[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ledgeview 11-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to enable public officials and employees, both appointive and elective, to conduct themselves in a manner that shall preserve public confidence in and respect for the government of the Town and to treat all citizens with courtesy, impartiality, fairness and equality under the law.
The terms of this code are defined as follows:
- FINANCIAL INTEREST
- Any money or property, favor, service, payment, advance, forbearance,
loan, or promise of future employment, but does not include compensation and
expenses paid by the state, fees and expenses which are permitted and reported
under Wis. Stats. § 19.56, political contributions which are reported
under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 11, or hospitality extended for a purpose
unrelated to state business by a person other than an organization.[Amended 1-18-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-02]
- OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE
- Any person elected or appointed to, or employed or retained by, any public office or public body of the Town, whether paid or unpaid and whether part-time or full-time.
- PERSONAL INTEREST
- Any interest arising from an individual's spouse or an individual's relative by marriage, lineal descent or adoption who receives, directly or indirectly, more than one-half of his or her support from the individual or from whom the individual receives, directly or indirectly, more than one-half of his or her support or from close business or political association, whether or not any financial interest is involved.
- PUBLIC BODY
- Any agency, board, body, commission, committee, department or office of the Town.
Impartiality. No official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of any consideration, treatment, advantage or favor beyond that which it is the general practice to grant or make available to the public at large.
Use of public property. No official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of any publicly owned or publicly supported property, vehicle, equipment, material, labor or service for the personal convenience or the private advantage of himself or any other person. This rule shall not be deemed to prohibit an official or employee from requesting, using or permitting the use of such publicly owned or publicly supplied property, vehicle, equipment, material, labor or service which it is the general practice to make available to the public at large or which is provided as a matter of stated policy for the use of officials and employees in the conduct of official business or which is provided for elsewhere in a resolution or ordinance of the Town Board.
Financial or personal interest. No official or employee, either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any other person, shall have any financial or personal interest in any business or transaction with any public body in the Town unless he or she shall first make full public disclosure of the nature and extent of such interest.
Disclosure and disqualification. Whenever the performance of his or her official duties requires any official or employee to deliberate and vote on any matter involving or appearing to involve his or her financial or personal interest, he or she shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest and disqualify himself or herself from voting.
Incompatible employment. No official or employee shall engage in private employment with, or render service for, any private person who has business transactions with any public body of the Town unless he or she shall first make full public disclosure of the nature and extent of such employment or services.
Representation of private persons. No official or employee shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others except as may be otherwise provided by law.
Gifts. No official or employee or immediate member of such person's family shall accept from anyone any gift, whether in the form of money, thing, favor, loan or promise, hospitality or entertainment, that would not be offered or given to him or her if he or she were not an official or employee.
No official or employee shall use or permit the use of any privileged or nonpublic information obtained in the course of his or her official duties to advance the financial or personal interest of himself or herself or any other person.
[Amended 4-19-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-010]
Requests for advisory opinion. An advisory opinion may be requested by the individual or, in the case of an individual under consideration for appointment as a Town official or employee, by the appointing officer or authority with the consent of the prospective appointee. Town officials and employees shall be afforded an opportunity to present facts at issue in the interpretation and administration of the Code of Ethics established by provisions in this chapter before an advisory opinion is issued. Requests for advisory opinions shall be made in writing.
Confidentiality of advisory opinions and proceedings. The Town Attorney shall issue written advisory opinions within 30 days of receiving any facts relevant to the issue. The written opinion shall be kept confidential unless all parties, including the requester, the subject and the Town Attorney, consent in writing to the opinion being made public.
[Amended 4-19-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-010]
Records of the Town Attorney's opinions, opinion requests and investigations of violations of this chapter may be closed in whole or in part to public inspection.
No appointing authority, agent of an appointing authority or supervisor may initiate or administer, or threaten to initiate or administer, any retaliatory action against a Town employee following an employee's disclosure of information related to the violation of any federal or state law, Town ordinance, rule or regulation, the mismanagement or abuse of authority, a substantial waste of public funds or a danger to public health and safety. Nothing in this section restricts the right of the Town as an employer to take appropriate disciplinary action against an employee who knowingly makes an untrue statement or discloses information the disclosure of which is specifically prohibited by federal or state law, rule or regulation.