|Ethics Opinions for 2010|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.