Town of Moreau, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Moreau 10-10-1989 as L.L. No. 5-1989.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law supersedes former Ch. 12, Ethics, Code of, adopted 12-11-1973 as Ch. 14 of the 1973 Code, as amended. This local law also provided that it shall become effective November 1, 1989.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
INTEREST
A direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an official or employee as the result of a contract, business or professional transaction or other relationship with the Town of Moreau. For the purpose of this chapter, an official or employee will be deemed to have an interest in the affairs of:
A. 
His or her spouse and unemancipated children.
B. 
A firm, partnership or association of which an official or employee is a member or employee.
C. 
A corporation of which such official or employee is an officer, director, employee or in which the official or employee owns 5% or more of any outstanding shares of any class of stock.
OFFICIAL or EMPLOYEE
An official or employee of the Town of Moreau, whether paid or unpaid, who is a member of one or more of the boards, commissions, departments or agencies listed below or who serves in any of the capacities which follow. The Town Board reserves the right to add new classes of officials or employees under this definition as deemed appropriate.
A. 
Town Board.
B. 
Zoning Board of Appeals.
C. 
Planning Board.
D. 
Highway Superintendent.
E. 
Ethics Board.
F. 
Ethics Advisory Council.
G. 
Independent Board of Assessment & Review.
H. 
Town Clerk.
I. 
Town Attorney.
J. 
Town Engineer.
K. 
Assessors.
L. 
Building Inspector.
M. 
Assistant Building Inspector.
N. 
Deputy Highway Superintendent.
[Added 2-26-1993]
O. 
Deputy Town Clerk.
[Added 2-26-1993]
P. 
Assessors Clerk.
[Added 2-26-1993]
Q. 
Landfill Superintendent.
[Added 2-26-1993]
R. 
Landfill Fee Both Attendants.
[Added 2-26-1993]
S. 
Water Superintendent.
[Added 2-26-1993]
T. 
Town Justices.
[Added 2-26-1993]
U. 
Court Clerks.
[Added 2-26-1993]
V. 
Bookkeeper.
[Added 2-26-1993]
W. 
Recreation Director.
[Added 2-26-1993]
X. 
Custodian.
[Added 2-26-1993]
SPOUSE
The husband or wife of the employee or official unless living separate and apart from the employee or official with the intention of terminating the marriage or providing for permanent separation or unless separated pursuant to a judicial order, decree or judgment or a legally binding separation agreement.
UNEMANCIPATED CHILD
Any son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter who is under the age of 18, unmarried and living in the household of the official or employee.
It is the policy of the Town of Moreau that all officials and employees must avoid potential conflicts of interest. A potential conflict exists whenever an official or employee has an interest, direct or indirect, which conflicts with their duty to the town or adversely affects the individual's judgment in the discharge of their responsibilities. Therefore, no official or employee will:
A. 
Take action or participate in any manner whatsoever in his or her official capacity in the discussion, negotiation or awarding of any contract or in business or professional dealings with the Town of Moreau or any agency thereof in which the official or employee has or will have an interest, direct or indirect, in such contract or business or professional dealings.
B. 
Engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for his or her personal benefit when such employment or service creates a conflict or impairs the proper discharge of his or her official duties.
C. 
Solicit, directly or indirectly, any gift or receive or accept any gift having a value of $25 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise or any other form under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or her in the performance of his or her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his or her part.
D. 
After the termination of service or employment with the Town of Moreau, appear before any board or agency of the Town of Moreau in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he or she personally participated during the period of his or her service or employment or which was under his or her active consideration, unless so requested specifically by the Town Board.
E. 
Disclose confidential information acquired in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further his or her personal interest.
F. 
Accept employment or engage in any business or activity which will require him or her to disclose confidential information which he or she has gained by reason of his or her official position or authority.
G. 
Take action on a matter before the town or any instrumentality thereof when to his or her knowledge the performance of that action would provide a pecuniary or material benefit to himself or herself.
A. 
Any official of employee who has, will have or intends to acquire a direct or indirect interest in any matter being considered by the Town of Moreau or by any other official board, agency, officer or employee of the Town of Moreau and who participates in discussion before or gives opinions or advice to any board, agency or individual considering the same will publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of such interest.
B. 
Any official or employee of the Town of Moreau who has knowledge of any matter being considered by any board, agency, officer or employee of the Town of Moreau in which he or she will have or intends to acquire any direct or indirect interest will be required to disclose, in writing, his or her interest to such board, agency, officer or employee and the nature and extent thereof.
A. 
Every official and employee is required to attest on an annual basis that he or she has reviewed the Code of Ethics of the Town of Moreau and understands and is not in violation of any provision of the code. Such attestation will be made on or before the first day of April each year.
B. 
Newly appointed or elected officials or employees whose duties commence after the first day of April filing deadline will be required to submit a Code of Ethics review form within 30 days after the commencement of their duties.
C. 
The penalties for failing to comply with Subsection A and B of this section will be the same as those provided for in § 12-9.
D. 
The Code of Ethics review form shall be in a form as follows:
CODE OF ETHICS REVIEW FORM
NAME:
ADDRESS:
TITLE:
DATE OF APPOINTMENT:
I, the undersigned, hereby attest that I have reviewed the Code of Ethics provisions in the Town of Moreau Ethics and Disclosure Law.
I also attest that I understand the provisions of the code and, to the best of my knowledge, am not in violation of any of its precepts.
________________________________________
Sworn and subscribed to before me
this __________ day of __________ 19__.
________________
     Notary Public
A. 
All officials and employees of the Town of Moreau will file a statement of disclosure containing the information asked for on the annual statement of disclosure form contained hereinbelow. The statement will be filed with the office of the Town Clerk no later than the first day of April of each year and will cover a period of 12 months retroactively to the first day of April of the prior year.
B. 
Newly appointed or elected officials or employees whose duties commence after the first day of April filing deadline will be required to submit a disclosure statement within 30 days after the commencement of their duties. The disclosure will cover the twelve-month period prior to the date of filing.
C. 
Within 30 days of any change in the information contained in his or her most recently filed statement, the official or employee will file a signed amendment to the statement reflecting that change.
D. 
The Town Clerk will verify that each official or employee subject to this law has filed his or her statement and will notify the Ethics Advisory Council of any instances of noncompliance.
E. 
Financial disclosure statements will be maintained for a minimum period of seven years from the date of filing.
F. 
The disclosure statement shall be in a form as follows:
[Amended 2-26-1993]
DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I hereby submit the following disclosure statement under oath, listing the assets, liabilities and sources of income of myself, my spouse and unemancipated children.
____________________________________
Date of Statement                  
(a)
General Information:
Name:
Address:
Occupation
Title: __________ Date of Appointment:
Name of Spouse:
Occupation of Spouse:
(b)
Please list any office, trusteeship, directorship or position of any nature, whether compensated or uncompensated, held by you or your spouse with any proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other organization, presently or during the preceding 12 months, which does business with the Town of Moreau or has any matter pending before the Town Board, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals:
(c)
Please list any occupation, trade, business or profession presently engaged in by you or your spouse, presently or during the preceding 12 months, which does business or has any matter pending with or is licensed or regulated by a town agency or department (indicate what town agency or department):
(d)
Please list below all sources of income for you, your spouse or unemancipated children from entities doing business with the Town of Moreau or having any matter pending before the Town Board, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals, presently or during the preceding 12 months or anticipated within the next 12 months:
All compensated continuing employment of whatever nature:
All directorships and other fiduciary positions for which compensation has or will be claimed:
All contractual arrangements producing or expected to produce income:
All honorariums, lecture fees and other miscellaneous sources of income:
(e)
Please list below the name and address of any proprietorship, partnership or corporation doing business with the Town of Moreau or any instrumentality thereof in which you, your spouse or unemancipated children presently have or have had in the preceding 12 months an interest of 5% or more:
Company Name
Address
(f)
Please indicate below the location, general nature and acquisition date of any real property in the Town of Moreau in which any direct, indirect, vested or contingent interest is held by you, your spouse or unemancipated children along with the names of all individuals or entities who share a direct or indirect interest therein (exclude your primary residence):
Location
General Nature*
Acquisition Date
Individuals or Entities Sharing Interest
* Please specify if commercial, industrial, residential, farm or vacant.
(g)
Please list any direct or indirect interest, whether vested or contingent, of you, your spouse or unemancipated children in any contract made or executed by the Town of Moreau or any instrumentality thereof:
Instrumentality
Description of Interes
and Nature of Contract
(h)
Please list below all notes and accounts receivable* in excess of $1,000 held by you or your spouse due from any entity doing business with or having any matter considered before the Town of Moreau or any instrumentality thereof:
Name of Debtor
Type of Obligation, Date Due
and Nature of Security, If Any
* Deposit or investment accounts at banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions and investment firms do not constitute notes or accounts receivable.
(i)
Please list below all liabilities, including the name of the creditor, of you and your spouse to any entity doing business with or having any matter considered by the Town of Moreau or any instrumentality thereof (do not include credit cards or ordinary and consumer debt such as automobile and mortgage loans or ordinary and customary business loans from banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions):
Name of Creditor
Type of Obligation, Date Due
and Nature of Security, If Any
(j)
ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR WHICH SPACE IS INADEQUATE:
ATTESTATION
I hereby certify that I have read the foregoing disclosure statement and the addendum thereto, if applicable, and that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct and complete and that I have not and will not transfer any asset, interest or property for the purpose of concealing it from disclosure while retaining an equitable interest therein.
(Signed)
Sworn and subscribed to before me
this ____________ day of ______________
19____.
_____________________
         Notary Public
The Town Board recognizes that public access to disclosure statements filed by town officials and employees will enhance public confidence and deter or uncover conflicts of interest or corruption.
A. 
Any person who desires to review the disclosure statement of any official or employee must submit a written request to the records access officer providing the following:
(1) 
Name and address.
(2) 
Name and address of any person or organization on whose behalf the statement is being requested.
(3) 
A form of identification to verify that an accurate name and address has been given.
(4) 
The reason for inspecting the statement.
(5) 
Payment of a fee of $1 per page if a copy of the disclosure statement is desired.
B. 
Any official or employee whose disclosure statement has been inspected or copied will be notified of the identity and address of the person(s) or organization(s) which requested to view or copy the statement.
C. 
It will be unlawful for any person or organization to inspect or copy a statement for:
(1) 
Any unlawful purpose.
(2) 
Any commercial use. (Use by the public media does not constitute a commercial use.)
(3) 
For use directly or indirectly in the solicitation of the official or employee for political, charitable or business purposes.
D. 
A civil action may be brought by the Ethics Board against any person or organization that violates the provisions of Subsection C of this section or the willful withholding of the information requested in Subsection A of this section.
A. 
The Ethics Advisory Council will consist of five members, each appointed by majority vote of the Town Board. Each appointee must reside in the Town of Moreau. The Chairman will be selected by the Town Supervisor.
B. 
None of the members of the Ethics Advisory Council may hold any other public office, elected or appointed, or be an employee of the Town of Moreau.
C. 
The Ethics Advisory Council will serve a term of four years; however, two of the original appointees will serve initial terms of two years.
D. 
Three members of the Ethics Advisory Council will constitute a quorum.
E. 
The members of the Ethics Advisory Council will not be compensated but will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
F. 
The responsibilities of the Council shall be as follows:
(1) 
The Ethics Advisory Council will meet at least quarterly on or about the first Monday in January, April, July and October. At each meeting, the Ethics Advisory Council will hear or receive complaints of unethical practices brought by any citizen. At the quarterly meeting in April, the Ethics Advisory Council will review filed disclosure statements and Code of Ethics review forms which have been submitted by officials and employees.
(2) 
The Ethics Advisory Council will review all field statements and complaints to determine whether a conflict of interest or impropriety exists between the public duties of the official or employee and his private activities pursuant to this chapter.
(3) 
Where the Ethics Advisory Council deems a conflict of interest or other impropriety adversely relfecting on the integrity of the town government does exist and if, in the sole opinion of the majority of the Ethics Advisory Council, such conflict may warrant a public disclosure, the Council will cause and direct only relevant information pertaining to the conflict or impropriety of the particular official or employee to be filed with the Ethics Board. The Ethics Board will accept such statements and maintain separate files for the same.
(4) 
Prior to the disclosure to the Ethics Board, the Ethics Advisory Council will specify, by written opinion stating its findings of fact and conclusion, their reasons justifying their decision to notify the Ethics Board. Prior to the filing of the opinion with the Ethics Board, a copy will be mailed to the official or employee by certified mail, return receipt requested. The official or employee may respond, rebut or otherwise refute the opinion of the Ethics Advisory Council, either in writing or personally, or both, before the Council at a time and place specified by the Council. The failure of the official or employee to respond personally within 21 days from the date the opinion is received will constitute a waiver by that official or employee. The Ethics Advisory Council may, in its discretion, amend, revise or rewrite its opinion or rescind by a majority vote of the entire membership its initial decision to disclose the official's or employee's purported conflict or appearance of impropriety.
(5) 
In addition to all other powers conferred by this section, the Ethics Advisory Council may recommend to the official or employee a manner in which the conflict of interest, or appearance of impropriety may be rectified. An affidavit by the official or employee detailing his compliance with the recommendations may be sufficient reason to rescind the Ethics Advisory Council's decision to make a disclosure to the Ethics Board. The affidavit must be delivered to the Council in the time and place set forth in the Council's certified, return receipt requested letter to the official or employee. If the official or employee fails to follow the recommendations of the Ethics Advisory Council in curing the conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety, that fact will also be disclosed to the Ethics Board. Nothing herein will be construed or interpreted to mean that the Ethics Advisory Council is under a duty to make recommendations to the official or employee.
(6) 
Pending the response of the official or employee and final resolution of an issue pursuant to either Subsection F(3) and (4) herein, the Ethics Advisory Council will not disclose any information to the Ethics Board.
(7) 
The Ethics Advisory Council will recognize exceptions with respect to extensions of time within which to file disclosure statements due to justifiable cause or undue hardship. The Council, by a majority vote, may grant additional periods of time for complying with the disclosure statement filing requirement and will impose time limitations upon such extensions.
(8) 
The Ethics Advisory Council may permit an official or employee to delete from the disclosure statement one or more items of information upon a finding by a majority of the entire Council that the information which would otherwise be required to be disclosed will have no material bearing on the discharge of the duties of the official or employee.
A. 
The Ethics Board will consist of five members, each appointed by the majority vote of the Town Board. Each appointee must reside in the Town of Moreau.
B. 
None of the members of the Ethics Board may hold any other public office, elected or appointed.
C. 
The Ethics Board members will serve terms of four years; however, two of the original appointees will serve initial terms of two years.
D. 
Three members of the Ethics Board will constitute a quorum.
E. 
The members of the Ethics Board will not be compensated but will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
F. 
The responsibilities of the Board shall be as follows:
(1) 
The Ethics Board will meet as necessary and when called upon to convene by the Ethics Advisory Council. At its meetings, the Ethics Board will receive and consider complaints of unethical practices or instances of impropriety brought by the Ethics Advisory Council.
(2) 
Where the Ethics Board deems a conflict of interest or other impropriety adversely reflecting on the integrity of the town government does exist and if, in the sole opinion of the majority of the entire membership of the Ethics Board, such conflict warrants a public disclosure, the Ethics Board will cause and direct only relevant information pertaining to the conflict or impropriety of the particular official or employee to be filed with the Town Board. The filing will constitute a public record to be made available to anyone who makes application to examine such record. The Town Board will accept such statements and maintain separate files for the same.
(3) 
Prior to the filing of the opinion with the Town Board, a copy will be mailed to the official or employee by certified mail, return receipt requested. The official or employee may respond, rebut or otherwise refute the opinion of the Ethics Board, either in writing or personally, or both, before the Board at a time and place specified by the Board. The failure of the official or employee to respond personally within 21 days from the date the opinion is received will constitute a waiver by that official or employee. The Ethics Board may, in its discretion, amend, revise or rewrite its opinion or rescind by a majority vote of the entire membership its initial decision to make a public disclosure.
(4) 
In addition to all other powers conferred by this section, the Ethics Board may recommend to the official or employee a manner in which the conflict of interest, or appearance of impropriety, may be rectified. An affidavit by the official or employee detailing his compliance with the recommendations may be sufficient reason to rescind the Ethics Board's decision to disclose the statement or portion of the statement to the Town Board. The affidavit must be delivered to the Board in the time and place set forth in the Board's certified, return receipt requested letter to the official or employee. If the official or employee fails to follow the recommendations of the Ethics Board in curing the conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety that fact will also be disclosed to the Town Board.
(5) 
Pending the response of the official or employee and final resolution of an issue pursuant to either Subsection F(3) or (4) herein, the Ethics Board will not disclose any information to the Town Board or public.
(6) 
In addition to any other powers and duties specified by this chapter, the Ethics Board will have the power and duty to conduct any investigation necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. Pursuant to this power and duty, the Ethics Board may administer oaths or affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance and require the production of any books or records which it may deem relevant or material.
(7) 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article VI of the Public Officers Law, the only records of the Ethics Board which will be available for public inspection are:
(a) 
The information set forth in an annual disclosure statement pursuant to this chapter.
(b) 
Notices of reasonable cause pursuant to § 12-9A of this chapter.
(c) 
Notices of civil assessments imposed pursuant to this chapter.
A. 
If any official or employee refuses or fails, either unknowingly or intentionally, to file a statement as required by this chapter, the Ethics Board 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 official or employee will also be notified by certified mail that no statement has been filed.
B. 
Once a statement has been filed, the Ethics Board will promptly notify the Town Board that the official or employee has complied with the filing requirement of this chapter, reinstate the official or employee and release all moneys withheld.
C. 
Notwithstanding any other penalties imposed by this section, if any official or employee does not file a statement within 45 days after being notified by the Ethics Board that said official or employee has failed to file or if the official or employee files a statement which the Ethics Board determines was filed with the intent to deceive, intentionally misrepresent or otherwise fraudulently answer any question set forth in the statement or to intentionally withhold any information asked for or demanded in the statement, such action will be deemed a misconduct of office and will be ground for suspension or dismissal. The Ethics Board will send a notice of reasonable cause to the Town Board of such instances or misconduct. The Town Board may take whatever action it deems appropriate to enforce a suspension or dismissal of the offending individual.
D. 
If any official or employee files a statement with the intent to deceive, intentionally misrepresent or to otherwise fraudulently answer any question set forth in the statement or to intentionally withhold any information asked for or demanded in the statement and if such deception or misrepresentation is found to be both intentional and material, then such official or employee may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 by the Ethics Board.
E. 
Assessment of a civil penalty will be final unless suspended or vacated within 30 days of imposition by the Ethics Board.
F. 
It will be a violation of the law for any individual, except the individual who filed such statement, to disclose any information contained on a disclosure statement except as authorized by this chapter. A civil action may be brought by the Ethics Board against any person or organization that violates this section.
G. 
Nothing in this section will be construed as precluding the prosecution of officials or employees for violations of any offense, criminal or civil, pursuant to the laws, ordinances or statutes of the State of New York.
H. 
Any appointed official or employee who is dismissed from his or her position by virtue of a violation of this chapter will be prohibited for a period of three years after the date of such dismissal from service as an official or employee, as defined in § 12-1 of this chapter.