Chapter 3.50
ETHICS

Sections:

3.50.010    Adopted – Copies.

3.50.020    Declaration of policy.

3.50.030    Use of public property.

3.50.040    Obligations to citizens.

3.50.050    Code of ethics.

3.50.060    Confidentiality.

3.50.070    Penalties.

3.50.010 Adopted – Copies.

(1) The board of commissioners of the Cross Valley Water District of Snohomish County, Washington, hereby adopts the ethics code codified in this chapter.

(2) The district shall provide a copy of the ethics code to each employee of the district. [Res. 2004-9-2.]

3.50.020 Declaration of policy.

High moral and ethical standards among public officials and public employees are essential to gain and maintain the confidence of the public because such confidence is essential to the conduct of free government. They are agents of the people and hold their positions for the benefit of the people. The proper operation of democratic government requires of public officials and employees that they be independent and impartial when establishing policy and that their positions never be used for personal gain. A code of ethical conduct is necessary for the guidance of public officials where conflicts do occur as well as to prevent conflicts of interest. [Res. 2004-9-2 (Att. § 1).]

3.50.030 Use of public property.

No official or employee shall request or permit the use of district owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such services are available to the public generally or are provided as district policy for the use of such official or employee in the conduct of official business. [Res. 2004-9-2 (Att. § 2).]

3.50.040 Obligations to citizens.

No official or employee shall grant, nor shall any citizen attempt to obtain, any special consideration, treatment or advantage beyond that which is available to every other citizen. [Res. 2004-9-2 (Att. § 3).]

3.50.050 Code of ethics.

The purpose of the code of ethics is to assist district officials and employees to establish guidelines to govern their own conduct. The code is also intended to help develop traditions of responsible public service. No official or employee shall engage in any act that is in conflict with the performance of his official duties. An official or employee shall be deemed to have conflict of interest if he:

(1) Receives or has any financial interest in any sale to or by the district of any service or property when such financial interest was received with the prior knowledge that the district intended to purchase such property or obtain such service;

(2) Accepts or seeks for others any service, information or thing of value on more favorable terms than those granted to the public generally, from any person, firm or corporation having dealings with the district;

(3) Accepts any gift or favor from any person, firm or corporation having any dealings with the district if he knows or has reason to know that it was intended to obtain special consideration;

(4) Influences the selection of or the conduct of business with a corporation, person or firm having business with the district if he personally or through household relatives has financial interest in or with the corporation, person or firm;

(5) Is an employee, officer, partner, director or consultant of any corporation, firm or person having business with the district, unless he has disclosed such relationship as provided by this policy;

(6) Engages in or accepts private employment or renders services for private industry when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties or would impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties;

(7) Appears in behalf of a private interest before any regulatory governmental agency, or represents a private interest in any action or proceeding against the interest of the district in any litigation to which the district is a party, unless he has a personal interest and this personal interest has been disclosed to the regulatory governmental agency. A district commissioner may appear before regulatory governmental agencies on behalf of constituents in the course of his duties as a representative of the electorate or in the performance of public or civic obligations; however, no official or employee shall accept a retainer or compensation that is contingent upon a specific action by a district agency;

(8) Directly or indirectly possess a substantial or controlling interest in any business entity which conducts business or contracts with the district, or in the sale of real estate, materials, supplies or services to the district, without disclosing such interest as provided by this policy. An interest is not a substantial interest if such interest does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the outstanding securities of the business concern; or, if the interest is an unincorporated business concern, one percent of the net worth of such concern; or the financial interest of a corporation, person or firm does not exceed five percent of the net worth of the employee and his household relatives;

(9) As a district commissioner has a financial or other private interest in any legislation or other matters coming before the council and fails to disclose such an interest on the records of the district council. This provision shall not apply if the district commissioner disqualifies himself from voting by stating the nature and extent of such interest. Any other official or employee who has a financial or other private interest, and who participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the district council and fails to disclose on the records of the district council the nature and extent of such interest is in violation of this policy;

(10) Violates any ordinance or resolution of the district;

(11) Violates the confidentiality of his position;

(12) Makes any false statement or representation of any public record or document in a willful disregard of the truth of such statement or representation. [Res. 2004-9-2 (Att. § 4).]

3.50.060 Confidentiality.

The district imposes the duty of every district employee, district advisor, and district council member to maintain his or her confidence on any district business or information pertaining to the district of which he has knowledge regardless whether that knowledge is gained in his or her normal work; provided, however, this confidence shall not apply to matters of public record as defined by Initiative 276 and subsequent amendments thereto, nor to matters which are necessary to relate or converse about in the performance of the official duties of that district employee, advisor and/or council member. One does not maintain his confidence as used herein by speaking, writing or uttering in any manner to persons who are not at the time of such speaking, writing or uttering in the employ of, advisor to, or council member of the district. [Res. 2004-9-2 (Att. § 5).]

3.50.070 Penalties.

An employee of the district found guilty of a negligent violation of this policy is subject to civil penalties up to and including termination from employment and/or loss of pay not to exceed one month’s salary.

Any elected official found guilty of a negligent violation of this policy is subject to a civil penalty or loss of pay not to exceed one month’s salary. In addition to the sanctions for aiding, abetting, seeking or requesting a violation of this policy, any person or organization which willfully attempts to secure preferential treatment in its dealings with the district by offering any valuable gifts, whether in the form of services, loan, thing or promise, or any other form to any district official or employee, shall have its current contracts with the district canceled and shall not be able to bid on any other district contracts for a period of two years. [Res. 2004-9-2 (Att. § 6).]