[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown as Sec. 2-8 (Ord. No. 82-2) of the 1977 Revised General Ordinances; amended in its entirety 7-14-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-12. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Except as hereinafter provided, the Township of Blairstown, hereinafter known as the "Township," shall, upon the request of any present or former official, employee or appointee of the Township, provide for indemnification and legal defense of any civil action brought against said person or persons arising from an act or omission falling within the scope of their public duties.
The terms of this chapter and the definition of "official," "employee" and "appointee" are to be construed liberally in order to effectuate the purposes of this chapter except that these terms shall not mean any person who is not a natural person; any person while providing goods or services of any kind under any contract with the Township, except an employment contract; any person while providing legal or engineering services for compensation, unless said person is a full-time employee of the Township; and any person who as a condition of his or her appointment or contract, is required to indemnify and defend the Township and/or secure insurance.
The Township shall provide for defense of and indemnify any present or former official, employee or appointee of the Township who becomes a defendant in a civil action if the person or persons involved acted or failed to act in a matter in which the Township has or had an interest; acted or failed to act in the discharge of a duty imposed or authorized by law; and acted or failed to take action in good faith. For purposes of this chapter, the duty and authority of the Township to defend and indemnify shall extend to a cross-claim or counterclaim against said person.
The Township shall not indemnify any person against the payment of punitive damages, penalties, or fines, but may provide for the legal defense of such claims in accord with the standards set forth herein. The Township may refuse to provide for the defense and indemnification of any civil action referred to herein if the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown determines that the act or omission did not occur within the scope of a duty authorized or imposed by law; the act or failure to act was the result of actual fraud, willful misconduct or actual malice of the person requesting defense and indemnification; or the defense of the action or proceeding by the Township would create a conflict of interest between the Township and the person or persons involved.
In any other action or proceeding, including criminal proceedings, the Township may provide for the defense of a present or former official, employee or appointee if the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown concludes that such representation is in the best interest of the Township and that the person to be defended acted or failed to act in accord with the standards set forth in this chapter.
Whenever the Township provides for the defense of any action set forth herein and as a condition of such defense, the Township may assume exclusive control over the representation of such persons defended and such person shall cooperate fully with the Township.
The Township may provide for the defense required pursuant to this chapter by authorizing its attorney to act in behalf of the person being defended or by employing other counsel for this purpose or by asserting the right of the Township under any appropriate insurance policy that requires the insurer to provide defense.