[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pennington 8-7-1995 by Ord. No. 95-12. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to provide for the defense of actions against and the indemnification of municipal officials as permitted by N.J.S.A. 59:10-1 et seq.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Coverage afforded by insurance policies of every kind whether the premiums be paid by the borough, the municipal official or someone on his/her behalf.
- MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL
- Any official, officer or member of the boards, agencies and committees of the borough, elected or appointed; or an employee, whether or not compensated, both full time and part time, who is authorized to perform any act or service. This term includes former, present and future municipal officials.
The borough shall provide for the defense of any action brought against a municipal official on account of any act or omission in the scope of his/her employment, and this obligation shall extend to any cross-actions, counterclaims or cross-complaints against such official.
The provisions of § 20-3 shall not be applicable when the Borough Council determines that:
The act of omission was not within the scope of employment.
The act of failure to act was because of actual fraud and willful misconduct or actual malice.
The action has been brought by the borough itself against the municipal official.
The action is criminal or disciplinary in nature.
The municipal official has failed to cooperate fully with the defense.
The municipal official has failed to deliver to the Borough Clerk, within 10 calendar days after being service with any summons, complaint process, notice, demand or pleading, the original or a copy of the same.
If the Borough Council determines to provide a defense, it shall be done by any one, or combination of, the following:
The borough shall indemnify and save harmless each municipal official from financial loss resulting from any action described above, including claims, losses, expenses, judgments, fines, attorney fees, court costs and expert or technical witness fees, and any amount paid in settlement thereof and actually and reasonably incurred in connection therewith. This agreement to indemnify shall include both exemplary and punitive damages subject to the provisions of § 20-4 hereof.
The amount that the borough is obliged to reimburse the municipal official shall be reduced by any insurance coverage payable to the municipality or to the municipal official and by the net amount (recovery less attorney 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/her.
To the extent N.J.S.A. 40A:14-155 provides broader indemnification to members of the Borough Police Department, that statute shall supersede this chapter.
If the legal proceeding is terminated by an agreement among the parties, then the borough shall not be obligated to reimburse the municipal official unless the borough approves the settlement agreement.
If the municipal official files a counteraction in the legal proceeding, the borough shall not be obligated to reimburse him\her for any attorney fees or court costs attributable to such counteraction.
Any legal action 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.