Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
Village of Grafton, WI
Ozaukee County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Grafton as Title 2, Ch. 2.46, of the 1979 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The proper operation of democratic government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people. The purpose of this chapter is to establish ethical standards of conduct for all such officials and to direct disclosure by such officials of private financial or other interests in matters affecting the Village. The municipal officials and employees of the Village, whether elected or appointed, are "public officials and employees" within the meaning and intent of this chapter.
Public officials and employees are bound to observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their primary concern. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs shall be above reproach. Public officials are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state and to carry out impartially the laws of the nation, state and municipality.
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005]
A. 
Confidential information is, at the time of proposed disclosure, information where the Village of Grafton's interests in its confidentiality or in the Village's effective functioning outweigh an interest in free speech to disclose the information. Confidential information includes but is not limited to information where the disclosure is prohibited by common law or state or federal law or statute unless the release of same is ordered pursuant to a lawful order of a court or the informed consent of the subject, as applicable. Information that is subject to the exemptions of a governmental body to meet in open session under § 19.85, Wis. Stats., unless release is authorized by the legal custodian or other proper legal authorization is given is included. For the purposes of this section, information shall include knowledge imparted orally, recordings, and written documents or records.
B. 
No official or employee may use or disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the Village of Grafton gained in the course of or by reason of his official position or activities, nor shall such official or employee use such information to advance the financial or private interest of such official or employee or others.
Public officials and employees shall not exceed their authority or breach law or ask others to do so, and they shall work in full cooperation with other public officials and employees unless prohibited from doing so by law or by officially recognized confidentiality of their work.
A. 
Unilateral communications. No public official or employee shall encourage, make or accept any application or communication from any party made out of the presence and without the knowledge of other parties in a matter under consideration when such application or communication is designed to influence official decision or the conduct of the official himself or other officials, employees or agencies in order to obtain favored treatment or special consideration to advance the personal or private interests of himself or others. Any written unilateral communication received by a public official or employee in matters where all interested parties should have equal opportunity for a hearing shall be made a part of the record by the recipient. Any oral unilateral communication received under such conditions shall be written down in substance by the recipient and also made part of the record.
B. 
Use of public property. No public official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of Village-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such services are available to the public generally or are provided as municipal policy for the use of such official or employee in the conduct of official business.
C. 
Obligation of citizen. No public official or employee shall grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizen beyond that which is available to every other citizen.
No Trustee or other public official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or shall have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties in the public judgment or will tend to impair his independence or judgment or action in the performance of his official duties. Personal as distinguished from financial interest includes an interest arising from blood or marriage relationships or close business or political association.
Specific conflicts of interest are enumerated below for the guidance of officials. The following list is merely illustrative and not exclusive:
A. 
Incompatible employment. No Trustee or other public official or employee shall engage in or accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties or tends to impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties. In the event a Trustee, official or employee possesses a financial or personal interest in any business or transaction, any presumption of conflict of interest with his public duties shall be removed by his disclosure of the nature and extent of such investment to the Village Board for the records of that authority.
B. 
Gifts and favors. No Trustee or other public official or employee shall accept anything of value, as defined in § 19.42, Wis. Stats., whether in the form of service, loan, thing or promise, from any person who to his knowledge is interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in business dealings with the Village; nor shall any such official or employee accept any gift, favor or thing of value that may tend to influence him in the discharge of his duties, or grant in the discharge of his duties any improper favor, service or thing of value. Any Trustee or other public official or employee who accepts any gift, favor or thing of value shall, in the case of a Trustee, disclose the matter in the minutes of the next Board meeting, and in the case of other officials or employees, report the matter to the Board for disclosure in the minutes of the next meeting.
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005; at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1.01, Code Adoption)]
C. 
Representing private interests before Village agencies or courts. No Trustee or other public official or employee whose salary is paid in whole or in part by the Village shall appear in behalf of private interests before any agency of the Village. He shall not represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interest of the Village in any litigation to which the Village is a party.
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005]
D. 
Contracts with the Village. Any Trustee or other public official or employee who has substantial financial interest in any business entity entering into or proposing to enter into, any transaction or contract with the Village for the sale of real estate, material supplies or services to the Village shall disclose such interest to the Village Board to be reported in the minutes of the appropriate Board meeting. And in the case of a Trustee, he shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating (except in the performance of a ministerial act) in the transaction or the making of such contract or sale.
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005]
E. 
Disclosure of interest in legislation. A Trustee who has a financial or other private interest in any legislation shall disclose on the records of the Board the nature and extent of such interest. This provision shall not apply if the Trustee disqualified himself from voting. Any other public official or employee who has a financial or other private interest and who participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the Board shall disclose on the record of the Board the nature and extent of such interest.
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005]
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005]
A. 
Violation of any provision of this chapter should raise conscientious questions for the Trustee or any other official or employee concerned as to whether voluntary resignation or other action is indicated to promote the best interest of the Village.
B. 
A determination that an elected official's actions constitute improper conduct under the provisions of this chapter may constitute sanctioning, censuring, removing the official, or other disciplinary action by the Village Board, as permitted by law.
C. 
A determination that an employee's actions constitute improper conduct under the provisions of this chapter may constitute a cause for disciplining or discharging the employee or other disciplinary action by the Village Board as permitted by law.
D. 
A determination that actions of an appointed member of a board, committee or commission constitute improper conduct under the provisions of this chapter may constitute a cause for the Village President to recommend the removal of the member from the board, committee or commission.
E. 
Removals, sanctions and censures may only be approved by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Village Board.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1.01, Code Adoption)]
[Amended by Ord. No. 014, Series 2005]
As an alternative or in addition to the sanctions imposed herein, any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a forfeiture or not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each violation.