Town of Bel Air, MD
Harford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Town Commissioners of the Town of Bel Air 3-19-2012 by Ord. No. 749-12.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCS
Personnel — See Ch. 82.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 43, Ethics, Code of, adopted 3-11-1980 by Ord. No. 310, as amended.

§ 43-1 Applicability.

[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
The provisions of this chapter apply to all officials, candidates, employees, and appointees to boards and commissions of the Town of Bel Air.

§ 43-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
BUSINESS ENTITY
Any partnership, association, corporation, firm, institution, trust, foundation, sole proprietor, or other organization (except the state and the Town of Bel Air or any agency thereof), whether or not operated for profit.
CANDIDATE
A person filing for election to a municipal office.
COMPENSATION
Money or any other valuable thing, regardless of form, received or to be received by a person from an employer for services rendered.
FINANCIAL INTEREST
Ownership of an interest as the result of which the owner has received within the past three years, is currently receiving, or in the future is entitled to receive, more than $1,000 per year; or an official, employee or spouse of an official or employee has ownership of more than 3% of a business entity.
GIFT
The transfer of anything of economic value, regardless of form, without adequate and lawful consideration. A gift does not include the solicitation, acceptance, receipt, or regulation of a political contribution that is regulated in accordance with the Election Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland or any other state law regulating the conduct of elections or the receipt of political contributions.
INTEREST
Any legal or equitable economic interest that is owned or held, in whole or in part, jointly or severally, directly or indirectly, whether or not the economic interest is subject to an encumbrance or condition. However, "interest" shall not include an interest held in the capacity of an agent, custodian, fiduciary, personal representative, or trustee, unless the holder has an equitable interest in the subject matter; an interest in a time or demand deposit in a financial institution; an interest in an insurance policy, endowment policy, or annuity contract by which an insurer promises to pay a fixed amount of money in a lump sum or periodically for life or some other specified period; or a common trust fund or a trust that forms part of a pension or a profit-sharing plan that has more than 25 participants and is determined by the IRS to be a qualified trust or college savings plan under the Internal Revenue Code.
OFFICIAL or EMPLOYEE
Any Town Commissioner of the Town of Bel Air or person employed by and receiving compensation from the Town of Bel Air in any capacity; or on boards or commissions of the Town.
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
QUALIFYING RELATIVE
A spouse, parent, child or sibling.
REAL PROPERTY
Land owned, leasehold interest, or option to purchase.
TOWN AGENCY
Any Town office, department, institution, board, commission or corporation which is recognized as a branch or segment of Town government, either by the Town Charter or by any ordinance or resolution of the Town.
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
TRANSACTION INVOLVING THE TOWN OF BEL AIR
Any proceeding, application, submission, request for filing or other determination, any contract, claim or case, any sale or purchase, any computer transfer of moneys or information, or other such matter that the Town of Bel Air or any of the agencies, boards, commissions and offices thereof may be a party to or in which the Town of Bel Air may reasonably be expected to be a party.
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]

§ 43-3 Board of Ethics.

A. 
The Board of Ethics is hereby established for the purpose of administering this Code of Ethics and recommending necessary changes to the Board of Town Commissioners from time to time. The Board of Ethics shall consist of five Town of Bel Air residents, not less than 21 years of age, who shall be appointed by the Board of Town Commissioners of Bel Air. Members shall serve staggered four-year terms and shall be removed only for cause. No member of the Board shall be otherwise an official or employee of the Town of Bel Air, nor shall any member receive compensation.
B. 
The Board of Ethics of Bel Air shall:
(1) 
Devise, receive, and maintain all forms required by this chapter.
(a) 
Forms include:
[1] 
Conflict of interest form.
[2] 
Financial disclosure form.
[3] 
Gifts disclosure form.
[4] 
Lobbying registration form.
(b) 
Completed forms will be received by the Town Clerk and forwarded to the Board of Ethics within 10 days of receipt.
(c) 
All completed forms will be maintained on file at the Town Clerk's office for a period of four years.
(2) 
Develop procedures and policies for advisory opinion requests and provide published advisory opinions to persons subject to this chapter regarding the applicability of the provisions of this chapter to them.
(3) 
Develop procedures and policies for the processing of complaints to make appropriate determinations regarding complaints filed by any person alleging violations of this chapter.
(4) 
Conduct a public information program regarding the purposes and application of this chapter.
C. 
The Town Attorney shall advise the Board of Ethics.
D. 
The Board of Ethics 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.
E. 
The Board of Ethics shall determine if changes to this chapter are required to be in compliance with the requirement of State Government Article, Title 15, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and shall forward any recommended changes and amendments to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners for enactment.
F. 
The Board of Ethics may adopt other policies and procedures to assist in the implementation of the programs established in this chapter.

§ 43-4 Conflicts of interest.

A. 
Participation prohibitions.
(1) 
Except as permitted by the regulations or opinion of the Board of Ethics of the Town of Bel Air, an official or employee may not participate in:
(a) 
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, except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision of the matter.
(b) 
Any matter in which any of the following is a party, except in the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the disposition or decision with respect to the matter:
[1] 
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;
[2] 
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;
[3] 
A business entity with which the official or employee or, to the knowledge of the official or employee, a qualified relative of the official or employee is negotiating employment or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment;
[4] 
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, 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;
[5] 
A business 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
[6] 
A business entity:
[a] 
Which the official or employee knows is a creditor or obligee of the official or employee or of a qualified relative of the official or employee with respect to a thing of economic value; and
[b] 
In which a creditor or obligee of the official or employee or of a qualified relative of the official or employee is in a position to directly and substantially affect the interest of the official or employee or of a qualified relative of the official or employee.
(2) 
A person who is disqualified from participating under Subsection A(1)(a) and (b) shall disclose the nature and circumstances of the conflict using a conflict of interest form sufficiently in advance of the action 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.
(3) 
The prohibitions of Subsection A(1)(a) and (b) do not apply if participation is allowed by regulation or opinion of the Board of Ethics.
B. 
Employment and financial interest restrictions.
(1) 
Except as permitted by regulation of the Board of Ethics, 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 an entity:
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
[1] 
Subject to the authority of the official or employee or the Town agency, board or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated; or
[2] 
Which is negotiating or has entered a contract with the agency, board or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated; or
(b) 
Hold any other employment or relationship which 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, a member of a board or commission 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 Board of Ethics;
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
(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 by and in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board of Ethics; or
(d) 
Employment or financial interests allowed by regulation of the Board of Ethics if the employment does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest or the financial interest is disclosed.
C. 
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) 
Until the conclusion of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Town Commissioners that begins after the elected official leaves office, a former official or member of the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action.
D. 
Contingent compensation. Except in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, an official or employee may not assist or represent a party for contingent compensation (i.e., dependent or conditioned by something happening) in any matter before or involving the Town.
E. 
Use of prestige of office.
(1) 
An official or employee may not intentionally use the prestige of the office or public position for the private gain of that official or employee or the private gain of another.
(2) 
This subsection does not prohibit the performance of usual and customary constituent services by an elected official without additional compensation.
F. 
Solicitation and acceptance of gifts.
(1) 
An official or employee may not solicit any gift.
(2) 
An official or employee may not directly 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, board or commission with which the official or employee is affiliated;
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
(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) 
Notwithstanding Subsection F(3) of this subsection, 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 or tickets or free admission extended to an elected official to attend a charitable, cultural, or political event, 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 Board of Ethics 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; or
(h) 
Honoraria for speaking to or participating in a meeting, provided that the offering of the honorarium is not related in any way to the official's or employee's official position.
(5) 
Subsection F(4) 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.
G. 
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.
H. 
Participation in procurement.
(1) 
An individual or a person that employs an individual who assists a Town agency 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 Board of Ethics may establish exemptions from the requirements of this section for providing descriptive literature, sole-source procurements, and written comments solicited by the procuring agency.

§ 43-5 Financial disclosure: elected officials (incumbents) and candidates to be elected officials.

This section applies to all elected officials and candidates to be elected officials.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection C of this section, an elected official or a candidate to be an elected official shall file the financial disclosure form, provided by the Board of Ethics, required under this section:
(1) 
Under oath or affirmation; and
(2) 
With the Board of Ethics.
B. 
Deadlines for filing financial disclosure forms.
(1) 
An incumbent elected official shall file a financial disclosure form annually, no later than April 30 of each year for the preceding calendar year.
(2) 
An individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy in an office for which a financial disclosure form is required and who has not already filed the form shall file a financial disclosure form for the preceding calendar year within 30 days after appointment.
(3) 
An individual who, other than by reason of death, leaves an office for which a financial disclosure form is required shall file the complete form within 60 days after leaving the office.
C. 
The statement shall cover:
(1) 
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
(2) 
The portion of the current calendar year during which the individual held the office.
D. 
Candidates to be elected officials.
(1) 
Except for an official who has filed a financial disclosure form under another provision of this section for the reporting period, a candidate to be an elected official shall file a financial disclosure form each year beginning with the year in which the certificate of candidacy is filed through the year of the election.
(2) 
A candidate to be an elected official shall file a financial disclosure form required under this section:
(a) 
In the year the certificate of candidacy is filed, no later than the filing of the certificate of candidacy; or
(b) 
If the year of the election if different from the year the certificate of candidacy was filed, on or before April 30; and
(c) 
In all other years for which a statement is required, on or before April 30.
(3) 
A candidate to be an elected official:
(a) 
May file the required financial disclosure form under Subsection D(2)(a) of this section with the Town Clerk or Board of Ethics with the certificate of candidacy or prior to filing the certificate of candidacy; and
(b) 
Shall file the financial disclosure form required under Subsection D(2)(b) and (c) of this section with the Board of Ethics.
(4) 
If a candidate fails to file a financial disclosure form required by this section after written notice is provided by the Town Clerk or Board of Ethics, the candidate is deemed to have withdrawn the candidacy.
(5) 
The Town Clerk and Board of Ethics may not accept any certificate of candidacy unless a financial disclosure form has been filed in proper form.
(6) 
Within 10 days of the receipt of a financial disclosure form required under this section, the Town Clerk shall forward the statement to the Board of Ethics.
E. 
Public record.
(1) 
The Town Clerk's office shall maintain all completed financial disclosure forms filed under this section.
(2) 
Financial disclosure form shall be made available during normal office hours for examination and copying by the public, subject to administrative procedures and reasonable fees, as established in the Town's Fee Schedule passed by the Board of Town Commissioners.
(3) 
If an individual examines or copies a financial disclosure form, the Town Clerk 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 form was examined or copied.
(4) 
Upon request by the official or employee whose financial disclosure form was examined or copied, the Board of Ethics shall provide the official with a copy of the name and home address of the person who reviewed the official's financial disclosure form.
(5) 
Retention requirements. The Town Clerk's office shall retain financial disclosure forms for four years from the date of receipt.
F. 
Contents of financial disclosure forms from incumbents and elected officials.
(1) 
Interests in real property. A financial disclosure form filed under this section shall include a schedule of all interests in real property, wherever located. For each interest in real property, this schedule shall include:
(a) 
The nature of the property and the location, by street address, mailing address or legal description, of the property.
(b) 
The nature and extent of the interest held, including any conditions and encumbrances on the interest;
(c) 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired;
(d) 
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;
(e) 
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
(f) 
The identity of any other person with an interest in the property.
(2) 
Interest in corporations and partnerships. A financial disclosure form 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.
(a) 
For each interest reported under this subsection, 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.
(b) 
An individual may satisfy the requirement to report the amount of the interest held by reporting, instead of a dollar amount:
[1] 
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
[2] 
For an equity interest in a partnership, the percentage of equity interest held.
(3) 
Interests in business entities doing business with the Town. A financial disclosure form 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). For each interest reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
(a) 
The name and address of the principal office of the business entity;
(b) 
The nature and amount of the interest held, including any conditions to and encumbrances in the interest;
(c) 
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
(d) 
With respect to any interest acquired during the reporting period:
[1] 
The date when, the manner in which, and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired; and
[2] 
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 gift disclosure form filed annually 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 on or before April 30 of each year from or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any one person who does business with or is regulated by the Town. For each gift reported, the schedule shall include:
(a) 
A description of the nature and value of the gift; and
(b) 
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 financial disclosure form 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. For each position reported under this subsection, the schedule shall include:
(a) 
The name and address of the principal office of the entity;
(b) 
The title and nature of the office, directorship, or salaried employment held and the date it commenced; and
(c) 
The name of each Town agency with which the entity is involved.
(6) 
Indebtedness to entities doing business with the Town. A financial disclosure form 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:
(a) 
By the individual; or
(b) 
By a member of the immediate family of the individual if the individual was involved in the transaction giving rise to the liability.
(7) 
For each liability reported under this subsection, the financial disclosure form shall include:
(a) 
The identity of the person to whom the liability was owed and the date the liability was incurred;
(b) 
The amount of the liability owed as of the end of the reporting period;
(c) 
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
(d) 
The security given, if any, for the liability.
(8) 
A financial disclosure form 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.
(9) 
Sources of earned income.
(a) 
A financial disclosure form filed under this section shall include a schedule of:
[1] 
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 sole or partial owner and from which the individual or a 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 Town does not regulate, exercise authority over, or contract with the place of employment or business entity of the minor child.
(10) 
A financial disclosure form filed under this section may also include a schedule of additional interests or information that the individual making the statement wishes to disclose.

§ 43-6 Financial disclosure: employees and appointed officials.

A. 
This section applies to the following employees:
[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
(1) 
Town Administrator.
(2) 
All department heads.
(3) 
All deputy department heads.
(4) 
All information technology personnel.
(5) 
Armory Facilities Manager.
(6) 
Financial Officer.
(7) 
All planners.
(8) 
Chief of Operations.
(9) 
Facilities Manager.
(10) 
Assistant Chief of Operations.
(11) 
Shop Supervisor.
(12) 
Sanitation Supervisor.
B. 
A financial disclosure form under this section shall be filed with the Board of Ethics 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 gift disclosure form disclosing gifts, as defined in § 43-4, that were 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 of receipt.
D. 
Submitting a conflict of interest form to the Board of Ethics, 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. 
The Board of Ethics shall maintain all financial disclosure forms filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying as provided in § 43-5E, entitled "Public Records," and § 43-5E(5), entitled Retention Requirements, of this chapter.
F. 
For the purpose of § 43-5F of this chapter, the following interests are considered to be the interests of the individual completing the financial disclosure form:
(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 30% 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 if a revocable trust, the individual was a settlor.
G. 
The Board of Ethics shall review the financial disclosure forms submitted under this section for compliance with the provisions of this section and shall notify an individual submitting the form of any omissions or deficiencies.
H. 
The Town Board of Ethics may take appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with this section.

§ 43-7 Lobbying.

A. 
A lobbyist shall file a lobbying registration form with the Board of Ethics on or before the later of January 15 of the calendar year or within five days after first performing an act that requires registration in the calendar year with the Board of Ethics if the person:
(1) 
Personally appears before a Town official or employee with the intent to influence that person in the performance of the official duties of the official or employee; and
(2) 
In connection with the intent to influence, expends or reasonably expects to expend in a given calendar year in excess of $100 on food, entertainment, or other gifts for officials or employees of the Town.
B. 
The lobbying registration form covers a defined registration period, not to exceed one calendar year, and shall identify:
(1) 
The registrant;
(2) 
Any other person on whose behalf the registrant acts; and
(3) 
The subject matter on which the registrant proposes to make appearances specified in this section.
C. 
Within 30 days after the end of any calendar year during which a person was registered under this section, the person shall file a written report with the Board of Ethics disclosing:
(1) 
The value, date, and nature of any food, entertainment or other gift provided to a Town official or employee; and
(2) 
If a gift or series of gifts to a single official or employee exceeds $100 in value, the identity of the official or employee.
D. 
The Board of Ethics shall maintain the registrations and reports filed under this section as public records available for public inspection and copying at the Town Clerk's office for four years after receipt by the Board of Ethics.

§ 43-8 Exemptions and modifications.

[Amended 11-5-2012 by Ord. No. 755-12]
The Board of Ethics may grant exemptions and modifications to the provisions of §§ 43-4 and 43-6 of this chapter to employees and to appointed members of the Town Board and commissions when the Board of Ethics finds that an exemption or modification would not be contrary to the purposes of this chapter and the application of this chapter would:
A. 
Constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy; and
B. 
Significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service.

§ 43-9 Enforcement.

A. 
The Board of Ethics 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 Board of Ethics 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 that discipline is authorized by law.
C. 
If the Board of Ethics finds that a respondent has violated § 43-7 of this chapter, the Board of Ethics may:
(1) 
Require a respondent who is a registered lobbyist to file any additional reports or information that reasonably related to the information that is required under § 43-7 of this chapter;
(2) 
Suspend the registration of an individual registered lobbyist if the Board of Ethics finds that the lobbyist has knowingly and willfully violated § 43-7 of this chapter or has been convicted of a criminal offense arising from lobbying activities.
D. 
Upon request of the Board of Ethics, the Town Attorney may file a petition for injunctive or other relief in the Circuit Court of Harford County, or in any other court having proper venue, for the purpose of requiring compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
The court may:
(1) 
Issue an order to cease and desist from the violation;
(2) 
Void an official action taken by an official or employee with a conflict of interest prohibited by this chapter when the action arises from or concerns the subject matter of the conflict and if the legal action is brought within 90 days of the occurrence of the official action, if the court deems voiding the action to be in the best interest of the public.
F. 
The court may not void any official action appropriating public funds, levying taxes, or providing for the issuance of bonds, notes, or other evidences of public obligations.
G. 
In addition to any other enforcement provisions in this chapter, a person who the Board of Ethics 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 Board of Ethics or a court.
H. 
The 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.
I. 
Violation of § 43-7 of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor.
J. 
Fines of § 43-5, 43-6, or 43-7 shall be approved by a resolution that is passed by the Board of Town Commissioners.
K. 
A finding of a violation of this chapter by the Board of Ethics is public information.