[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger 7-14-1980 by L.L. No. 4-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Officers and employees — See Ch. 35.
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- An office, position, administration, department, division, bureau, board, community board, commission, institution or agency of government, the expenses of which are paid in whole or in part from the town general funds.
- The Comptroller of the town.
- Any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of any agency, whether or not compensated, or a volunteer expressly authorized to participate in a town-sponsored volunteer program, but shall not include an independent contractor. The term "employee" shall include a former employee, his estate or his judicially appointed personal representative.
- The Town of Wappinger.
The town shall save harmless and indemnify all officers and employees of the town from financial loss arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act by such officer or employee, provided that the Town Board finds that such officer or employee, at the time damages were sustained, was acting in the discharge of his duties and within the scope of his employment and that such damages did not result from the willful and wrongful act or gross negligence of such officer or employee.
At the request of the employee and upon compliance by the employee with the provisions of § 14-4 of this chapter, the town shall provide for the defense of an employee of any agency in any civil action or proceeding in any state or federal court, including actions under §§ 1981 through 1988 of Title 42 of the United States Code or Article of the Civil Rights Law of the State of New York arising out of any alleged act or omission which the Town Board finds occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment and in the discharge of his duties and was not in violation of any rule or regulation of his agency at the time the alleged act or omission occurred. This duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where such civil action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the town or state or an agency of either.
The town shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employees in any state or federal court or in the amount of any settlement of a claim approved by the Town Board, provided that the Town Board finds that the act or omission from which such judgment or settlement arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment and in the discharge of his duties and was not in violation of any rule or regulation of his agency at the time the alleged damages were sustained. The duty to indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this section shall not arise where the injury or damage resulted from intentional wrongdoing or recklessness on the part of the employee.
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless prescribed by this chapter shall also be conditioned upon:
Delivery to the Town Attorney and Town Board by the employee of the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within five days after he is served with such document; and
The full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in defense of any action or proceeding against the town based upon the same act or omission, and in the prosecution of any appeal. Such delivery shall be deemed a request by the employee that the town provide for his defense pursuant to this section. In the event that the town shall assume an employee's defense and thereafter the employee fails to or refuses to cooperate in the formation or presentation of his defense, the court shall permit the town to withdraw his representation 10 days after giving written notice to the employee of his intention to discontinue such representation.
In the event that the act or omission upon which the court proceeding against the employee is based was or is also the basis of a disciplinary proceeding by the employee's agency against the employee, representation by the corporation counsel and indemnification by the town may be withheld:
Every action or proceeding instituted hereunder, including an action brought to enforce a provision of §§ 1981 through 1988 of Title 42 of the United States Code, shall be commenced pursuant to the provisions of § 50-i of the General Municipal Law within one year and 90 days. No action or proceeding instituted hereunder, other than one instituted pursuant to §§ 1981 through 1988 of Title 42 of the United States Code, shall be prosecuted or maintained against the town or any agency or an employee unless notice of claim shall have been made and served upon the town in compliance with § 50-e of the General Municipal Law within 90 days after the claim arises.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending upon the effective date thereof or thereafter instituted, except that the provisions of § 14-6 of this chapter shall apply only to actions and proceedings instituted on or after the effective date of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed in any way to impair, alter, limit, modify or abrogate or restrict any immunity available to or conferred upon any unit, entity, officer or employee of the town or any agency or any other level of government or any right to defense and/or indemnification provided for any governmental officer or employee by, in accordance with or by reason of any other provision of state, federal or local law or common law.
The benefits of this chapter shall inure only to employees of the town and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party.