[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ocean Beach 9-9-78 as L.L. No. 2-1978 as Article XV of the 1951 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Officers and employees — See Ch. 30.
This chapter shall be known as the "Village of Ocean Beach Prohibition of Conflict of Interest and Public Disclosure by Elected Officials Law."
It is hereby declared the policy of the Village of Ocean Beach to:
Provide assurance to the residents of the Village of Ocean Beach that their village government is administered free of any conflicts of interest.
Recognize that the citizens of the Village of Ocean Beach are entitled to a high standard of candor from their public servants.
Provide a means by which village officials shall disclose their business and personal affairs so as to ensure the residents of the Village of Ocean Beach of their integrity and accountability and to avoid any doubt or question of conflicts of interest.
Discourage and detect corruption and the appearance of corruption.
Instill in the public a sense of confidence and integrity in its public servants.
Maintain the integrity and reliability of village officials.
The citizens of the Village of Ocean Beach desire and require accountability and candor from their government, more particularly those elected officials who perform responsible functions on behalf of the village government.
Any conflict of interest on the part of elected officials is deleterious to the village government administration and credibility.
Those elected officials as hereinafter defined constitute a distinct class of village officials whose public and personal affairs reflect upon and relate to the credibility and quality of government administration.
There is hereby created a Board of Ethics consisting of the Village Attorney and the Village Clerk and three public members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Board of Trustees, each for a term of five years, who shall serve without compensation. The three public members of the Board of Ethics shall initially be appointed for one-, three- and five-year terms, respectively, with their successors to be appointed for five-year terms so that the terms of each of the public members shall expire every two years. The Mayor shall designate a Chairman from among the public members.
three members of the Board of Ethics must be present to constitute a quorum. Once a quorum exists, the absence of any member shall not prevent a quorum.
The Board of Ethics may investigate any matter within the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics and report the result of such investigation to the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Ethics shall render advisory opinions with respect to questions of ethical conduct, conflicts of interest and other matters arising under this chapter. Such advisory opinions shall be rendered on the written request of any elected official or on the initiative of the Board of Ethics or on the request of two members of the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics may conduct whatever hearings it deems necessary and shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, to permit the filing of any submissions in connection therewith, to promulgate any rules or regulations it deems necessary and appropriate and to enforce any and all of its powers in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County.
The Board of Ethics shall make public its advisory opinions with such deletions as may be necessary to prevent disclosure of the identity of any involved party other than an elected official. The other records, reports, memoranda and files of the Board shall be confidential and shall not be subject to public scrutiny.
In addition to all other powers conferred by this section, the Board of Ethics may recommend to the official a manner in which the conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety may be rectified.
The Board of Ethics shall review the provisions of this chapter relating to conflicts of interest at least once every five years and shall recommend to the Board of Trustees changes or additions that may be appropriate or desirable.
An elected official who has a direct or indirect financial or other private interest in any proposed legislation or other matter pending before any elected official shall publicly disclose, on the official records of the Board of Trustees, the nature and extent of such interest.
No elected official shall:
Be or become interested directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever except by operation of law, in any business dealings with the village or any village agency.
Act as attorney, agent, broker or employee or consultant for any person, firm, corporation or other entity interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in any such business dealings.
Accept any valuable gift, whether in the form of service, loan, thing or promise, or in any other form, from any person, firm, corporation or other entity which to his knowledge is interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in any such business dealings.
Represent private interests before any village agency.
Appear as attorney or counsel against the interests of the village or any village agency in any litigation to which the village or any village agency is a party or in any action or proceeding in which the village or any village agency, or any officer or employee of the village or any village agency, acting in the course of his official duties, is a complainant.
Act as any attorney, agent, broker, employee or representative in any transaction which will impair his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties, create a conflict of interest with his official duties or have the appearance of impairing his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties or creating a conflict of interest with his official duties.
Engage in any business or transaction or private employment, or have any financial or other private interest, direct or indirect, which is in conflict with the proper discharge of his official duties.
Use or attempt to use his position to obtain any financial gain, contract, license, privilege or other private or personal advantage, direct or indirect, for himself or any person, firm, corporation or other entity with which he is associated; he shall be deemed associated with each person who is a close relative by blood or marriage, with each person with whom he has a business or other financial relationship and with each firm, corporation or other entity in which he has a present or potential interest, direct or indirect.
Attempt to influence the course of any proposed legislation without publicly disclosing on the official records of the Board of Trustees the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he may have in such legislation.
Coerce or attempt to coerce, by intimidation, threats or otherwise, any officer or employee of the village or any village agency to engage in political activities.
Disclose any confidential information concerning any of the property, affairs or government of the village or any village agency, or use any such information to advance the financial or other private interest of himself or any other person, firm, corporation or other entity.
No person who has served as an elected official of the village, within a period of one year after termination of his office, shall appear before any village agency or receive compensation for any services rendered on behalf of any person, firm, corporation or other entity in relation to any case, proceeding, application or other matter with respect to which, during his term of office, he was directly concerned or in which he personally participated or which was under his active consideration.
As used in this chapter, the words "business dealings with the village" shall include any contract, service, work or business with; any sale, renting or other disposition to; any purchase, leasing or other acquisition from; and any grant, license, permit or other privilege from the village or any village agency; and any performance of or litigation with respect to any of the foregoing.
This § 16-8 shall not be construed to prohibit an elected official from accepting or receiving any benefit or facility which is provided for or made available to citizens or residents or classes of citizens or residents generally.
For the purposes of this chapter, any elected official shall be deemed to have an interest in any matter or income from any matter when he, his spouse or their brothers, sisters, parents, children, grandchildren or the spouse of any of them has an interest therein or income therefrom.
Any elected official shall, upon taking his oath of office as such official, file with the Village Clerk a sworn affidavit in the form as required by the Board of Ethics setting forth his interest, either direct or indirect (as defined in § 16-8F above), in any business within the Village of Ocean Beach, as well as a recitation of any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect (as defined in § 16-8F above), that he may have in any business or business transaction or real property located within the Village of Ocean Beach. If there are any changes in the information contained in such affidavit during the term of such elected official, affidavits amending such information shall subsequently be filed with the Village Clerk within 10 days of such change.
Any elected official shall disclose the source of any income (as defined in § 16-8F above), derived directly or indirectly from acts or transactions arising out of or in connection with any transaction relating in any manner to the Village of Ocean Beach or any resident or business thereof or therein, in a form as required by the Board of Ethics. If there are any changes in the information contained in such affidavit during the term of such elected official, affidavits amending such information shall subsequently be filed with the Village Clerk within 10 days of such change.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ELECTED OFFICIAL
- The Mayor and any member of the Board of Trustees and, although not elected, the members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Village Treasurer and the Chief of Police.
If any elected official shall refuse or fail, either knowingly or intentionally, to file or complete the affidavit as required by this chapter, the Board shall notify the Village Clerk that said individual has not filed a statement. Upon such notification the Village Clerk shall withhold the paycheck of said official. In addition, the official shall also be notified by the Board of Ethics of said failure either to file or complete the affidavit.
Notwithstanding any other penalties imposed by this section, if any elected official does not file a completed statement within 15 days after being notified by the Board of Ethics that said official has failed to file, or if the Board of Ethics determines that said affidavit is misleading in any respect and said official fails to correct said affidavit within a fifteen-day period of written notification thereof, such action shall be deemed a misconduct of office and shall be ground for dismissal or removal pursuant to the Public Officers Law, Article 3, or any other applicable section of law.
If any elected official files an affidavit with the intent to deceive, intentionally misrepresent or to fraudulently answer any question set forth in the statement, or to intentionally withhold any information asked or demanded in the statement, or intentionally fails to file said affidavit, and if such deception, misrepresentation or withholding is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be intentional, then such employee shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250. In all criminal proceedings, the Board of Ethics, through a designated representative, may act as the complaining witness.