[§ 14, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 13, L. 1915; c. 495, L. 1918; as part repealed by L.L. No. 4-1925; c. 594, L. 1947; L.L. No. 1-1967; § 7, c. 125, L. 1970; § 2, c. 558, L. 1973; L.L. No. 8-1976; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 2, c. 548, L. 1985; § 2, L.L. No. 3-1990]
The electors of the City shall elect the Mayor, five Council-members-at-large, the Commissioners of Schools and the Judges of the City Court. The electors of each City district shall elect one District Councilmember.
Editor's Note: The Board of Education is governed by the provisions of Article 52, §§ 2552 and 2553 of the State Education Law. Said sections were amended by Chapter 141 of the Laws of 1971, Section 1, to increase the membership of the School Commission from five to seven members.
[§ 22, c. 755, L. 1907, as added by c. 594, L. 1947; § 7, c. 125, L. 1970; § 1, c. 558, L. 1973; L.L. No. 13-1978; § 1, c. 548, L. 1985; repealed by L.L. No. 3-1990]
[§ 120, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 1-1932; L.L. No. 18-1932; L.L. No. 4-1938; L.L. No. 11-1938; L.L. No. 1-1947; L.L. No. 2-1954; L.L. No. 6-1957; L.L. No. 12-1957; L.L. No. 5-1958; L.L. No. 6-1962; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1968; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1970; L.L. No. 3-1974; L.L. No. 13-1978; § 6, L.L. No. 2-1980; § 2, L.L. No. 2-1981; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1985; § 3, L.L. No. 5-1987; § 1, L.L. No. 6-1987; § 1, L.L. No. 15-1993; § 2, L.L. No. 4-2000; § 1, L.L. No. 4-2006; § 2, L.L. No. 10-2007; § 2, L.L. No. 15-2007; § 2, L.L. No. 4-2009; § 2, L.L. No. 3-2012]
The administrative departments of the City shall be a Department of Finance, a Police Department, a Fire Department, an Emergency Communications Department, an Information Technology Department, a Department of Human Resource Management, an Office of Management and Budget, a Department of Law, a Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, a Department of Environmental Services and a Department of Recreation and Youth Services. Each department head shall be appointed by the Mayor, shall at all times be subject to the Mayor and shall obey all orders from the Mayor and shall hold office during the Mayor's pleasure. All such department head appointments made by the Mayor shall be subject to confirmation by the Council; appointments by the Mayor of administrative bureau heads and other subordinates within the Office of the Mayor shall be without confirmation by the Council.
[§ 25-A, c. 755, L. 1907, as added by L.L. No. 2-1955; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984]
Notwithstanding any inconsistent or contrary provisions of Chapter 755 of the Laws of 1907, as last amended, or any other provision of law, all administrative offices of the City of Rochester shall remain closed on Saturday; provided, however, that all such administrative offices shall be kept open for the transaction of business from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Notwithstanding the above provisions, the administrative offices shall be kept open at such other times as the Mayor deems necessary in order to conduct the City's business.
Whenever the last day on which any paper shall be filed or act done or performed expires on any Saturday, the time therefor is hereby extended to and including the next business day.
[§ 135, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 10-1932; L.L. No. 6-1956; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984]
All department heads may, subject to the approval of the Mayor, appoint such division and bureau heads as may be prescribed by law. They may also appoint, subject to the approval of the Mayor, such subordinates and employees of their respective departments or any division or bureau thereof as the Mayor may prescribe. Each department head may also appoint a deputy and a secretary.
[§ 136, L.L. No. 4-1925, as added by L.L. No. 9-1932]
The head of each division who is a deputy of the head of the department and all deputies of department heads are authorized to act generally for and in place of their principals.
[§ 16, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 495, L. 1918; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 16-1929; c. 594, L. 1947; L.L. No. 10-1957; L.L. No. 1-1967; L.L. No. 8-1976; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
Every person elected to office must reside in the City at least five months previous to his or her election. The qualifications of Examiners of Stationary Engineers may be determined from time to time by ordinance of the Council. If an officer removes from the City, his or her office thereupon becomes vacant.
[§ 17, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 495, L. 1918; L.L. No. 4-1925; c. 594, L. 1947; L.L. No. 1-1967; L.L. No. 8-1976]
The term of each elective officer commences on the first day of January succeeding his or her election, and the term of office of Commissioners of Schools is four years.
[§ 18, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 340, L. 1911; c. 342, L. 1914; c. 13, L. 1915; c. 505, L. 1917; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 6-1934; L.L. No. 10-1957; L.L. No. 3-1977; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
The term of office of Examiners of Stationary Engineers is three years; of seven Trustees of the Public Library, five years; such terms of office to be computed from the first day of January in the year in which the appointment is made. The term of office of Commissioner of Deeds is of such duration as is or may be fixed by law. All other officers appointed by the Mayor shall hold office during his or her pleasure, unless otherwise specified in this act or by law.
[§ 19, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 7-1956; § 2, L.L. No. 6-1970; § 2, L.L. No. 19-1970; § 2, L.L. No. 10-1979; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 6-1998]
Every appointment to a City office must be made by a certificate in writing signed by the appointing officer or, if made by a board, by the presiding officer thereof, which said certificate shall bear the approval of the Mayor and shall be filed in the office of the Director of Human Resource Management.
[§ 20, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 250, L. 1910; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 7-1956; repealed by L.L. No. 3-1988]
Editor's Note: For current provisions, see § 10 of the Public Officers Law.
[§ 184, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 5-1930; L.L. No. 2-1946; L.L. No. 13-1978; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 8-2011]
The Council shall have power to fix the salary of the Mayor. Except as otherwise provided by law, the Mayor shall have the power to fix the salaries and wages of all other officers and employees within the total amount contained in the annual appropriation ordinance for personal service and within such additional amounts as may be appropriated for said purpose in each of the several departments, divisions, offices, courts, commissions and boards.
[§ 21, c. 755, L. 1905; c. 505, L. 1917; c. 131, L. 1919; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 10-1957; c. 553, L. 1970; § 1, L.L. No. 5-1979]
The annual salary of each Commissioner of Schools and the annual salary of the President of the School Board shall be prescribed by the School Board of the Rochester City School District, within the limits of the total annual appropriation for school purposes, and for so long as all the members of the School Board are elected, and provided that changes shall take effect on the first day of the next fiscal year.
[§ 23, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 4-1965; repealed by L.L. No. 8-1972]
[§ 24, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1925; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
No officer of the City receiving a stated salary or compensation may have or receive to his or her use any perquisites, compensation or fees for services pertaining directly or indirectly or which may hereafter be added to the duties of his or her office in addition to his or her salary, and all perquisites, compensation and fees paid to and received by any such officer for services pertaining directly or indirectly or which may hereafter be added to the duties of his or her office, other than his or her salary received from the City, are the property of the City and must be paid by the officer receiving the same into the City treasury.
[Repealed by L.L. No. 11-1957]
[§ 26, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 497, L. 1918; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 6-1931; L.L. No. 1-1934; L.L. No. 10-1938; L.L. No. 9-1954; L.L. No. 4-1965; L.L. No. 9-1965; L.L. No. 2-1967; L.L. No. 8-1976; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 4-2003; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2012]
No person may at the same time hold more than one City office, and upon the acceptance of a second office, the first becomes vacant. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any City officer may be a member of any City board or commission, provided that in such instance any such officer shall receive no salary or compensation. The salary or compensation of an office or position may be paid from the appropriations made for different departments, bureaus, boards, courts or offices. The term "city office," as used in this section, does not include that of Commissioner of Deeds.
No department head, deputy department head or bureau head shall be an employee of the City unless he or she has his or her principal residence therein; nor shall any policy-making officer or employee, as determined by the Mayor, be an employee of the City unless he or she has his or her principal residence therein. Persons who live outside of the City at the time of their appointment to such a position may be allowed up to one year to move into the City.
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that it would take effect 4-1-2003 and apply to persons whose term of office as Mayor or a member of the City Council commenced on or after said date.
Editor's Note: The following additional sentences, which were added by L.L. No. 4-2003, were found unconstitutional by the United States District Court for the Western District of New York in Mains v. City of Rochester, 03-CV-6363T(F), 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14826 (W.D.N.Y. July 23, 2004): "No person who is an officer or employee of the Rochester City School District shall serve as Mayor or a member of the City Council. An officer or employee of the Rochester City School District must vacate said office or employment prior to the effective date of his or her position as Mayor or member of the City Council, or the City office becomes vacant. If the Mayor or a member of City Council accepts an office or employment with the Rochester City School District, the City office becomes vacant."
[Added L.L. No. 5-1965; amended L.L. No. 1-1971; L.L. No. 1-1973; § 3, L.L. No. 11-1979; § 1, L.L. No. 6-1980; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 7-1990; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1992; § 1, L.L. No. 3-1996; § 5, L.L. No. 1-1997; § 1, L.L. No. 6-1998; § 1, L.L. No. 12-2002; § 1, L.L. No. 3-2004; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006; § 1, L.L. No. 4-2006; § 1, L.L. No. 8-2007; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2008; § 3, L.L. No. 4-2009; § 4, L.L. No. 4-2009; § 4, L.L. No. 5-2009; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2010; §§ 1 through 6, L.L. No. 1-2013]
Preamble. Officers and employees of the City of Rochester shall hold their positions to serve and benefit the public and not for personal gain or advantage. The City Council recognizes that in order to implement this fundamental principle there is a need for clear and reasonable standards of ethical conduct. This Code of Ethics establishes such standards by defining and prohibiting acts incompatible with the public interest. The City Council also recognizes that compliance with ethical standards rests primarily on personal integrity, and further recognizes that integrity of City officers and employees generally. However, in order that the offending case be discerned with certainty and corrected quickly, this Code of Ethics also establishes a Board of Ethics, which shall render opinions with respect to the code and compliance with the ethical standards set forth herein. Finally, the City Council recognizes that City officers and employees have a right of privacy and a right to share in the normal benefits of the democratic society they serve and the economy to which they contribute; therefore, this Code of Ethics is not intended and should not be interpreted to intrude unreasonably upon the privacy of any officer or employee or to deny to any officer or employee the right to participate in government programs open to the public generally.
Definitions. When used in this code, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
AGENCY — Any department, bureau, division, board, commission or other administrative or organizational unit of the City government, or the City Council.
CLAIM — Any demand, written or oral, made upon the City to fulfill an obligation arising from law or equity.
CONTRACT — Any obligation to do something arising from an exchange of promises or consideration between or among persons, regardless of the particular form in which it is stated.
FAMILY — The parent, sibling, spouse or child of a person or any members of a person's immediate household.
OFFICER or EMPLOYEE — Any person elected, appointed or hired to serve the City of Rochester in any capacity, whether paid or unpaid, or for a term fixed or not fixed, including, without limit, persons serving on a temporary, part-time or seasonal basis, persons paid with funds derived from other than City revenue sources and persons serving on administrative or advisory boards, commissions or committees, whether permanent or temporary.
PERSON — Any individual, corporation, partnership or business entity, association or organization and shall include a City officer or employee.
AN INTEREST — A benefit or advantage of an economic or tangible nature that a person or a member of his or her family would gain or lose as a result of any decision or action, or omission to decide or act, on the part of the City government or any of its agencies, officers and employees.
SENIOR MANAGEMENT — Any officer or employee duly appointed to one of the following positions: Deputy Mayor, Chief of Staff (Administration), Director of Special Projects and Education Initiatives, Director of the Office of Public Integrity, Director of Communications, Corporation Counsel, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Director of Finance, Director of Human Resource Management, Commissioner of Environmental Services, Chief Technology Officer, Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services, Emergency Communications Center Director, Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Library Director, City Clerk, and Chief of Staff (Council).
[§ 1, L.L. No. 6-2018; § 2, L.L. No. 3-2019]
No City officer or employee shall have any employment, or engage in any business or commercial transaction, or engage in any professional activity, or incur any obligation, as a result of which, directly or indirectly, he or she would have an interest that would impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of his or her official duties or that would be in conflict with the performance of his or her official duties.
No City officer or employee shall have or enter into any contract with any person who has or enters into a contract with the City unless:
The contract between the person and the City is awarded pursuant to the competitive bidding procedures of the General Municipal Law; or
The contract between the person and the City is one with respect to which the City officer or employee:
Has no interest;
Has no duties or responsibilities, or, if the contract with the person is one which the City officer or employee entered into prior to becoming a City officer or employee, he or she abstains from any performance of duties or responsibilities; and
Exercises or attempts to exercise no influence.
While disclosure is required, no prohibited conflict of interest shall be found involving a contract with a person, firm, corporation or association in which a City officer or employee has an interest which is prohibited solely by reason of employment as an officer or employee thereof, if the remuneration of such employment will not be directly affected as a result of such contract and the duties of such employment do not directly involve the procurement, preparation or performance of any part of such contract.
No City officer or employee shall discuss, vote on, decide or take part in, formally or informally, any matter proposed or pending before any agency or other City officer or employee in which he or she has an interest. This provision shall not apply to any City officer or employee whose interest in the proposed or pending matter is minimal, provided that these procedures are followed strictly:
The City officer or employee shall identify his or her interest, that is, the benefit or advantage that would be gained or lost if the City acts on the matter in various ways, and the underlying basis of it, such as ownership, an investment, a contract or claim, employment or a relationship, if any.
The City officer or employee shall completely and specifically describe and disclose his or her interest and its underlying basis, if any, in writing, to his or her immediate superior and the Chairperson of the Board of Ethics in advance of his or her participation in the matter.
If either the City officer or employee or his or her immediate superior or the Chairperson of the Board of Ethics thinks that the disclosure reasonably raises a question whether the interest is minimal, the question shall be submitted to the Board of Ethics for an opinion, prior to which the officer or employee shall not participate in the matter. Failure to disclose property or abide by the opinion of the Board of Ethics shall make any participation of the officer or employee in the matter null and void.
No City officer or employee, acting in the performance of his or her official duties, shall treat, whether by action or omission to act, any person more favorably than it is the custom and practice to treat the general public.
No City officer or employee shall use or permit the use of city-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for the convenience or profit of himself or herself or any other person.
No City officer or employee shall solicit any gift, nor shall any City officer or employee accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, regardless of the form of the gift, from any person who has an interest in any matter proposed or pending before any City agency. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to contributions solicited or received in accordance with the Election Law of the State of New York.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 3-2018]
No City officer or employee shall disclose without proper authorization nonpublic information or records concerning any aspect of the government of the City, nor shall be or she use such information to the advantage or benefit of himself or herself or any other person.
No City officer or employee privy to nonpublic information regarding the allocation of City funds or having direct influence or control over the allocation of City funds shall be a director, officer or trustee of any organization which receives, from or through the City, funds that constitute 10% or more of the organization's annual operating and capital budget, except where appointment to such position is approved by a duly adopted resolution of the City Council.
No City officer or employee shall own in person or through an agent or broker, or be a principal in any corporation, partnership or other business entity which owns, any real property within the City of Rochester that is in violation of City or state laws or regulations. Property shall be deemed to be in violation when a reasonable and proper notice and order to correct violations duly issued has not been obeyed in a timely manner.
No City officer or employee compensated by the City for such service shall represent any person in any action or proceeding, whether judicial or administrative, to which the City is a party, or before any City agency or other City officer or employee. This provision shall not apply to the Corporation Counsel when representing persons within the scope of official duties. This provision also shall not apply to members of the Board of Assessment Review, hearing officers, arbitrators or mediators compensated by the City for such services, who shall instead be covered by Subsection C(11) below; or to outside counsel hired by the City where the Corporation Counsel determines that the outside counsel, or the outside counsel's firm, does not have an interest in conflict with that of the City.
No City officer or employee who serves the City without compensation, or member of the Board of Assessment Review, hearing officer, arbitrator or mediator compensated by the City, shall represent any person before the agency he or she serves or before any other City officer or employee who regularly serves the agency he or she serves or before any other agency on merits directly involving the agency he or she serves.
No former City officer or employee shall at any time after he or she leaves the agency he or she served represent a person before any agency on a specific matter with which he or she was directly involved or of which he or she has special knowledge, if the representation would be adverse to the position of the City on the matter. The Corporation Counsel may seek an injunction to enforce the provisions of this subsection.
The provisions of this section, including disclosure provisions in Subsection G hereof, shall not apply to a contract with a corporation in which a municipal officer or employee has an interest by reason of stockholdings when less than five per centum of the outstanding stock of the corporation is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such officer or employee.
While disclosure and recusal shall be required, the interest of a City officer or employee who is a member of the board of a not-for-profit corporation or association which has a contract with the City shall not be prohibited where the remuneration of such City officer or employee will not be directly affected as a result of such contract.
Rules and regulations. The Mayor may issue rules and regulations governing officers and employees subject to his or her jurisdiction, and the President of City Council may issue rules and regulations governing members of the City Council and officers and employees subject to the Council's jurisdiction, consistent with and in furtherance of the requirements set forth in this code. Any rules and regulations or amendments thereto shall be filed with the City Clerk and formally communicated to the City Council and the Board of Ethics.
Discipline and Removal. The doing of any act prohibited or the failure to do any act required by the Code of Ethics or rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action, including removal, and any City officer or employee subject to the Mayor's jurisdiction and any elected City officer or employee or one subject to the City Council's jurisdiction who violates a provision of the Code of Ethics Ethics shall be subject to discipline or removal, in the discretion of the appropriate appointing authority, in the manner provided by law.
Board of Ethics.
There shall be a seven-member Board of Ethics appointed by the City Council. Members shall consist of one City Councilperson, a department head or other City officer or employee of at least equivalent rank or title designated by the Mayor, who shall serve as the Board's Secretary, and five other members who shall not be City officers or employees at the time of their appointment, not more than three of whom out of the five shall be members of the same political party. All members shall be residents of the City of Rochester and individuals known for their personal integrity and recognized interest in civic affairs. The City Councilperson shall serve at the pleasure of the City Council, and in any event for no longer than his or her term of office. The term of the Mayor's designee shall be coterminous with the term of the Mayor. The five other members shall be appointed for three-year terms, except that the first member appointed shall serve for one year, and the second member appointed shall serve for two years. Any member may be reappointed, and after the expiration of his or her term, each member shall hold over until a successor is appointed, if necessary. The Board members serving on the effective date of this amendment shall complete their original terms. The Board shall appoint a Chairperson from among its members. The Board shall make appropriate rules and regulations governing its procedures. The rules and regulations shall be filed with the City Clerk and formally communicated to the City Council. The Corporation Counsel shall provide legal advice and assistance to the Board of Ethics and the Secretary regarding the interpretation and enforcement of the Code of Ethics, including review of financial disclosure statements.
The Board of Ethics shall have the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of records or other evidence of any type at any session of the Board devoted in whole or in part to the investigation of a matter referred to it for an opinion and, for this purpose, may authorize the Chairperson to sign and issue subpoenas and administer oaths and affirmations. The issuance of subpoenas shall be governed otherwise by the appropriate provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The Board of Ethics shall render written advisory opinions to City officers and employees with respect to the Code of Ethics and Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or amendments to either. Any relevant matter may be brought before the Board for an opinion upon the written request of any City officer or employee or upon the initiative of the Board. Any opinions rendered by the Board shall be forwarded both to the requesting and the affected City officer or employee and filed in the office of the City Clerk. Requests for advisory opinions and the resulting opinions shall be available for public inspection and copying pursuant to the provisions and procedures of the Freedom of Information Law and Subsection G. In addition, the Board may make recommendations to the City Council with respect to the drafting and adoption of amendments to the Code of Ethics.
Editor's Note: See Art. 6 of the Public Officers Law.
Persons occupying the following positions are hereby determined to be either the heads of City government departments, bureaus and divisions, however labeled, or the deputies and assistants of such heads and, additionally, to have significant decisionmaking and/or supervisory duties and responsibilities with respect to City government, as well as to members of the public, and shall be required to file financial disclosure statements in the form and containing the information prescribed herein:
[§ 2, L.L. No. 2-2017; § 1, L.L. No. 3-2018; § 2, L.L. No. 3-2019]
The Mayor, candidates for Mayor, Members of City Council, candidates for City Council and senior management shall complete the financial disclosure statement that is designated for elected officials, candidates and senior management. All other officers and employees designated pursuant to Subsection G(1) shall complete the financial disclosure statement that is designated for unelected officers and employees not in senior management. The completed financial disclosure statement shall contain the prescribed information with respect to each person covered by Subsection 1, as well as the spouse of the person and any unemancipated child of the person. For this purpose, "spouse" shall mean any individual married to (and not legally separated from) or living with the person required to file, and "unemancipated child" shall mean any son or daughter, any stepson or stepdaughter (with or without formal adoption), any foster child or any individual for whom the person required to file or such person's spouse serves as guardian who is unmarried, living in the home of the person required to file or living at school and claimed as an exemption on the federal income tax return of the person required to file or such person's spouse.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 6-2018]
Completed financial disclosure statements shall be filed with the Secretary of the Board of Ethics of the City of Rochester, which shall be the repository for such statements. The Secretary shall advise, in writing, each person required to file of such filing requirement at least 15 days prior to the deadline for filing, except that the Secretary shall so advise persons required to file as candidates at least five days prior to the deadline for filing. Failure of the Secretary to so advise shall not relieve any person required to file of the obligation to file in a timely manner. Such statements shall be filed by April 15 each year, containing the prescribed information relating to the previous calendar year. New City officers or employees hired between March 15 and December 31 shall file such statements within 30 days of the effective date of their employment. Candidates for Mayor or City Council who are not currently Mayor, a Member of City Council, or senior management shall file such statements within seven days of the last day allowed by law for the filing of designating or nominating petitions, whichever is applicable and earlier in each candidate's case. Extensions of time to file may be granted by the Secretary upon written application of a person required to file showing justifiable cause or undue hardship, except that as to City officers and employees, no extension shall be granted for longer than 60 days, and as to candidates, no extension shall be granted for longer than 20 days.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 6-2018]
The Board shall permit any person required to file a financial disclosure statement to apply, prior to the expiration of the time for filing or any extension thereof, for an exemption from any requirement to report one or more items of information which pertain solely to such person's spouse or any unemancipated child, which item(s) may be exempted by the Board upon a finding by a majority of the total number of members of the Board without vacancy that the person's spouse, on his or her own behalf or on behalf of an unemancipated child, objects to reporting the item(s) of information, and that the item(s) of information have no material bearing on the discharge of the person's official duties.
The Secretary of the Board shall review filed financial disclosure statements within 30 days of the filing date to ascertain whether any person required to file such statement has either failed to file or has filed a deficient statement. If a person required to file a statement has failed to file or appears to have filed a deficient statement, the Secretary shall notify the person, in writing, state the failure to file or specify the deficiency, provide the person with a fifteen-day period to file or to cure or explain the deficiency and advise the person of the penalties for failure to comply with the reporting requirements. If the person fails to make such filing or fails to cure or explain to the Secretary's satisfaction the deficiency within the specified time period, the Secretary shall send a notice of delinquency: to the reporting person; to the Board of Ethics; to the appointing authority for such person; and to the Mayor for persons subject to the Mayor's jurisdiction or the President of the City Council for persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Council.
A person required to file a statement of financial disclosure who knowingly fails to file or who knowingly files a deficient statement or who knowingly and with intent to deceive reports false information significant in nature or amount on such statement, may be assessed a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000. Assessment of a civil penalty hereunder shall be made by the Board upon a finding of any of the aforementioned violations. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the appointing authority may impose discipline, including removal, in the manner provided by law. Nothing contained herein shall preclude any criminal action or proceeding.
The Board shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing the granting of extensions of time to file and exemptions from reporting one or more items of information on statements of financial disclosure. Such rules and regulations shall provide the person applying for an extension or an exemption or the person's representative an opportunity to state orally or in writing the facts and reasons therefor and the right to receive a written determination from the Secretary or the Board, as the case may be. Any determination shall be final and subject to judicial review pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The Board shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing findings of violations with respect to filing statements of financial disclosure and the imposition of penalties therefor by the Board. Such rules and regulations shall provide the person charged with a violation with written notice of the specific charge(s), an adjudicatory hearing affording due process and a written determination based on the record of the hearing. The burden of proof shall be upon the person charging the violations. Any determination shall be final and subject to judicial review pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The Mayor, as to persons subject to the Mayor's jurisdiction, and the President of the City Council, as to persons subject to the Council's jurisdiction, including members of the Council, shall review or cause to be reviewed by their designees the filed statements to ascertain possible violations of the ethical standards contained in Subsection C and shall receive sworn complaints from any individual alleging violations of the ethical standards contained in Subsection c. In the case of a possible or alleged violation, the Mayor or the President shall notify the person, in writing, specifying the possible violation or enclosing a copy of the complaint, and shall provide the person with a fifteen-day period in which to submit a written response to the possible or alleged violation. Thereafter, if the Mayor or the President determines that a further inquiry is warranted, the matter shall be referred to the person's appointing authority, who may impose discipline, including removal, in the manner provided by law, subject to judicial review if and to the extent applicable; provided, however, that as to members of the City Council, the matter shall be referred by the President to the full Council for proceedings pursuant to § 2-19, which is hereby declared to authorize the imposition of lesser discipline, as well as removal. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection F(2), once the Mayor or the President refers a matter to an appointing authority or the City Council, no person except the appointing authority or the Council may request an advisory opinion of the Board relating to such possible or alleged violation. This Subsection G8 shall not apply to candidates who are not City officers or employees.
The Board shall determine, consistent with the requirements of the Open Meetings Law, whether to hold executive sessions for discussion of matters set forth in Subsection G4 and 6 with respect to specific persons, provided that the person whose conduct is the focus of the meeting may request that it be open to the public.
Public inspection and copying of all records relating to this Subsection G shall be governed by the provisions and procedures of the Freedom of Information Law; provided, however, that the Records Access Officer shall withhold as an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy the categories of value or amount reported in former statements of financial disclosure.
Any determination of the Board relating to an application for an exemption under Subsection G4 that is adverse to the person making the application shall not take effect for a period of 10 days from the date of notice of the determination.
All duties and powers of the secretary to be exercised with respect to the Director of Human Resource Management shall be exercised by the Chairperson of the Board.
The required financial disclosure statement shall contain the information prescribed and shall be in the form set forth hereinbelow. The Mayor and the President of the City Council may amend the form from time to time in order to clarify its requirements, provide for improved description or identification of items and add required items.
Editor's Note: The Financial Disclosure Statement is included as an attachment to this Charter.
[§ 27, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 495, L. 1918; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 3, L.L. No. 11-1979]
Any elected City officer or employee or one subject to the City Council's jurisdiction may be removed for cause, after written notice and an opportunity to be heard, by a vote of three-fourths (¾) of all the members of the City Council. The written notice shall be a brief and clear statement of specific charges adopted by a majority of the City Council and shall be served on the affected person in the manner provided by law at least two weeks prior to a hearing. At the hearing testimony shall be taken under oath, and the affected person shall be permitted to be represented by counsel and to introduce testimony and evidence and cross-examine witnesses. This section does not restrict the right of removal otherwise vested in any board or commission to the City, but is an additional method of removal.
[§ 30, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1925; c. 594, L. 1947; L.L. No. 11-1965; L.L. No. 1-1967; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984]
A vacancy in an appointive office for which a definite term of office is prescribed, arising otherwise than by expiration of term, is filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the board or officer authorized to make appointment to such office for the full term.
[§ 31, c. 755, L. 1907; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984]
The resignation of the Mayor must be made and presented to the President of the Council. Resignations of other elective officers must be made and presented to the Mayor, and of all other officers, to the appointing board or officer; and the board or officer to whom such resignation is presented must thereafter file the same in the office of the City Clerk.
[§ 32, c. 755, L. 1907]
The City election is held in each odd-numbered year, in accordance with and in the manner now or hereafter provided in the election law, and there must be elected thereat successors to all elective officers whose terms of office expire on the first day of January following.
[L.L. No. 17-1978; § 1, L.L. No. 3-1986; § 1, L.L. No. 6-1990; L.L. No. 2-1990; § 1; L.L. No. 1-2006]
The phrase "city employee" shall mean any person elected, appointed or hired to serve the City of Rochester or the Rochester Public Library in any capacity, whether compensated or not, or for a term fixed or not fixed, including, without limit, persons serving on a temporary, part-time or seasonal basis, persons paid with funds derived from other than City tax: revenues and persons serving on administrative or advisory boards, commissions or committees of the City, whether permanent or temporary. The phrase shall include compensated City employees serving in an ex officio capacity by mayoral or City Council designation or as a City representative on a non-city board, commission or committee, subject to the proviso contained in Subsection H, but shall not extend to such boards, commissions or committees as entities. The phrase shall include former City employees but shall not include independent contractors.
The City shall pay reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees at rates prevailing in the local legal community, disbursements and litigation expenses incurred by a City employee in his or her defense in a criminal proceeding in a state or federal court arising out of any act or omission that occurred while the employee was exercising or performing his or her powers and duties within the scope of his or her public employment, as determined by the Corporation Counsel. The City employee shall be entitled to private counsel of his or her own choice, except that the Corporation Counsel may require that appropriate groups of City employees be represented by the same private counsel. This duty to pay for a defense in a criminal proceeding shall arise only upon the complete acquittal of a City employee or the dismissal of all criminal charges against him or her; this duty shall not extend to grand jury proceedings, except a grand jury proceeding in which an on-duty use of a weapon by a member of the Rochester Police Department is being investigated and in which a no-bill is reported. Attorneys' fees, disbursements and litigation expenses shall be submitted by the attorney within 30 days after acquittal or dismissal to the Corporation Counsel, in the manner and form required by him or her, and shall be reviewed and approved by him or her prior to payment. The determination of the Corporation Counsel in this regard shall be final.
The City shall defend a City employee in any civil action or proceeding before any state or federal court or administrative agency seeking any type of relief, including compensatory or punitive damages arising out of any act or omission that occurred while the employee was exercising or performing and, as to punitive damages, was properly discharging his or her powers and duties within the scope of his or her public employment, as determined by the Corporation Counsel. This duty to provide for a defense shall not arise where the action or proceeding against the employee is brought by or at the behest of the City itself.
The Corporation Counsel shall have the duty to defend or may employ special counsel to defend the City employee in any civil action or proceeding unless the Corporation Counsel determines that an actual conflict of interest exists, in which case the Corporation Counsel shall prepare a list of no fewer than three private attorneys from which the City employee may select private counsel of his or her choice, except that the Corporation Counsel may require that appropriate groups of City employees be represented by the same private counsel. The selections of the Corporation Counsel in preparing such a list shall be made so as to ensure that private counsel has a type and level of professional experience appropriate to the subject matter of the case, that such counsel has no conflict of interest with the City, that such counsel is prepared to act in the closest cooperation with the Corporation Counsel consistent with standards of professional responsibility and that such counsel has agreed to terms of compensation established by the Corporation Counsel and to honor all provisions of this section of the Charter. The Corporation Counsel may, solely as an exercise of discretion, consider and include on the list an attorney requested by the City employee to be defended. If special counsel is employed, the City shall pay reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees, at rates established at the time of employment or of assembly of the list, as well as disbursements and litigation expenses incurred by a City employee in his or her defense. Attorneys' fees, disbursements and litigation expenses shall be submitted by the attorney promptly after the end of each month to the Corporation Counsel, in the manner and form required by him or her, and shall be reviewed and approved by him or her prior to payment. The determination of the Corporation Counsel regarding fees, disbursements and expenses shall be final.
The City shall indemnify and save harmless a City employee in the amount of any judgment obtained against the employee in a state or federal court or administrative agency or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, in the nature of compensatory or punitive damages, provided that the employee's act(s) or omission(s) underlying the judgment or settlement occurred while the employee was exercising or performing and, as to punitive damages, was properly discharging his or her powers and duties within the scope of his or her public employment, as determined by the Corporation Counsel. This duty to indemnify and save harmless shall not arise where a judgment is obtained or a claim settled as a result of an action or proceeding brought by or at the behest of the City itself.
In making the determinations required by Subsections B, C and E of this section, the Corporation Counsel may utilize the cumulative information available to him or her at the time he or she makes the determination, including but not limited to any allegations, any type of records or any examinations or investigations by whomever conducted. With respect to Subsection B, the Corporation Counsel shall make his or her determinations within 60 days of complete acquittal or dismissal or all criminal charges. With respect to Subsections C and E, the Corporation Counsel shall make his or her determination at or before the time to file or serve an answer in a civil action or proceeding; a determination favorable to the City employee may thereafter be revoked by the Corporation Counsel, no later than the start of trial, only if the City employee, with respect to any material and relevant acts or omissions, lied in any investigation of the underlying incident upon which the Corporation Counsel relied in making his or her original determination and the truth causes the Corporation Counsel to revise his or her original determination. The Corporation Counsel's determination, original or revised, shall be in writing and served promptly upon the City employee, and if a determination is adverse to the City employee, it shall state the facts and reasons therefor. A special proceeding brought pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules shall be the exclusive method by which a City employee aggrieved by a determination of the Corporation Counsel may seek judicial review of the determination. If, as a result of such judicial review, the City employee ultimately obtains a reversal of the Corporation Counsel's determination, the City shall reimburse the employee for his or her attorneys' fees and costs in obtaining the reversal, provided that such fees and costs are reasonable and necessary according to prevailing practices and standards in the legal community as determined by the Corporation Counsel, subject to judicial review.
The duties to defend or to pay for a defense and to indemnify and save harmless shall be conditioned upon delivery by a City employee to the Corporation Counsel of any notice, summons, complaint or any other legal process within three business days after he or she is served with such document, the full and truthful response by the employee in any and all City investigations into the incident(s) and transaction(s) upon which the action or proceeding is predicated and the full cooperation of a City employee in the defense of any action or proceeding against him or her or against the City based upon his or her alleged acts or omissions and in the taking of any appeals.
The duties to pay for or to provide a defense and to indemnify and save harmless a compensated City employee serving ex officio or as a designated City representative on a non-city board, commission or committee shall be secondary and supplemental to any obligation to defend and indemnify and any liability insurance provided the City employee by the non-city entity on which the City employee serves.
This local law shall not in any way impair any powers of the Corporation Counsel granted by the City Charter, City Code and any other law. The Corporation Counsel shall have complete charge of the defense in any civil action or proceeding and shall have sole authority to defend or settle any action or proceeding or to take, not take or withdraw any appeal, in the manner he or she deems appropriate.
Editor's Note: This local law also relettered former Subsection H as Subsection I.