Town of Tusten, NY
Sullivan County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Tusten 4-13-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 16.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 53.
The purpose of this chapter is to enact a Code of Ethics to promulgate rules of ethical conduct for officers and employees of the Town which shall serve as a guide for the official conduct of the officers and employees of the Town, and to establish a Board of Ethics having duties and powers as prescribed by Article 18 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, and to render advisory opinions to the officers and employees of the Town with respect to the Code of Ethics and Article 18 of the General Municipal Law. This chapter shall not conflict with, but shall be in addition to, any prohibition of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and interests in contracts of municipal officers and employees.
A. 
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
INTEREST
Any interest, whether direct or indirect, financial, material or otherwise, that results from a contract, business or professional transaction or any transaction with the Town of Tusten and accruing to:
(1) 
A Town officer or employee, his spouse, children, stepchildren or dependents, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law;
(2) 
A firm, partnership or association of which a Town officer or employee is a member or employee;
(3) 
A corporation of which such Town officer or employee is an officer, director or employee;
(4) 
A corporation, any stock of which is accrued or controlled directly or indirectly by such Town officer or employee.
TOWN
Any board, commission, district, council or other agency, department or unit of the government of the Town of Tusten.
TOWN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
Any officer or employee of the Town of Tusten, whether paid or unpaid, part-time, full-time or in an advisory capacity. No person shall be deemed to be a "Town officer or employee" solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or civil defense volunteer.
B. 
Wherever words or terms are not defined herein, they shall have the meanings set forth in Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires.
Every officer or employee of the Town of Tusten shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
A. 
No Town officer or employee, acting in his official capacity, shall take action or participate in any manner whatsoever in the discussion, negotiation or awarding of any contract or in any business or professional dealings with the Town in which the officer or employee has, or will have, an interest in such contract or business or professional dealing.
B. 
No Town officer or employee shall engage in any transaction as a representative or agent of the Town with any business entity in which he has a conflict with the proper discharge of his official duties.
C. 
No Town officer or employee shall invest or hold any investment in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction which creates a conflict with his official duties.
D. 
No Town officer or employee shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for his personal benefit when such employment or service creates a conflict or impairs the proper discharge of his official duties.
E. 
No Town officer or employee shall 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 of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any officer, member or employee.
F. 
No Town officer or employee shall receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of his municipality, whereby his compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter, provided that this subsection shall not prohibit the fixing at any time of fees based upon the reasonable value of the services rendered.
G. 
No Town officer or employee shall, directly or indirectly, solicit any gifts, or accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, promise or any other form, from any person, firm or corporation who or which, to his knowledge, is interested, directly or indirectly, in any matter or business dealings with the Town, nor shall he accept any gift 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.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
H. 
No Town officer or employee shall, 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.
I. 
No Town officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or others.
J. 
Each Town officer or employee shall endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which shall not raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust.
K. 
Each Town officer or employee shall abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which he has reason to believe may be directly involved in decisions to be made by him or which will otherwise create substantial conflict between his duty and the public interest and his private interest.
A. 
Each Town officer or employee shall, to the extent that he is cognizant thereof, disclose any interest he may have in legislation before the Town Board.
B. 
To the extent that he knows thereof, any Town officer or employee who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Town Board on any legislation before the Town Board, or who has an interest in any action of the legislative body, or who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion of any official board, agency, officer or employee on any matters being considered by any such official board, agency, officer or employee, shall publicly disclose on the record the nature and extent of any interest he has in such legislation, or in any action of the legislative body or in such matters being considered by any official board, agency, officer or employee, as the case may be.
A. 
No Town officer or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired in the course of his official duties or use such information to further his personal interest.
B. 
No Town officer or employee shall accept employment or engage in any business or professional activity which will require him to disclose confidential information which he has gained by reason of his official position or authority.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
C. 
After the termination of service or employment with the Town, no Town officer or employee shall appear before any board or agency of the Town in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he personally participated on behalf of the Town during the period of his service or employment, or which was under his active consideration, unless so requested specifically by the Town.
No Town officer or employee shall request or permit the use of Town-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit of himself or any other person, except, however, when such property, vehicles, equipment, material or services are available to the public generally, or which are provided as a matter of Town policy for the use of officers or employees in the conduct of their official business.
A. 
No appointed Town officer or employee shall orally, by letter, or otherwise, solicit or be in any manner concerned in soliciting any assessment, subscription or contribution to any political party or candidate from any Town employee or officer, nor shall he be a party to such solicitations of others.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any Town officer or employee in uniform to solicit any person to vote in any political caucus, primary or election for any candidate or to challenge any voter, or in any manner to attempt to influence any voter at any political caucus, primary, or at any election.
A. 
The Town Supervisor shall cause a copy of this chapter to be distributed to every officer and employee of the Town within 14 days after the effective date of this chapter. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his office for employment.
B. 
Failure to distribute any such copy or failure of any Town officer or employee to receive such copy, shall have no effect on the duty of compliance with this Code, nor the enforcement of provisions hereof.
C. 
The Town Supervisor shall further cause a copy of this chapter to be kept posted conspicuously in each public building under the jurisdiction of the Town. Failure to so post this chapter shall have no effect on the duty of compliance herewith, or the enforcement provisions hereof.
Newly appointed or elected officials or employees whose duties commence after the first April filing deadline will be required to submit an attestation that they have reviewed and understand the Code of Ethics of the Town of Tusten and that they are not in violation of any provision of the Code, within 45 days after the commencement of their duties.
Nothing herein shall be deemed to bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former Town officer or employee of any claim, account, demand or suit against the Town, on behalf of himself or any member of his family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
No separate Ethics Board shall be established by the Town. All possible violations of this chapter shall be reviewed and determined by the Town Board.
A. 
If any Town officer or employee refuses or fails, either unknowingly or intentionally, to file a statement as required by this chapter, the Town Clerk will notify the Town Board that said individual has not filed a statement. Upon such notification, the Town Board may suspend the official or employee without pay (if compensated). In addition, the officer or employee shall also be notified by certified mail that no statement has been filed. Once a statement has been filed, the Town Clerk will promptly notify the Town Board that the officer or employee has complied with the filing requirement of this chapter, reinstate the officer or employee and release all monies withheld.
B. 
Any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this chapter may be suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.
C. 
Nothing in this section will be construed as precluding the prosecution of Town officers or employees for violations or any offense, criminal or civil, pursuant to the laws, ordinances or statutes of the State of New York, nor the review of any action taken by the Town Board under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]