the Ventnor City Ethics Code or the financial disclosure requirements contained therein.
(5) 
To enforce the provisions of the Ventnor City Ethics Code and financial disclosure requirements contained therein with regard to individuals falling within the parameters of said Ethics Code and to impose penalties for the violation thereof as are authorized by this article.
(6) 
To adopt rules and regulations and to do other things as are necessary to implement the purposes of this article.
B. 
An individual who falls within the parameters of the Ventnor City Ethics Code may request and obtain from the Ventnor City Ethics Board an advisory opinion as to whether any proposed activity or conduct would in the Board's opinion constitute a violation of the Ventnor City Ethics Code or the financial disclosure requirements contained therein.
C. 
Advisory opinions of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall not be made public, except when the Ethics Board by the vote of 2/3 of all of its members directs that any said opinion be made public.
D. 
Public advisory opinions shall not disclose the name of the individual requesting the same unless the Ventnor City Ethics Board, in directing that that opinion be made public, so determines.
E. 
Hearing rights.
(1) 
In the event that a hearing is to be held pursuant to the Ventnor City Ethics Code, any person charged with a violation of said Ethics Code or the financial disclosure requirements contained therein shall be given the following:
(a) 
The right to select and be represented by legal counsel of said individual's choosing and at said individual's expense.
(b) 
Reasonable notice of any such hearing.
(c) 
The right of examination and cross-examination of witnesses.
(2) 
The Chairman of the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall advise said individual of the information in Subsection E(1)(a) and (c) above prior to commencement of any such hearing.
F. 
Hearings. All hearings required pursuant to this article shall be conducted in conformity with the rules and procedures, insofar as they may be applicable, provided for hearings by a state agency in contested cases under the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.

§ 16-12 Complaints.

A. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board, upon receipt of a signed written complaint by any person alleging that the conduct of any officer or employee serving the City of Ventnor is in conflict with the Ventnor City Ethics Code or the financial disclosure requirements contained therein, shall acknowledge receipt of said complaint within 30 days of the receipt thereof and initiate an investigation concerning the facts and circumstances set forth in said complaint.
B. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall make a determination as to whether the complaint is within its jurisdiction, frivolous or without any reasonable factual basis.
C. 
If the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall conclude that the complaint is outside its jurisdiction, frivolous or without factual basis, it shall reduce that conclusion to writing and shall transmit a copy thereof to the complainant and to the individual against whom the complaint was filed.
D. 
If the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall conclude that the complaint is within its jurisdiction and is not frivolous and has a factual basis, the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall notify the individual against whom the complaint was filed of the nature of the complaint and the facts and circumstances set forth therein.
E. 
Said individual shall have the opportunity to present the Ventnor City Ethics Board with any statement or information concerning the complaint which he or she wishes.
F. 
Thereafter, if the Ventnor City Ethics Board determines that a reasonable doubt exists as to whether the individual is in conflict with the Ventnor City Ethics Code or the financial disclosure requirements contained therein, the Ventnor City Ethics Board shall conduct a hearing in the manner prescribed by this article concerning the possible violation and any other facts and circumstances which may have come to the Ventnor City Ethics Board's attention with respect to the conduct of said individual.
G. 
The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall render a decision as to whether the conduct of said individual is in conflict with the Ventnor City Ethics Code or any financial disclosure requirements contained therein. This decision shall be made by no less than 2/3 of all members of the Ventnor City Ethics Board.
H. 
If the Ventnor City Ethics Board determines that the individual is in conflict with the Ventnor City Ethics Code or any financial disclosure requirements contained therein, the Board may impose any penalties which it believes appropriate within the limitations of this article.
I. 
A final decision of the Ventnor City Ethics Board may be appealed to the local finance board within 30 days of the rendering of said decision.
J. 
All statements, complaints, requests or other written materials filed pursuant to this article and any rulings, opinions, judgments, transcripts or other official papers prepared pursuant to this article shall be preserved for a period of at least five years from the date of filing and preparation of the same.

§ 16-13 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
An appointed officer or employee found guilty by the Ventnor City Ethics Board of a violation of any provisions of the Ventnor City Ethics Code shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 et seq.[1] The Ventnor City Ethics Board shall report its findings to the office or agency having the power of removal or discipline of the appointed officer or employee and may recommend that further disciplinary action be taken.
[1]
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 to 2A:58-9 was repealed by P.L. 1999, c. 274. See now N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.
B. 
An elected officer or employee of the City of Ventnor found guilty by the Ventnor City Ethics Board of the violation of any provisions of the Ventnor City Ethics Code shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 et seq.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 to 2A:58-9 was repealed by P.L. 1999, c. 274. See now N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.
C. 
The finding of the Ventnor City Ethics Board that an appointed officer or employee is guilty of the violation of the provisions of the Ventnor City Ethics Code shall be sufficient cause for his or her removal, suspension, demotion or other disciplinary action by the officer or agency having the power of removal or discipline. When a person who is in the career service is charged with violating the provisions of the Ventnor City Ethics Code, the procedure leading to removal, suspension, demotion or other disciplinary action shall be governed by any applicable procedures of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and the rules promulgated pursuant thereto.
[Adopted 2-7-2008 by L.L. No. 2008-01]

§ 16-14 Awarding public contracts to certain contributors prohibited.

A. 
To the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law, the City of Ventnor City and any of its purchasing agents or departments or instrumentalities of the municipality thereof, as the case may be, shall not enter into any agreement or otherwise contract to procure services from any professional business entity, including those awarded pursuant to any process including a fair and open process, if such professional business entity has solicited or made any contribution of money, or pledge of a contribution, including in-kind contributions as defined in N.J.A.C. 19:25-24.1 to a campaign committee of any City of Ventnor City municipal candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract; or to any City of Ventnor City or Atlantic County party committee; or to any political action committee (PAC) that regularly engages in the support of municipal or county elections and/or municipal of county parties, in excess of the thresholds specified in Subsection D, within one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the contract or agreement. Nothing herein shall be construed to restrict volunteerism or membership of a political party or club.
B. 
No professional business entity or vendor who submits a proposal for, enters into negotiations for, or agrees to any contract or agreement (including nonemergency contracts awarded by N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq. or the "fair and open process" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20 et seq. with the municipality or any departments thereof, for the rendition of professional services, or goods and services, as the case may be, shall knowingly solicit or make any contribution of money, pledge of contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any City of Ventnor City candidate or holder of public office having ultimate responsibility for the award of a contract; or to any City of Ventnor City or Atlantic County party committee; or to any PAC that regularly engages in the support of municipal or county elections and/or municipal or county parties, between the time of first communication between that professional business entity or vendor and the municipality regarding a specific professional services agreement or goods and services agreement, as the case may be, and the later of the termination of negotiations or rejection of any proposal, or the completion of the contract or agreement.
C. 
For purposes of this article, a "professional business entity" and a "vendor" seeking a public contract mean an individual, including the individual's spouse, if any, and any child living at home; person; firm; corporation; professional corporation; partnership; organization; or association. The definition of "business entity" and "vendor" includes all principals who own 10% or more of the equity in the corporation or business trust, partners, and officers (in the aggregate) employed by the entity or vendor, as well as any subsidiaries directly controlled by the business entity or vendor.
D. 
Any individual meeting the definition of "professional business entity" or "vendor" under this section may annually contribute a maximum of $300 each for any purpose to any candidate for Mayor or governing body, or $300 to a local municipal party or $500 to an Atlantic County party committee or to a PAC referenced in this article, without violating Subsection A of this section. However, any group of individuals meeting the definition of "professional business entity" or "vendor" under this section, including such principals, partners, and officers of the entity or vendor in the aggregate, may not annually contribute for any purpose in excess of $2,500 to all City of Ventnor City candidates and officeholders with ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, and all City of Ventnor City or Atlantic County political parties and PACs referenced in this article combined, without violating Subsection A of this section.
E. 
For purposes of this article, the office that is considered to have ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract shall be:
(1) 
The City of Ventnor City Mayor or governing body, if the contract requires approval or appropriation from the Mayor or governing body.
(2) 
The Mayor of the City of Ventnor City, if the contract requires approval of the Mayor, or if a public officer who is responsible for the award of a contract is appointed by the Mayor.

§ 16-15 Contributions made prior to effective date.

No contribution of money or any other thing of value, including in-kind contributions, made by a professional business entity or vendor to any City of Ventnor City candidate for Mayor or governing body, or City of Ventnor City or Atlantic County party committee or PAC referenced in this article shall be deemed a violation of this article, nor shall an agreement for property, goods, or services, of any kind whatsoever, be disqualified thereby, if that contribution was made by the professional business entity or vendor prior to the effective date of this article.

§ 16-16 Contribution statement by professional business entity and vendor.

A. 
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure services with any professional business entity and any contract or agreement to procure goods and services from a vendor, the City of Ventnor City or its purchasing agents and departments, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the professional business entity or vendor, made under penalty of perjury, that the bidder or offeror has not made a contribution in violation of § 16-14 of this article.
B. 
The professional business entity and vendor shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur during the negotiation, proposal process or duration of a contract. The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the City of Ventnor City, or prior to the provision of services or goods, as the case may be, and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.

§ 16-17 Return of excess contributions.

A professional business entity, vendor, or municipal candidate or officeholder, or a City of Ventnor City or Atlantic County party committee or PAC referenced in this article, may cure a violation of § 16-14 of this article if, within 30 days after the date on which the applicable ELEC[1] report is published, the professional business entity or vendor notifies the municipality in writing and seeks and receives reimbursement of the contribution from the relevant municipal candidate or officeholder, City of Ventnor City or Atlantic County political party or PAC referenced in this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Regulations of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, N.J.A.C.  19:25-1.1 et seq.

§ 16-18 Exemptions.

The contribution limitations prior to entering into a contract in § 16-14A do not apply to contracts which are required by law to be awarded to the lowest bidder.

§ 16-19 Violations and penalties.

A. 
It shall be a breach of the terms of the City of Ventnor City professional service agreement or agreement for goods or services for a business entity to:
(1) 
Make or solicit a contribution in violation of this article;
(2) 
Knowingly conceal or misrepresent a contribution given or received;
(3) 
Make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution;
(4) 
Make or solicit any contribution on the condition or with the agreement that it will be contributed to a campaign committee of any candidate or holder of the public office of the City of Ventnor City;
(5) 
Engage or employ a lobbyist or consultant with the intent or understanding that such lobbyist or consultant would make or solicit any contribution which, if made or solicited by the business entity itself, would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article;
(6) 
Fund contributions made by third parties, including consultants, attorneys, family members, and employees;
(7) 
Engage in any exchange of contributions to circumvent the intent of this article; or
(8) 
Directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, do any act which would subject that entity to the restrictions of this article.
B. 
Furthermore, any professional business entity who violates Subsection A(2) through (8) shall be disqualified from eligibility for future City of Ventnor City contracts for a period of four calendar years from the date of the violation.