Town of University Park, MD
Prince George's County
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[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
The provisions of this chapter apply to the elected officials, Town appointed officials and employees of University Park.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words have the meanings indicated:
BUSINESS or BUSINESS ENTITY
Includes any corporation, partnership, sole proprietor (including private consultant), joint venture, unincorporated association or firm, institution, trust, foundation or other organization whether or not operated for profit, or other business entity regardless of form.
A. 
Having or negotiating a contract with the Town that involves the commitment, either in a single or combination of transactions, of $500 or more of Town controlled funds; or
B. 
Being regulated by or under the authority of the Town; or
C. 
Being a lobbyist as defined by the definition of "lobbyist" in this section or as registered with the Town Clerk as provided in § 12-107A of this chapter.
A. 
Ownership of any interest as the result of which the owner has received, within the past three years, or is presently receiving, or in the future is entitled to receive, more than $1,000 per year; or
B. 
Ownership, or the ownership of securities of any kind representing or convertible into ownership, of more than 3% of a business entity by a Town official or employee, or the spouse of an official or employee.
GIFT
The transfer of anything of economic value regardless of the form without adequate and lawful consideration. "Gift" does not include a political campaign contribution regulated under the Elections Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, or any other provision of state or local law regulating the conduct of elections or the receipt of political campaign contributions.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
Spouse and dependent children.
A. 
A legal or equitable economic interest, whether or not subject to an encumbrance or a condition, that is owned or held, in whole or in part, jointly or severally, directly or indirectly.
B. 
For purposes of § 12-105 of this chapter, "interest" includes any interest held at any time during the reporting period.
C. 
"Interest" does not include:
(1) 
An interest held in the capacity of a personal agent, custodian, fiduciary, or personal representative, trustee, unless the holder has an equitable interest in the subject matter;
(2) 
An interest in a time or demand deposit in a financial institution;
(3) 
An interest in an insurance policy, endowment policy or annuity contract under which an insurer promises to pay a fixed amount of money either in a lump sum or periodically for life or a specified period;
(4) 
A common trust fund or a trust which forms part of a pension or profit sharing plan which has more than 25 participants and which has been determined by the internal revenue service to be a qualified trust under the Internal Revenue Code; or
(5) 
A college savings plan under the Internal Revenue Code.
(6) 
A mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that is publicly traded on a national scale unless the mutual fund or exchange-traded fund is composed primarily of holdings of stocks and interests in a specific sector or area that is regulated by the Town.
[Added 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11; amended 5-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-O-04]
LOBBYIST
Any person, who personally appears before a Town official or employee with the intent to influence that person in performance of the official duties of the official or employee and who for that purpose either reasonably expects to incur expenses of $100 or more or receives $500 or more as compensation for such activity or any person who reasonably expects to expend within any calendar year a cumulative total of $100 or more on one or more officials of the Town for meals, beverages, special events or gifts in connection with or with the purpose of influencing such officials in the performance of the Town's business or the enactment of legislation.
OFFICIALS or OFFICIAL
An elected official, an employee of the Town, or a person appointed to or employed by the Town or any Town agency, board, Commission, or similar entity:
A. 
Whether or not paid in whole or in part with Town funds; and
B. 
Whether or not compensated.
There shall be a University Park Ethics Commission, which shall be composed of three members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Common Council. Each member so appointed will serve a term of two years, except that one of the three members first appointed to the Commission shall serve a term of three years. Members of the Ethics Commission may continue to serve in the position after the expiration of the term until they are removed or a successor is appointed and qualifies. No Commission member shall be removed except for good cause. If a Commission member is unwilling or unable to complete his/her term, or has been removed, then the Mayor shall appoint another individual, with the advice and consent of the Common Council, to serve the remainder of the term. The Commission shall be advised by the Town Attorney and shall have the following responsibilities:
A. 
To devise, receive and maintain all forms generated by this chapter.
B. 
To provide advisory opinions to persons subject to the chapter as to the applicability of the provisions of this chapter to them which shall be retained in the records of the Town.
C. 
To process and make determinations as to complaints filed by any person alleging violations of this chapter.
D. 
To conduct a public information program regarding the purposes and application of this chapter.
E. 
To provide to the Town a copy of all records produced by the Commission, said records to be maintained in the Town office.
F. 
The Commission shall certify to the State Ethics Commission on or before October 1 of each year that the Town is in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland for elected local officials.
G. 
The Commission shall determine if changes to this chapter are required to be in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland, and shall forward any recommended changes and amendments to the Town Council for enactment.
H. 
The Commission may adopt other policies and procedures to assist in the implementation of the Commission's programs established in this chapter.
A. 
In this section, "qualified relative" means a spouse, parent, child, domestic partner or sibling.
B. 
All Town elected officials, Town appointed officials and employees are subject to this section.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
C. 
Participation prohibitions. Except as permitted by Commission regulation or opinion, an official or employee may not participate in:
(1) 
Except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision of the matter, any matter in which, to the knowledge of the official or employee, the official or employee, or a qualified relative of the official or employee, has an interest.
(2) 
Except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision with respect to the matter, any matter, in which any of the following is a party:
(a) 
A business entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest of which the official or employee may reasonably be expected to know;
(b) 
A business entity for which the official, employee, or a qualified relative of the official or employee is an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee;
(c) 
A business entity with which the official or employee or, to the knowledge of the official or employee, a qualified relative is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment.
(d) 
If the contract reasonably could be expected to result in a conflict between the private interests of the official or employee and the official duties of the official or employee, a business entity that is a party to an existing contract with the official or employee, or which, to the knowledge of the official or employee, is a party to a contract with a qualified relative;
(e) 
An entity, doing business with the Town, in which a direct financial interest is owned by another entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest, if the official or employee may be reasonably expected to know of both direct financial interests; or
(f) 
A business entity that:
[1] 
The official or employee knows is a creditor or obligee of the official or employee or a qualified relative of the official or employee with respect to a thing of economic value; and
[2] 
As a creditor or obligee, is in a position to directly and substantially affect the interest of the official or employee or a qualified relative of the official or employee.
(3) 
A person who is disqualified from participating under Subsection C(1) or (2) of this section shall disclose the nature and circumstances of the conflict and may participate or act if:
(a) 
The disqualification leaves a body with less than a quorum capable of acting;
(b) 
The disqualified official or employee is required by law to act; or
(c) 
The disqualified official or employee is the only person authorized to act.
(4) 
The prohibitions of Subsection C(1) and (2) of this section do not apply if participation is allowed by regulation or opinion of the Commission.
D. 
Employment and financial interest restrictions.
(1) 
Except as permitted by regulation of the Commission when the interest is disclosed or when the employment does not create a conflict of interest or appearance of conflict, an official or employee may not:
(a) 
Be employed by or have a financial interest in any entity:
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
[1] 
Subject to the authority of the official or employee or the Town agency or appointed body with which the official or employee is affiliated; or
[2] 
That is negotiating or has entered a contract with the Town agency or appointed body with which the official or employee is affiliated; or
(b) 
Hold any other employment relationship that would impair the impartiality or independence of judgment of the official or employee.
(2) 
This prohibition does not apply to:
(a) 
An official or employee who is appointed to a regulatory or licensing authority pursuant to a statutory requirement that persons subject to the jurisdiction of the authority be represented in appointments to the authority;
(b) 
Subject to other provisions of law, an appointed official in regard to a financial interest or employment held at the time of appointment, provided the financial interest or employment is publicly disclosed to the appointing authority and the Commission;
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
(c) 
An official or employee whose duties are ministerial, if the private employment or financial interest does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, as permitted and in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commission;
(d) 
Employment or financial interests allowed by regulation of the Commission if the employment does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest or the financial interest is disclosed;
(e) 
Decisions relating to the property tax rate, general Town fees or service charges or a comprehensive zoning ordinance or similar matter are not considered to have direct financial impact to the extent that a Council member would be affected in common with the general public; or
(f) 
Participation by Council members in council action relating to, and voting on, the annual budget in its entirety. When one or more items in the annual budget would have a direct financial impact, as distinguished from the public generally, on a Council member, his or her employer, family member or any business entity in which he/she or she has an interest, the Council member must first file with the ethics Commission a sworn statement that describes the conflict. Council members may not propose, seek to remove, or participate in the council's discussion of any budget item that creates such a conflict.
E. 
Post-employment limitations and restrictions.
(1) 
A former official or employee may not assist or represent any party other than the Town for compensation in a case, contract, or other specific matter involving the Town if that matter is one in which the former official or employee significantly participated as an official or employee.
(2) 
A former Mayor or former member of the Town Council may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action for one calendar year after the Mayor or Council member leaves office.
[Amended 5-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-O-04]
F. 
Contingent compensation. Except in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, an official or employee may not assist or represent a party for contingent compensation in any matter before or involving the Town.
G. 
Use of prestige of office.
[Amended 5-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-O-04]
(1) 
An official or employee may not intentionally use the prestige of office or public position for the private gain of that official or employee or the private gain of another, or to influence, except as part of the official duties of the official or employee or as a usual and customary constituent service without additional compensation, the award of a contract to a specific person.
(2) 
This subsection does not prohibit the performance of usual and customary constituent services by a local elected official without additional compensation.
(3) 
An official may not directly or indirectly initiate a solicitation for a person to retain the compensated services of a particular regulated lobbyist or lobbying firm.
H. 
Solicitation and acceptance of gifts.
(1) 
An official or employee may not solicit any gift.
(2) 
An official or employee may not directly or indirectly solicit or facilitate the solicitation of a gift, on behalf of another person, from an individual regulated lobbyist.
(3) 
An official or employee may not knowingly accept a gift, directly or indirectly, from a person that the official or employee knows or has the reason to know:
(a) 
Is doing business with or seeking to do business with the Town office, agency or appointed body with which the official or employee is affiliated;
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
(b) 
Has financial interests that may be substantially and materially affected, in a manner distinguishable from the public generally, by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of the official or employee;
(c) 
Is engaged in an activity regulated or controlled by the official's or employee's governmental unit; or
(d) 
Is a lobbyist with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the official or employee.
(4) 
Subsection H(5) of this section does not apply to a gift:
(a) 
That would tend to impair the impartiality and the independence of judgment of the official or employee receiving the gift;
(b) 
Of significant value that would give the appearance of impairing the impartiality and independence of judgment of the official or employee; or
(c) 
Of significant value that the recipient official or employee believes or has reason to believe is designed to impair the impartiality and independence of judgment of the official or employee.
(5) 
Notwithstanding Subsection H(3) of this section, an official or employee may accept the following:
(a) 
Meals and beverages consumed in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity;
(b) 
Ceremonial gifts or awards that have insignificant monetary value;
(c) 
Unsolicited gifts of nominal value that do not exceed $20 in cost or trivial items of informational value;
(d) 
Reasonable expenses for food, travel, lodging, and scheduled entertainment of the official or the employee at a meeting which is given in return for the participation of the official or employee in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting;
(e) 
Gifts of tickets or free admission extended to an elected local official to attend a charitable, cultural, or political events, if the purpose of this gift or admission is a courtesy or ceremony extended to the elected official's office;
(f) 
A specific gift or class of gifts that the Commission exempts from the operation of this subsection upon a finding, in writing, that acceptance of the gift or class of gifts would not be detrimental to the impartial conduct of the business of the Town and that the gift is purely personal and private in nature;
(g) 
Gifts from a person related to the official or employee by blood or marriage, or any other individual who is a member of the household of the official or employee;
(h) 
Honoraria for speaking to or participating in a meeting, provided that the offering of the honorarium is in not related in any way to the official's or employee's official position; or
I. 
Disclosure of confidential information. Other than in the discharge of official duties, an official or employee may not disclose or use confidential information that the official or employee acquired by reason of the official's or employee's public position and that is not available to the public, for the economic benefit of the official or employee or that of another person.
J. 
Participation in procurement.
(1) 
An individual, or a person that employs an individual, who assists the Town in the drafting of specifications, an invitation for bids, or a request for proposals for a procurement, may not submit a bid or proposal for that procurement, or assist or represent another person, directly or indirectly, who is submitting a bid or proposal for the procurement.
(2) 
The Commission may establish exemptions from the requirements of this section for providing descriptive literature, sole source procurements, and written comments solicited by the Town.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
A. 
This section applies to all Town elected officials and candidates to be Town elected officials.
B. 
Required disclosure statements under this section include:
(1) 
Annual financial disclosure statements;
(2) 
Candidate financial disclosure statements; and
(3) 
Statements of actual or potential conflict of interest.
C. 
(1) 
A Town elected official or a candidate to be a Town elected official shall file the financial disclosure statement required under this section:
(a) 
On a form provided by the Commission;
(b) 
Under oath or affirmation; and
(c) 
With the Town Clerk, who shall forward the statements to the Commission and/or the Supervisors of Elections, as appropriate.
(2) 
Deadlines for filing statements.
(a) 
An incumbent Town elected official shall file a financial disclosure statement annually no later than April 30 of each year for the preceding calendar year.
(b) 
An individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy in an office for which a financial disclosure statement is required and who has not already filed a financial disclosure statement for the reporting period shall file a statement for the preceding calendar year and the portion of the current calendar year to date of filing prior to appointment.
(c) 
[1] 
An individual who, other than by reasons of death, leaves an office for which a statement is required shall file a statement within 60 days after leaving the office.
[2] 
The statement shall cover:
[a] 
The calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the individual left office, unless a statement covering that year has already been filed by the individual; and
[b] 
The portion of the current calendar year during which the individual held the office.
(d) 
An elected official shall file a statement of actual or potential conflict of interest disclosing employment and interests that raise conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest in a timely manner.
D. 
Candidates to be Town elected officials.
(1) 
A candidate to be an elected Town official shall file a financial disclosure statement each year beginning with the year in which the petition of candidacy is filed through the year of the election.
(2) 
A candidate to be an elected official shall file a statement required under this section:
(a) 
In the year the petition of candidacy is filed, the financial disclosure statement shall be filed with the Town Clerk no later than the filing of the petition of candidacy. The Town Clerk shall forward the statement to the Supervisors of Elections and to the Ethics Commission. The reporting period shall be the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the petition of candidacy is filed, and the portion of the current calendar year to the date the petition is filed;
(b) 
In the year of the election, if other than the year in which the petition of candidacy is filed, on or before the date by which the petition of candidacy must be filed; and
(c) 
In all other years for which a statement is required, on or before April 30.
(3) 
A candidate to be an elected Town official:
(a) 
Shall file the statement required under § 12-105D(2)(a) of this chapter with the Supervisors of Elections at the time of filing of the petition of candidacy and with the Commission prior to or at the time of filing the petition of candidacy; and
(b) 
Shall file the statements required under § 12-105D(2)(b) and (c) with the Commission.
(4) 
If a candidate fails to file a statement required by this section within five calendar days after written notice is provided by the Supervisors of Elections, the candidate is deemed to have withdrawn the candidacy.
(5) 
The Supervisors of Elections may not accept any petition of candidacy unless it is accompanied by the candidate's financial disclosure statement that includes all required identifying and contact information, is signed under oath, and includes answers to every mandatory question.
(6) 
Upon receipt of a statement required under this section, the Town Clerk shall forward the statement to the Commission or the office designated by the Commission and shall do so no later than the close of business on the day of the deadline for filing the petition of candidacy.
E. 
Public record.
(1) 
The Commission or office designated by the Commission shall maintain all financial disclosure statements filed under this section.
(2) 
Financial disclosure statements shall be made available during normal office hours for examination and copying by the public subject to reasonable fees and administrative procedures established by the Commission.
(3) 
If an individual examines or copies a financial disclosure statement, the Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall record:
(a) 
The name and home address of the individual reviewing or copying the statement; and
(b) 
The name of the person whose financial disclosure statement was examined or copied.
(4) 
Upon request by the official, candidate or employee whose financial disclosure statement was examined or copied, the Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall provide the official with a copy of the name and home address of the person who reviewed the official's financial disclosure statement.
(5) 
For statements filed after January 1, 2019, the Commission or the office designated by the Commission may not provide public access to an individual's home address that the individual has designated as the individual's home address.
[Added 5-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-O-04]
F. 
Retention requirements. The Commission or the office designated by the Commission shall retain financial disclosure statements as required by the Town's records retention and disposal schedule and at a minimum for four years from the date of receipt.
G. 
Contents of statement.
(1) 
Interests in real property.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in real property wherever located.
(b) 
For each interest in real property, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The nature of the property and the location by street address, mailing address, or legal description of the property;
[2] 
The nature and extent of the interest held, including any conditions and encumbrances on the interest;
[3] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired;
[4] 
The nature and amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired;
[5] 
If any interest was transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received for the interest, and the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[6] 
The identity of any other person with an interest in the property.
(2) 
Interests in corporations and partnerships.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in any corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability corporation, regardless of whether the corporation or partnership does business with the Town.
(b) 
For each interest reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability corporation;
[2] 
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions and encumbrances on the interest;
[3] 
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received for the interest and, if known, the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[4] 
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
[a] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired; and
[b] 
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired.
[5] 
An individual may satisfy the requirement to report the amount of the interest held under Subsection F(2) of this section by reporting, instead of a dollar amount:
[a] 
For an equity interest in a corporation, the number of shares held and, unless the corporation's stock is publicly traded, the percentage of equity interest held; or
[b] 
For an equity interest in a partnership, the percentage of equity interest held.
(3) 
Interests in business entities doing business with the Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in any business entity that does business with the Town, other than interests reported under Subsection F(2) of this section.
(b) 
For each interest reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
[2] 
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions to and encumbrances in the interest;
[3] 
With respect to any interest transferred, in whole or in part, at any time during the reporting period, a description of the interest transferred, the nature and amount of the consideration received in exchange for the interest and, if known, the identity of the person to whom the interest was transferred; and
[4] 
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
[a] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired; and
[b] 
The nature and the amount of the consideration given in exchange for the interest or, if acquired other than by purchase, the fair market value of the interest at the time acquired.
(4) 
Gifts.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of each gift in excess of $20 in value or a series of gifts totaling $100 or more received during the reporting period from or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any one person who does business with or is regulated by the Town.
(b) 
For each gift reported, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
A description of the nature and value of the gift; and
[2] 
The identity of the person from whom, or on behalf of whom, directly or indirectly, the gift was received.
(5) 
Employment with or interests in entities doing business with the Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all offices, directorships, and salaried employment by the individual or member of the immediate family of the individual held at any time during the reporting period with entities doing business with the Town.
(b) 
For each position reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
[2] 
The title and nature of the office, directorship, or salaried employment held and the date it commenced; and
[3] 
The name of each Town agency with which the entity is involved.
(6) 
Indebtedness to entities doing business with the Town.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of all liabilities, excluding retail credit accounts, to persons doing business with the Town owed at any time during the reporting period:
[1] 
By the individual; or
[2] 
By a member of the immediate family of the individual if the individual was involved in the transaction giving rise to the liability.
(b) 
For each liability reported under this paragraph, the schedule shall include:
[1] 
The identity of the person to whom the liability was owed and the date the liability was incurred;
[2] 
The amount of the liability owed as of the end of the reporting period;
[3] 
The terms of payment of the liability and the extent to which the principal amount of the liability was increased or reduced during the year; and
[4] 
The security given, if any, for the liability.
(7) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the immediate family members of the individual employed by the Town in any capacity at any time during the reporting period.
(8) 
Sources of earned income.
(a) 
A statement filed under this section shall include a schedule of the name and address of each place of employment and of each business entity of which the individual or a member of the individual's immediate family was a sole or partial owner and from which the individual or member of the individual's immediate family received earned income, at any time during the reporting period.
(b) 
A minor child's employment or business ownership need not be disclosed if the agency that employs the individual does not regulate, exercise authority over, or contract with the place of employment or business entity of the minor child.
(9) 
A statement filed under this section may also include a schedule of additional interests or information that the individual making the statement wishes to disclose.
H. 
For the purposes of § 12-105G(1), (2) and (3) of this chapter, the following interests are considered to be the interests of the individual making the statement:
(1) 
An interest held by a member of the individual's immediate family, if the interest was, at any time during the reporting period, directly or indirectly controlled by the individual.
(2) 
An interest held by a business entity in which the individual held a 3% or greater interest at any time during the reporting period.
(3) 
An interest held by a trust or an estate in which, at any time during the reporting period:
(a) 
The individual held a reversionary interest or was a beneficiary, or
(b) 
If a revocable trust, the individual was a settlor.
I. 
The Commission shall review the financial disclosure statements submitted under this section for compliance with the provisions of this section and shall notify an individual submitting the statement of any omissions or deficiencies.
J. 
The Town Ethics Commission may take appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with this section.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
A. 
This section only applies to the following appointed officials and employees:
(1) 
Town Clerk.
(2) 
Town Treasurer.
(3) 
Chief of Police and the designated Acting Chief of Police.
(4) 
Public Works Director.
(5) 
Members of the Supervisors of Elections, the Ethics Commission, and any other board, commission or committee, and any other appointed official designated by the Council.
(6) 
Any other appointed official as required by law.
(7) 
Town Attorney.
B. 
A statement filed under this section shall be filed with the Commission under oath or affirmation.
C. 
On or before April 30 of each year during which an official or employee holds office, an official or employee shall file a statement disclosing gifts received during the preceding calendar year from any person that contracts with or is regulated by the Town, including the name of the donor of the gift and the approximate retail value at the time or receipt.
D. 
An official or employee shall disclose employment and interests that raise conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest in connection with a specific proposed action by the employee or official sufficiently in advance of the action to provide adequate disclosure to the public.
E. 
A newly appointed Town official shall file a required disclosure form within 30 days of appointment. The reporting period for the statement is the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the disclosure form is filed, and the portion of the current calendar year to the date the form is filed.
F. 
The Commission shall maintain all disclosure statements filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying as provided in § 12-105E and F of this chapter.
[Added 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11[1]]
The Town Clerk is authorized to receive any form required by this chapter to be filed with the Supervisors of Elections or the Ethics Commission.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former § 12-107, Lobbying disclosure.
A. 
Advisory opinions.
(1) 
Any person subject to this chapter may request an advisory opinion from the Commission concerning the application of this chapter.
(2) 
The Commission shall respond promptly to a request for an advisory opinion and shall provide interpretations of this chapter based on the facts provided or reasonably available to the Commission.
(3) 
In accordance with all applicable state and Town laws regarding public records, the Commission shall publish or otherwise make available to the public copies of the advisory opinions, with the identities of the subjects deleted. The name of the person requesting the advisory opinion and the names of all persons or business entities mentioned in the opinion shall be deemed confidential information and shall not be disclosed by the members of the Commission unless each person or business entity waives such confidentiality.
B. 
Complaints.
(1) 
Any person may file a complaint with the Commission alleging a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
A complaint shall be in writing and under oath.
(3) 
The Commission may refer a complaint to the Town Attorney, or other legal counsel if appropriate, for investigation and review. If the ethics counsel determines that the complaint is time barred or does not assert facts that, if proven true, would constitute a violation of this chapter, the ethics counsel may recommend that the Commission dismiss the complaint without notice to the subject of the complaint or a hearing. Upon receipt of the recommendation, the Commission may dismiss the complaint.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
(4) 
The Commission may dismiss a complaint if, after receiving an investigative report, the Commission determines that there are insufficient facts upon which to base a determination of a violation.
(5) 
If there is a reasonable basis for believing a violation has occurred, the subject of the complaint shall be given an opportunity for a hearing conducted in accordance with the applicable Town rules of procedure.
(6) 
A final determination of a violation resulting from the hearing shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law.
(7) 
Upon finding of a violation, the Commission may take any enforcement action provided for in § 12-109 of this chapter.
(8) 
After a complaint is filed and until a final finding of a violation by the Commission, all actions regarding a complaint are confidential. A finding of a violation is public information.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
A. 
The Commission may issue a cease and desist order against any person found to be in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Upon a finding of a violation of any provision of this chapter, the Commission may:
(1) 
Issue an order of compliance directing the respondent to cease and desist from the violation;
(2) 
Issue a reprimand; or
(3) 
Recommend to the appropriate authority other appropriate discipline of the respondent, including censure or removal if hat discipline is authorized by law.
C. 
Upon request by the Commission, the Town Attorney may file a petition for injunctive or other relief in the Circuit Court of Prince George's County, or in any other court having proper venue, for the purpose of requiring compliance with the provisions of this chapter and for assessment of a fine not to exceed $1,000.
D. 
In addition to any other enforcement provisions in this chapter, a person who the Commission or a court finds has violated this chapter:
(1) 
Is subject to termination or other disciplinary action; and
(2) 
May be suspended from receiving payment of salary or other compensation pending full compliance with the terms of an order of the Commission or a court.
E. 
A Town official or employee found to have violated this chapter is subject to disciplinary or other appropriate personnel action, including removal from office, disciplinary action, suspension of salary, or other sanction.
[Added 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 15-O-11]
Any person required to file a conflict of interest or financial disclosure statement pursuant to this chapter shall correct any inaccurate or incomplete filings with the Commission within 15 days of learning or being notified that the statement is inaccurate or incomplete. Any candidate for office notified that a statement is, or appears to the Commission to be, inaccurate or incomplete must provide the additional information required to the Commission or confirm the accuracy and completeness of the statement within five calendar days of notification. If additional information is not provided or the accuracy and completeness of the information is not confirmed, in writing, within the required time to the satisfaction of the Commission that it is in compliance with the Ethics Code, then the candidate is deemed to have withdrawn the candidacy.