SUBSTITUTE ORDINANCE NO. BL2005-580
An ordinance amending Chapter 2.72 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws regarding ethical standards for members and prospective members of Metropolitan Government boards and commissions.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. Title 2 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws be and the same is hereby amended by deleting the provisions of Chapter 72 "Ethical Standards" in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new Chapter 2.72 "Ethical Standards": and by deleting Article III. "Council Board of Ethical Conduct".
Chapter 2.72 Ethical Standards
2.72.010. Applicability of chapter provisions - Definitions.
A. This chapter
shall apply to all members of boards and commissions of the metropolitan government,
and all persons nominated to serve on boards and commissions of the metropolitan
government, whether created by the Metropolitan Charter, established by ordinance
of the metropolitan council, or appointed by the mayor or vice-mayor:
B. For purposes of this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them below, except when the context otherwise requires:
1. "Anything of value" includes any financial benefit, or other item that is pecuniary or compensatory in value to a person, including, but not limited to, any valuable act, advance, award, contract, compensation, contribution, deposit, emolument, employment, favor, fee, forbearance, fringe benefit, gift, gratuity, honorarium, loan, offer, payment, perquisite, privilege, promise, reward, remuneration, service, subscription, or the promise that any of these items will be conferred in the future.
2. For purposes of the foregoing definition, the following do not constitute part of "Anything of Value:"
(a) payment by a governmental entity of salaries, compensation, employee benefits, or authorized reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses; or payment by an employer or business other than a governmental entity of salaries, compensation, employee benefits, or authorized reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, or pursuant to a contract, when the payment is unrelated to a Member's status as a public official or employee and is not made for the purpose of influencing, directly or indirectly, the vote, official action, or decision of any such Member; or
(b) fees, expenses, or income, including those resulting from outside employment, which are permitted and reported; or
(c) anything if
received for the lawful exchange of consideration unrelated to the Member's
position on the board or commission that is at least equal in value to the item
or act conferred or performed; or
(d) hospitality extended for a purpose wholly unrelated to the official business of the board or commission; or
(e) non-cash awards of nominal or trifling value publicly presented in recognition of public service; or
(f) gifts or other tokens of recognition presented by representatives of governmental entities or political subdivisions acting in their official capacities; or
(g) anything of value, regardless of the value, when the item of value is offered to a governmental entity, is accepted on behalf of the governmental entity, and is to remain the property of the government entity; or
(h) commercially reasonable loans made in the ordinary course of a lender's business in accordance with prevailing rates and terms, and which do not discriminate directly or indirectly against or in favor of a Member because of such individual's status as such Member; or
(i) complimentary copies of trade publications; or
(j) reasonable compensation for a published work that did not involve the use of a governmental entity's time, equipment, facilities, supplies, staff, or other resources, if the payment is arranged or paid by the publisher of the work; or reasonable compensation of a published work that did involve the use of a governmental entity's time, equipment, facilities, supplies, staff, or other resources, if the payment of the compensation to the public official or employee is lawfully authorized by a representative of the governmental entity who is empowered to authorize such compensation; or
(k) any payment, gift, or other transfer of value which is unrelated to and does not arise from the recipient's holding or having held a public position, and if the activity or occasion for which it is given does not involve the use of a governmental entity's time, equipment, facilities, supplies, staff, or other resources in any manner or degree that is not available to the general public; or
(l) anything received as a devise, bequest, or inheritance; or
(m) a gift received from an immediate relative, spouse, spouse's relative, or household member; or
(n) campaign or political contributions that are received and reported in accordance with state law.
3. "Belief" or "Believes" denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question to be true. A person's belief may be inferred from circumstances.
4. "Direct Interest" shall have the same meaning as defined in T.C.A. 12-4-101,et seq. and 6-54-107, et seq.
5. "Indirect Interest" shall have the same meaning as defined in T.C.A. 12-4-101,et seq. and 6-54-107, et seq.
6. "Material" or "Materially" means something that a reasonable person would consider important in assessing or determining how to act in a matter.
7. "Member" or "Members" means a member of a board or commission of the metropolitan government.
8. "Reasonable" or "Reasonably" when used in relation to conduct by a Member denotes the conduct of a reasonably prudent and competent public servant.
means an individual, entity, or group of individuals or entities reasonably
believed by the Member to be affiliated for purposes of contact with the Member.
A registered lobbyist shall be a "Source" separately as well as deemed
affiliated with each of the lobbyist's clients.
10. "Value" means the nominal face amount of the customary charges paid or assessed for the same product, access, or service by non-Members, exclusive of sales taxes, gratuities paid to others, and (as to charitable fund raising events) the deductible portion of the nominal cost.
2.72.020. Standards of Conduct
A. Shall not accept or solicit, for personal financial gain, any benefit that might reasonably tend to influence them to act improperly in the discharge of their official duties;
B. Shall not accept or solicit bribery;
C. Shall promptly report to the district attorney or other investigative authority any attempts made to bribe the Member or any other Member;
D. Shall not accept or solicit any cash of any amount, other than in compliance with election campaign laws and fully reported pursuant to same, irrespective of the intent of the payor, if such payment or solicitation is in any way directly or indirectly related to the Member's position on the board or commission;
E. Shall not accept or solicit Anything of Value as herein defined, except as provided in this subsection S. of the section;
F. Shall not accept or solicit any promise of any benefit, direct or indirect, to himself, family members, or his employer which the Member believes or should reasonably believe was intended to influence the Member's vote or other action taken in the member's official capacity;
G. Shall not receive or use for personal purposes any property, services or funds of Metropolitan Government unless authorized by law;
H. Shall not use for personal gain, or for the gain of any family member or employer, information pertaining to Metropolitan Governmentwhich is not a matter of common knowledge, or use his or her position to secure information about any person or entity for any purpose other than the performance of official responsibility;
I. Shall not use their position as a member of a metropolitan government board or commission improperly to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for themselves, relatives or others, provided, however, that this provision does not preclude Members from acting in a manner consistent with their official duties or from zealously providing public services to anyone who is entitled to them;
J. Shall not participate in making or influencing any Metropolitan governmental decision or action in which they know that they have any material financial interest distinguishable from that of the public generally or from that of other Metropolitan officers or employees generally;
K. Shall not give
reasonable basis by their conduct for the impression that any person can improperly
influence, or unduly enjoy their favor in, the performance of their official
duties, or that they are unduly affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence
of any person;
L. Shall not use or disclose, other than in the performance of their official duties or as may be required by law, confidential information gained in the course of or by reason of their positions;
M. Shall not violate the direct or indirect conflict of interest, consulting, lobbying, or any other requirements of state law existing or which may be adopted regulating the conduct of municipal or county officials;
N. Shall not provide services for compensation, directly or indirectly, to a person or organization who is requesting an approval, action, or determination from the board or commission. This restriction does not apply to outside employment of a Member if the employment is the Member's primary source of income and if the Member or Officer discloses his or her interest and complies with this Code and state law with regard to conflicts of interest;
O. Shall not accept other employment or engage in outside activities which might impair their independent judgment in the performance of their public duty;
P. Shall not personally participate in a decision in a matter if the Member is in negotiation concerning or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment with a person or organization which has a financial interest in a matter under consideration by or within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Government. For purposes of this subsection, the term "decision" shall mean a decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, investigation or rendering of advice, and the term "matter" shall include but not be limited to a matter, proceeding, application, request for ruling or determination, contract or claim which involves the Metropolitan Government. In such instance, the Member shall:
1. Immediately notify the chairperson of the board or commission or the entire board or commission of the nature of the negotiation or arrangement and;
2. Refrain from discussing the matter at any time with other Members if the board or commission will also consider the matter; and
3. File an official statement with the board or commission describing the nature of the negotiation or arrangement.
Q. Shall not personally represent or appear in behalf of the private interest of another before the Metropolitan Council, or any board or department of the Metropolitan Government; or, if the represented person's interest is adverse to that of the Metropolitan Government, represent any person:
(1) In any quasi judicial proceeding involving the Metropolitan
(2) In any judicial proceeding to which the Metropolitan Government is
(3) Provided, that nothing in this subsection shall preclude:
(i). A Member from representing his or her personal interests consistent with state law and this Code;
(ii). A Member from testifying as a witness under subpoena in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding;
R. Shall not fail
or refuse to file in a timely manner all Disclosure Statements and Reports required
to be filed in compliance with Section 2.72.030 below, which Statements and
Reports shall include all material information reasonably required to be included
and shall not omit any material information reasonably necessary to make such
reports complete and meaningful;
S. If related in any way, directly or indirectly, to being a Member:
(1) shall not accept promotional or hand-produced items of a Value in excess of Twenty Five Dollars ($25.00) received from a single Source in any calendar year; and
(2) shall not accept meals, beverages, food, free or discounted admissions, tickets, access to events or travel expenses from any single source of an aggregate Value in any calendar year in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), provided that a Member may accept from the sponsoring organization, on behalf of himself and a guest, free or discounted admissions, tickets or access of a face value in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) if the event is generally recognized as an annual fund raising benefit sponsored by a non-profit organization; and may accept food and beverages exempt from Member Disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 2.72.030.
Section 2.72.030. Disclosure
A. Annual Disclosures
1. On or before thirty (30) days following adoption of this Ordinance and thereafter on or before January 30 of each year, each Member shall file with the Metropolitan Clerk an Annual Disclosure Statement setting forth the information requested therein as of and for the year ended December 31 of the preceding year, with said Disclosure Statement to be personally signed by the Member and attested as being true to the best of that Member's information and belief. In completing the Disclosure form, the Member should recognize that the purpose of the Disclosure is to alleviate reasonable concerns, justified or not, of the public concerning possible conflicts and influences upon the Member's exercise of his or her legislative discretion. In situations involving ambiguity as to the application of the requested information to the facts of a Member's situation, the Disclosure Statement should be completed in all material respects, reasonably consistent with this intent.
2. The Metropolitan Clerk shall, on or before the 10th day following the filing deadline for Annual Disclosure Statements, certify whether or not each Member has filed an Annual Disclosure Statement and further notify the department of law and Council board of conduct of any Members who have failed to comply with this Disclosure requirement. The department of law shall be responsible for reviewing each of the Disclosure Statements as to form and substance.
3. Each Member shall amend his or her current Disclosure Statement within thirty (30) days of the occurrence of any material change to the disclosures.
4. All Disclosure Statements filed pursuant to this Section, and Amendments thereto shall be maintained by the Metropolitan Clerk, readily available to the public.
5. The Annual Disclosure Statement shall require the information set forth in the following form:
ANNUAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
MEMBER NAME: ______________________ BOARD/COMMISSION: _____________
This Annual Disclosure Statement is submitted in compliance with Section 2.72.030 of the Metropolitan Code for the year ended December 31, ______.
*As used herein, family members shall include your spouse, as well as all persons living in your household.
Use additional sheets of paper as necessary.
1. List all sources
of your income for the preceding calendar year.
Gifts from family members and relatives by blood or marriage need not be
disclosed. Additionally, an attorney, doctor, or other licensed professional whose source of income was his or her practice would name the practice entity, and to the extent permissible under applicable law and rules of professional conduct, would name any individual client(s) who each account for 15% (fifteen percent) or more of the individual's or practice entity's gross income. If such a professional Member relies on the foregoing protections to refrain from disclosing any client, that Member must file a certification with his or her annual disclosure statement stating: (A) the number of clients that the Member has not disclosed; (B) the laws or rules that the Member relied upon in so doing; and, (C) a statement that to the best of the Member's information and belief, those undisclosed clients do not have any matters pending before the Council within the next thirty days.
Sources: Percentage of your income:
2. To the best
of your knowledge, list all sources of income for your family members for the
preceding calendar year.
Gifts from family members and relatives by blood or marriage need not be disclosed. Additionally, an attorney, doctor, or other licensed professional whose source of income was his or her practice would name the practice entity, and to the extent permissible under applicable law and rules of professional conduct, would name any individual client(s) who each account for 15% (fifteen percent) or more of the individual's or practice entity's gross income. If such a professional Member relies on the foregoing protections to refrain from disclosing any client, that Member must file a certification with his or her annual disclosure statement stating: (A) the number of clients that the Member has not disclosed; (B) the laws or rules that the Member relied upon in so doing; and, (C) a statement that to the best of the Member's information and belief, those undisclosed clients do not have any matters pending before the board or commission within the next thirty days.
Family member: Source:
3. Do you or a family member presently have a financial interest of at least 5% (five percent) of any business with operations, offices, or interests in the Metropolitan Nashville area?
_____Yes _____ No
Yourself or Business name and address: Percent of the business Family member: represented by the interest, if known:
4. Do you or a family member have a direct or indirect financial interest in any real property located in Davidson County, including your primary residence? Indirect interests indicate interests of greater than 5% in Real Estate Investment Trusts, other trusts in which you hold a beneficial interest in excess of 5% and other legal entities whose primary business is real estate related.
_____Yes _____ No
Name and address
of the real property: _____________________________________
5. Do you or a family member hold any position* with any for-profit entity, non-profit entity, labor group, or educational or other institution, which position is not disclosed above as a source of income?
*These include positions from which no value is received.
_____Yes _____ No
6. Do you or any family member have a financial interest in, or are you or a family member a party to, any litigation involving the Metropolitan Government?
_____Yes ______ No
If Yes, describe
7. Do you or a family member have any* debts, guarantees, or endorsements of debts aggregating over $5,000 owed to any one creditor?
*Excluding liabilities owed to a family member or relative by blood or marriage, and excluding loans from established financial institutions made in the ordinary course of business on usual and customary terms.
_____Yes _____ No
If Yes, describe
8. Do you or a family member have any debts in excess of $5,000 which are secured by a guarantee or collateral of any individual other than a family member or a relative by blood or marriage?
_____Yes _____ No
If Yes, describe
The information provided herein is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true and complete.
Signature of Member
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this
____ day of _________________, 20__.
My Commission Expires:
C. Personal Interest Disclosures. In addition to the foregoing Annual Disclosure Statements, each Member shall notify the chairperson of the board or commission and the Metropolitan Clerk, preferably in writing and as far in advance of the expected time of consideration of the legislation as reasonably possible, of any direct and/or indirect personal interests which the Member, any family member, employer and/or material client or customer of the Member may have in any matter pending before the board or commission, and, as appropriate, shall comply fully with the provisions of Tennessee law in that regard.
D. Monthly Benefits
Disclosures. In addition to the foregoing, each Member shall file a report,
in form and substance as attached below, with the Metropolitan Clerk within
ten days of the end of each month, a Benefits Report of the form and content
set forth below, of Anything of Value received by the Member within the preceding
month, exclusive of the following:
1. All donations in connection with political campaigns made and reported in compliance with Tennessee election laws;
2. Food and/or beverages of a nominal value furnished by individuals or organizations simultaneously to all Members.
MONTHLY BENEFIT REPORTING STATEMENT
MEMBER: ______________________ BOARD/COMMISSION: _____________
For the month of ____________________, ____ (year).
sheets of paper as necessary.
1. List Anything of Value you have received, as defined in Article II, Chapter 2.04 of the Metropolitan Code, since your last Quarterly Reporting Form was submitted.
a. Benefit type
may be described by reference to the following abbreviations:
M = Meals, food, and beverage items
A = Admissions, tickets to events, or other access (including parking)
T = Travel expense
O = Other (describe)
b. For purposes of this report, the Member is not required to list those items set forth in Section 2.040.080 E 1and 2.
Source: Date: Benefit
Type and Description: Value:
2. As to each Source set forth in Item 1, list the aggregate Value of all benefits you have received this calendar year.
provided herein is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true and complete.
Signature of Member
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this
____ day of ____________, 20__.
My Commission Expires: ____________
board of conduct - Authority and responsibilities.
The council board of conduct (created pursuant Article II of Chapter 2.04 of this code), shall have the authority to review complaints lodged against members of boards and commissions and to issue advisory opinions as requested by members of boards and commissions. Those responsibilities of the board of conduct as in regard to members of the metropolitan council shall likewise be applicable to members of boards and commissions of the metropolitan government. Those procedures established for the functioning of the board of ethical conduct shall also apply to members of boards and commissions. Those powers and responsibilities vested in the metropolitan council with regard to reviewing the action of the board of ethical conduct shall likewise be applicable to members of boards and commissions.
Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: John Summers
|Introduced:||April 5, 2005|
|Passed First Reading:||April 5, 2005|
|Referred to:||Rules & Confirmations Committee|
|Deferred to June 7, 2005:||April 19, 2005|
|Deferred to July 19, 2005:||June 7, 2005|
|Substitute Introduced:||July 19, 2005|
|Deferred to December 6, 2005:||July 19, 2005|
|Deferred Indefinitely:||December 6, 2005|
|Withdrawn:||August 21, 2007|