As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any board, commission, district, council or other agency, department or unit of the government of the Town of Warwick.
- TOWN EMPLOYEE
- Any officer or employee of the Town of Warwick, whether paid or unpaid, whether serving in a full-time, part-time or advisory capacity.
Every Town employee of the Town of Warwick shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
Conflict of interest. No Town 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 or which would impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of official duties. Personal, as distinguished from financial, interest includes an interest arising from family relationships or close business or political association.
Representing private interests before Town agencies or courts. No Town employee whose salary is paid in whole or in part by the Town shall appear in behalf of private interests before any agency of the Town. He shall not represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the Town in any litigation to which the Town is a party, nor shall he receive any compensation or retainer that may be contingent upon a specific action by a Town agency. A Town Board member shall not appear in a representative capacity before any administrative agency or board of the Town exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
Contracts with Town. No Town employee shall have any interest in any business entity, transaction or contract with the Town or in the sale of real estate, materials, supplies or services to the Town except as may be permitted by §§ 801 and 802 of the General Municipal Law.
Gifts. No Town employee shall directly or indirectly solicit any gift, or accept or receive any gift having a value of $25 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or could reasonably be expected to influence him in the performance of his official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his part. However, recognizing the prevalent and accepted practice of the giving of gifts during the Christmas season, such gifts are specifically excepted from this chapter when it is clearly understood that the receipt of the gifts will not influence the recipient in the performance of his duty. A full and complete list of such Christmas gifts shall be filed with the Chairman of the Board of Ethics for the private information of said Board prior to January 31 of the following year.
Confidential information. No Town employee shall disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties or use such information to further his personal interest. He shall not disclose, without proper authorization, any confidential information concerning the affairs of the Town of Warwick. Any inquiring person shall be directed to the public records of the Town. Records of all Town departments not stated to be public records shall be considered confidential.
Representation before one's own agency. He shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he is an officer, member or employee or before any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
Use of position. No Town employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or others.
Dealing with business entity in which he has an interest. No Town employee shall engage in any transaction as representative or agent of the Town with any business entity in which he has a direct or indirect financial interest that might reasonably tend to conflict with the proper discharge of his official duties.
Improper influence. A Town employee shall not by his conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence him or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties or that he is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.
Required behavior. Each Town employee shall endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which will not raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust.
Future employment. A Town employee shall not, after termination of service or employment with the municipality, appear before any board, commission or agency of the Town in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he personally participated during the period of his service or employment or which was under his active consideration.
[Amended 6-23-1988 by L.L. No. 1-1988]
Disclosure of interest in legislation. To the extent that he knows thereof, a member of the Town Board and any Town employee, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Town Board on any legislation before the Town Board, shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he has in such legislation.
Investments in conflict with official duties. No Town employee shall invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with his official duties.
Private employment. No Town employee shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his official duties. The following regulations concern the particular office or department stated:
Office of the Town Attorney. The Town Attorney or Deputy, if any, is prohibited from exercising any discretion in any matter of Town interest which shall involve any person who has been a client of his or his firm during one year prior to the time in which such matter is handled by the office of the Town Attorney unless a full and complete disclosure is made by the Town Attorney or the Deputy, and notwithstanding the former relationship, the Town Board shall determine whether the Town Attorney or the Deputy may continue to process the matter. This shall not prevent the assignment of the matter to the Deputy Town Attorney, if any, who has no interest in the matter, or prevent the Town Attorney from handling the matter exclusive of any relationship by reason of which the Deputy Town Attorney may be disqualified. This shall relate only to matters in which the Town Attorney or Deputy Town Attorney exercises independent discretion. It shall not relate to incidental matters which come before various Town departments or the Town Board and in which the Town Attorney or Deputy Town Attorney, if any, exercises no independent discretion.
Office of Building Inspector and Planning Board. Neither the Building Inspector nor any assistant or member of the Planning Board shall engage within the Town in the real estate, insurance, building contracting or building material business during the course of their employment. This shall not prevent the Building Inspector, an assistant or member of the Planning Board who has a real estate license or an insurance license in effect at the time he acquired his position from continuing such license in effect.
Office of Assessor. The Assessor, Assistant Assessor or any employee thereof shall not use the records and information of his department for any private use whatever.
Town Justices. No Town Justice shall hear or act in any case which shall involve any person who has been a client of his or his firm during one year prior to the time said case comes before the court unless after full disclosure the parties and their attorneys, if any, consent by stipulation that said Justice may sit and hear the case.
Interest in appointments. Canvassing of members of the Town Board, directly or indirectly, in order to obtain preferential consideration in connection with any appointment shall disqualify the candidate for appointment except for appointments made by the Town Board. No person shall, either directly or indirectly, pay, render or give any money, service or other valuable thing to any person for or on account of or in connection with any test, appointment, promotion, reduction or removal in which he is concerned.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any such Town employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this chapter may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment in the manner provided by law.