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Ethics Opinions for 2010

AO-10-01 Icon: PDF
An employee in the utilities division of the department of public works may, upon leaving employment with the county, work for a contractor with the utilities division, on a matter in which the employee participated significantly as an employee, pursuant to a waiver granted by the ethics commission.  The commission concluded that a waiver would be appropriate because the post-employment would not adversely affect the county's interests. 

AO-10-03 Icon: PDF
An exception to the prohibition on moonlighting with an employer who contracts with the employee's agency may be granted where there is neither a conflict of interest nor the appearance of a conflict of interest. 
AO-10-07 Icon: PDF
An employee with the detention center may engage in secondary employment as an adjunct professor at the community college but may not serve as a liaison between the detention center and the community college for a tag-a-long program that pairs college students with detention center employees. 
AO-10-13 Icon: PDF
A county council member may participate in a legislative rezoning request in the proximity of the member’s business, but may not participate in another rezoning request for property that abuts the council member’s home.
AO-10-14 Icon: PDF
An assistant to the county executive may provide the executive with recommendations on awarding grants to non-profits, as part of an internal committee set up by the county executive, even while the assistant serves, in an official capacity, on the board of directors of one of the non-profits that is competing for these grants.
AO-10-19 Icon: PDF
A fire department employee may not accept travel expenses from a vendor with the county to attend a seminar hosted by that vendor. 
An employee in public works may contract with the county to work as a softball referee for the department of recreation and parks.
A council member whose spouse is a firefighter may participate in legislative action on a bill that will affect the pay scales of several groups of employees, including firefighters. The council member may not participate in legislative action with regard to a bill that affects the pension rights of firefighters only.

AO-10-28 Icon: PDF
An employee in the office of law who participated in the awarding of a contract to a private law firm, may accept a gift from one of the partners in the law firm under the specific circumstances set forth in the opinion, because the gift is purely personal and will not impact the impartial conduct of government. 

AO-10-30 Icon: PDF
A county employee may actively oppose and testify against proposed legislation that will affect the employee’s own real property, as long as the employee acts only on the employee’s own behalf and not as a representative for others.

AO-10-31 Icon: PDF
The ethics law does not prohibit a member of the Planning Advisory Board from hosting a political event for a candidate for the county council.  There may be restrictions on the political activity of members found in the Charter, but that is not within the purview of the ethics law.


AO-10-39 Icon: PDF
Represented employees may participate in political activity on behalf of their unions, but they may not reference their county titles or other attributes of their county positions in those activities. 


AO-10-40 Icon: PDF
A council member may vote on legislation where the legislative assistant has non-qualifying relatives who may be affected by the legislation.


AO-10-41 Icon: PDF
An employee of the Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, may not engage in secondary employment as a therapist pursuant to any grant received or administered by any entity that is represented on the Partnership Board. 


AO-10-45 Icon: PDF
Employees of the fire department may participate in the Wills for Heroes Foundation program that provides estate documents at no cost to first responders.


AO-10-54 Icon: PDF
A council member is not strictly prohibited from participating in legislation that may in the future, directly affect that member’s spouse, but participation in the matter would create the appearance of a conflict of interest.


AO-10-60 Icon: PDF
Police officers may act as models in an equipment catalogue in exchange for the donation of equipment to the police department, as long as the officers are not identified through any insignia, and as long as there is not endorsement of the product by the officers or the department.


AO-10-62 Icon: PDF
An employee in long-range planning, may apply and serve if appointed, on the board of appeals in another county, subject to some limitations.

AO-10-64 Icon: PDF
A school-age child-care specialist may engage in secondary employment by pursuing a business that provides training to pre-school age child care providers, subject to the limitations set forth in the opinion.
AO-10-71 Icon: PDF
A discount that is offered to all county employees is permitted where adequate and lawful consideration is required and where the discount is similar to discounts offered to other corporate groups. 
AO-10-72 Icon: PDF
An invitation to a party, which is not a cultural, charitable, or political event, that is extended by a controlled donor, may not be accepted by members of the county council where the value of the gift is $55 per person.  A party is generally considered to be the gift of a meal/beverages, and it may not exceed a modest value- $25. 
Members of the county council may attend events held be lobbyists as an exception to the gift prohibition for meals and beverages, assuming that the value of the meal/beverage /person does not exceed $25 and assuming that the entities holding the events register as lobbyists prior to the event. 

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000