Village of New Hempstead, NY
Rockland County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hempstead 7-19-1984 by L.L. No. 20-1984. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Boards, commissions and committees — See Ch. 13.
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 25.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 68.
It is the purpose of this chapter to provide basic standards of ethical conduct as a guide for officers and employees of the Village of New Hempstead in order to preserve the integrity, independence and impartiality of such officers and employees and to assure the proper administration of the government of the Village.
When used in this chapter and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONTRACT
Any claim, account or demand against or agreement with the Village of New Hempstead, expressed or implied, and shall include the designation of a depository of public funds and the designation of an official newspaper.
INTEREST
A direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer or employee as the result of a business or professional transaction with the Village of New Hempstead. For the purpose of this chapter, a municipal officer or employee shall be deemed to have an "interest" in the affairs of his/her spouse, minor children and dependents; a firm, partnership or association of which such officer or employee is a member or employee; a corporation of which such officer or employee is an officer, director or employee; and a corporation, any stock of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such officer or employee.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
MUNICIPAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
An officer or employee of the Village of New Hempstead, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or agency thereof. No person shall be deemed to be a municipal officer or employee solely by reason of being a civil defense volunteer or volunteer fireman. "Municipal officer or employee" also means any person nominated by a political party or by independent nominating petition as a candidate for any elective office in the Village of New Hempstead.
Except as provided in § 32-4 of this chapter, every officer or employee of the Village of New Hempstead shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
A. 
Gifts. No officer or employee shall, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, from any person, firm or corporation which, to his knowledge, is interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in business or professional dealings with the Village or any agency thereof or who has any matter under consideration by any board, commission or agency of the Village.
[Amended 5-22-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
B. 
Confidential information. No officer or employee shall disclose any confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties or use such information to further his personal interests.
C. 
Representation before a Village agency. No officer or employee shall receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation or consideration of any kind for services rendered in relation to any matter before any board, commission or agency of the Village.
D. 
Legislation. No officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall participate in the discussion of or give official opinion to any board, commission or agency of the Village on any legislation or matter in which he/she has any direct or indirect financial or other private interest.
E. 
Interest in contract. No officer or employee shall have an interest, direct or indirect, in any contract with the Village.
F. 
Interest in depository. Neither the Treasurer nor the Mayor nor any deputy or employee of either officer shall have an interest, directly or indirectly, in any bank or trust company designated as a depository, paying agent or for investment of funds of the Village.
G. 
Investments in conflict with official duties. The Treasurer shall not invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with his/her official duties.
H. 
Private employment. No officer or 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 or his/her official duties.
I. 
Future employment. No municipal officer or employee shall, after the termination of service or employment with the Village, appear before any board, commission or agency of the Village in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he/she personally participated during the period of his/her service or employment or which was under his/her active consideration.
J. 
Representing private interests. No officer or employee shall represent any private interests in any litigation in which the Village is a party or complainant, unless there is no possibility of conflict between the interests of the Village and the private interests so represented. Such officer or employee shall be deemed to represent private interests if any partner or other business associate of such officer or employee represents private interests as aforesaid.
[Amended 5-22-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
K. 
Additional standards of Village Attorney. The Village Attorney or any Assistant Village Attorney is prohibited from exercising any discretion in any matter of Village interest which shall involve any person or corporation who has been a client of his firm during one year prior to the time that said matter is handled by the office of the Village Attorney. However, this shall not prevent the assignment of such a matter to another attorney in the Village Attorney's office who has had no interest in such matter. Any law firm of which the Village Attorney or any Assistant Village Attorney shall be a member shall not practice before the Village Board or any of the boards, commissions or agencies of the Village while such member is an employee of the Village Attorney's office.
L. 
Additional standards of Building Inspectors and Village Engineers. The Building Inspector or Village Engineer or any deputy or assistant is prohibited from exercising any discretion or acting upon any matter of Village interest which shall involve any real estate, insurance, building contracting business or business matters in which he may have an interest.
[Amended 5-22-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
M. 
Additional standards for Tax Assessors. The Tax Assessor and the employees of the Tax Assessor's office are prohibited from engaging in the business of real estate or receiving or benefiting from, directly or indirectly, any fees or commissions involving the sale of real property located in the Village.
The provisions of § 32-3 of this chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
A contract with a person, firm, corporation or association in which a municipal officer or employee has an interest which is prohibited solely by reason of employment as an officer or employee of the Village 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.
B. 
The purchase by the Village of real property or an interest therein, provided that the purchase and the consideration therefor is approved by order of the Supreme Court upon petition of the Board of Trustees of the Village.
C. 
The acquisition of real property or an interest therein through condemnation proceedings according to law.
D. 
A contract with a membership corporation or other voluntary nonprofit corporation or association, including, but not limited to, rural electric cooperatives. For purposes of this subsection, the term "rural electric cooperative" shall have the same meaning as the term "cooperative" is defined in Subdivision (a) of § 2 of the Rural Electric Cooperative Law.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
E. 
A contract in which an officer or employee has an interest if such contract was entered into prior to the time he was nominated, elected or appointed as such officer or employee, but this shall in no event authorize a renewal of any such contract.
F. 
A contract with a corporation in which an officer or employee has an interest by reason of stockholdings when less than 5% of the outstanding stock of the corporation is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such officer or employee.
G. 
A contract for the furnishing of public utility services when the rates or charges therefor are fixed or regulated by the Public Service Commission.
H. 
A contract for the payment of a portion of the compensation of a private employee of an officer when such employee performs part-time service in the official duties of the officer.
I. 
The timely filing by a present or former officer or employee of any claim, act, demand or suit against the Village or any board, commission or agency thereof on behalf of himself or any member of his family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
Any officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, who has a direct or indirect financial or other private interest in any matter being considered by the Board of Trustees, or by any other board, commission or agency of the Village, shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest, in writing, to the Board of Trustees as soon as he has knowledge of such interest. Such written disclosure shall be made part of and set forth in the official record of the proceedings of the Board.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The Mayor of the Village of New Hempstead shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Village within 30 days after the effective date hereof. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter or nominated for office shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his/her office or employment or within 10 days after nomination. Failure to distribute any such copy or failure of any officer or employee to receive such copy shall have no effect on the duty of compliance with such code, nor the enforcement of provisions thereof.
Any question of conflict of interest or other matter concerning the standards of conduct of any Village officer or employee shall be referred to the Board of Ethics of the County of Rockland unless the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hempstead, by resolution, hereafter creates a Board of Ethics for the Village of New Hempstead.
[Amended 5-22-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
The Village Clerk of the Village of New Hempstead shall file a copy of this Code of Ethics in the office of the Comptroller of the State of New York within 30 days after the adoption of this code.
Any contract willfully entered into by or with a municipality in which there is an interest prohibited by this chapter shall be null, void and wholly unenforceable.
A. 
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute cause for fine, suspension or removal from office or employment in such form and manner provided by the Civil Service Law, the Public Officers Law or any other applicable law, rule or regulation.
B. 
Any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this code shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit his office and be punished as and for a misdemeanor.