[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Ocean 12-10-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Except as hereinafter provided, the Township of Ocean shall, upon the request of any present or former official, employee or appointee of the Township of Ocean, 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.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:10-4, the indemnification and defense provided for in this chapter shall include exemplary or punitive damages resulting from the employee's civil violation of state or federal law if, in the opinion of the Township Committee, acts committed upon which the damages are based did not constitute actual fraud, actual malice, willful misconduct or an intentional wrong.
The terms of this chapter and the definitions 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 a) any person who is not a natural person; b) any person while providing goods or services of any kind under any contract with the Township of Ocean except an employment contract; c) any person while providing legal or engineering services for compensation unless said person is a full-time employee of the Township of Ocean; and d) any person who as a condition of his or her appointment or contract is required to indemnify and defend the Township of Ocean and/or secure insurance.
The Township of Ocean shall provide for defense of and indemnify any present or former official, employee or appointee of the Township of Ocean who becomes a defendant in a civil action if the person or persons involved a) acted or failed to act in a matter in which the Township of Ocean has or had an interest; b) acted or failed to act in the discharge of a duty imposed or authorized by law; and c) acted or failed to take action in good faith. For purposes of this chapter, the duty and authority of the Township of Ocean to defend and indemnify shall extend to a cross-claim or counterclaim against said person.
In any other action or proceeding, including criminal proceedings, the Township of Ocean may provide for the defense of a present or former official, employee or appointee, if the Township Committee concludes that such representation is in the best interest of the Township of Ocean 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 of Ocean may assume exclusive control over the representation of such persons defended, and such person shall cooperate fully with the Township of Ocean.
The Township of Ocean may provide for the defense 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 of Ocean under any appropriate insurance policy that requires the insurer to provide defense.