Chapter 2.36


2.36.010  Code review.

2.36.020  Declaration of policy.

2.36.030  Responsibilities of public office.

2.36.040  Dedicated service.

2.36.050  Council--Staff interrelationships.

2.36.060  Protection from reprisals.

2.36.070  Use of city position, facilities or equipment.

2.36.080  Use of public property.

2.36.090  Use of confidential information.

2.36.100  Representing private interests before city agencies.

2.36.110  Fair and equal treatment.

2.36.120  Obligations to citizens.

2.36.130  Disclosure of interest and disqualification.

2.36.140  Honoraria.

2.36.150  Lobbying.

2.36.160  Gifts, favors, gratuities.

2.36.170  Compliance with state law.

2.36.180  Annual statements.

2.36.190  Violations--Actions.

2.36.200  State laws--Control.

2.36.010 Code review.

All official boards, commissions and committees of the city are to formally review the following conflict of interest code provided in this chapter annually during their first meeting in the month of July. New members are to be provided a copy of the code for their review when they are appointed or elected to each board, commission or committee. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.020 Declaration of policy.

The proper operation of municipal government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people, that governmental decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure, and that public office not be used for personal gain. Therefore, this conflict of interest code is promulgated pursuant to Government Code Section 87300. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.030 Responsibilities of public office.

A. Public officials are all elective officials of the city and the members of all official boards, commissions and committees of the city.

B. Public officials and employees are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state and to carry out the laws of the nation, state and municipality. Public officials and employees are bound to observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their offices regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their primary concern, that conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.040 Dedicated service.

Public officials and employees should not exceed their authority or breach the law or ask others to do so and they should work in full cooperation with other public officials and employees unless prohibited from so doing by law or officially recognized confidentiality of their work. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.050 Council--Staff interrelationships.

A. The city council recognizes that one of the functions of the city staff is executing council policy. In furtherance of the goals of the city staff is directed to reject any attempts by individual members of the council to unduly influence or otherwise pressure them into making, changing of suppressing staff decisions or recommendations, or changing departmental work schedules and priorities. Staff shall report such attempts to influence them in confidence to the city administrator who may inform the council as a whole of such attempts. Staff is to be protected from undue influence and pressure and must be allowed to execute priorities given by the city administrator, department heads and the council as a whole without fear of reprisal.

B. Members of the city council will direct complaints, suggestions and information directly and quickly to the city administrator. It is important that problems be handled promptly through the city administrator’s office for the satisfaction of the council members and their constituents.

C. If a councilmember wishes to influence the actions, decisions, recommendations, work loads, work schedules and priorities of the staff, that member must prevail upon the council as a whole to do so as a matter of council policy. Individual council members are not entitled to staff cooperation for personal benefit.

D. Individual councilmembers as well as the council as a whole are permitted and complete freedom of access to any information requested, and shall receive the full cooperation and candor of the city administrator in being provided with any requested information.

E. Staff support and assistance may be provided or made available, but advisory bodies do not have supervisory authority over city employees. Staff members are responsible to their immediate supervisors and the city administrator. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.060 Protection from reprisals.

No officials shall use or threaten to use their official authority or influence to discourage, restrain or interfere with any other person for the purpose of preventing such person from acting in good faith to report or otherwise bring to the attention of the city council or other appropriate agency,: office or department any information which, if true, would constitute a work-related violation of any law or regulation. Such violations could include waste of city funds, abuse of authority, a specified and substantial danger-to public health or safety due to an act of an official, use of a city office, position or resource for personal gain or a conflict of interest for an official. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.070 Use of city position, facilities or equipment.

No official of the city of Angels and no candidate for elective city office shall use that position or prospective position, or the power or authority of that office or position, in any manner intended to induce or coerce any person to provide, directly or indirectly, anything of value which shall accrue to the private advantage, benefit or economic gain of the official, or any other persons. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.080 Use of public property.

No official or employee shall request or permit the use of city-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 municipal policy for the use of such official or employee. No public official or employee shall use the time of any city employee during working hours for personal convenience or profit. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.090 Use of confidential information.

Officials must not disclose confidential information acquired or made available to them in the course of their duties with the city without prior formal authorization of the public body having jurisdiction. Such information shall not be used for personal gain. If disclosure is responsible for municipal monetary loss the individual can be subject to financial liability. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.100 Representing private interests before city agencies.

A. Officials shall not appear on behalf of private interests before any board or department of the city. They shall not represent private interests in any action or proceedings against the interests of the city in any litigation to which the city is a party.

B. Officials may appear before city departments and boards on behalf of constituents in the course of their duties as representatives of the electorate, or in the performance of public or civil obligations. However, no retainers or compensation contingent upon a specific action by the city can be accepted. This section shall not be construed as prohibiting the appearance of any officials when being subpoenaed as witnesses by parties which might also involve the city, or the appearance for support of an official’s own interest or that of an official’s spouse or children.

C. Actions which may not be unlawful, but have the appearance of impropriety should be avoided. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.110 Fair and equal treatment.

Preferential consideration of the request or petition of any individual citizen or group of citizens shall not be given. No person shall receive special advantages beyond that which are available to any other citizen. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.120 .Obligations to citizens.

A. Conflict with proper Discharge of Duties. No public official or employee, while serving as such, shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity, or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest and of his responsibilities as prescribed by law.

B. Incompatible Employment. No public official or employee shall accept other employment which he has reason to believe will either impair his independence of judgment as to his official duties or require him or induce him to disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of and by reason of his official duties.

C. Disclosure of Confidence Information. No public official or employe shall wilfully and knowingly disclose for pecuniary gain to any other person confidential information acquired by him in the course of and by reason of his official duties nor shall any public official or employee use any such information for the purpose of pecuniary gain.

D. Conflict of Interest. A conflict of interest exists in a matter before an official for consideration or determination if:

1. The public official has substantial financial or substantial personal interest in the outcome or as owner, member, partner, officer, employee or stockholder of any corporation where his interest exceeds three percent of the share of the corporation and/or other professional enterprise that will be affected by the outcome, and such interest is or may be adverse to the public interest in the proper performance of governmental duties by the official;

2. He has reason to believe or expect that he will derive direct monetary gain or suffer a direct monetary loss, as the case may be, by reason of his official activity;

3. The public official, because of bias or prejudice, or because he has prejudged a matter set for public hearing, is incapable because of such bias, prejudice or prejudgment of granting to the matter before him a fair and impartial hearing.

"Personal interest" as distinguished from financial interest is defined as including, among other matters, an interest arising from blood or marriage relationships or close business association. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.130 Disclosure of interest and disqualification.

A. Any councilman who has conflict of interest, as defined herein, in any matter before the city council, shall disclose such fact on the records of the city council and refrain from participating in any discussion of voting thereon, provided that such exceptions shall be observed as are required by law.

B. Any member of any official board, commission or committee who has a conflict of interest as defined herein, in any matter before the board, commission or committee of which he is a member, shall disclose such fact on the records of such board, commission or committee and refrain from participating in any discussion or voting thereon, provided that such exceptions shall be observed as are required by law.

C. Any employee who has a financial or other special interest in a matter before the city council or any board, commission or committee and who participates in discussion with, or gives an official opinion to the council, or to such board, commission or committee relating to such matter, shall disclose on the records of the council or such board, commission or committee, as the case may be, the nature and extent of such interest. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.140 Honoraria.

Officials whose salaries are paid in whole or in part by the city who have been asked to speak or write on city-related subjects because of their position with the city are banned from accepting money or anything of value (an honorarium) for that service. Accepting an honorarium would be considered incompatible employment, particularly when preparation for the assignment is done wholly or in part on city time and with city supplies.

"Honorarium" means a payment for speaking at any event, participating in a panel or seminar, or engaging in any similar activity. It is a form of income subject to much abuse, and thus is banned.

An "honorarium" does not include free admission, food, beverages and similar nominal benefits provided to an official of the city of Angels at an event at which the official speaks, participates in a panel or seminar, or performs a similar service, nor does it include reimbursement or advances for actual travel or for necessary accommodations provided directly in connection with the event. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.150 Lobbying.

During city service or for one year after leaving city service no employee or elected official shall attempt to lobby or influence any current official on matters pending before the city. This rule shall be strictly enforced against both persons, the lobbyist and the person contacted. (For this section, a "lobbyist" is defined as a person paid to try to influence legislation.) (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.160 Gifts, favors, gratuities.

No officials shall accept money, or other consideration or favors from anyone other than the city for the performance of an act which they would perform anyway in the regular course of their duties; nor shall such persons accept any gift, gratuities or favors of any kind from which it could reasonably be inferred that such was intended to influence them in their official employment or duties, or as a reward for official action.

For the purposes of this section it shall be conclusively presumed that the acceptance by officials of any gift or gifts for any charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic or public purposes will not improperly influence them in the discharge of their duties. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.170 Compliance with state law.

Public officials and employees of the city shall comply with applicable provisions of state law relative to conflicts of interest and generally regulating the conduct of public officials and employees. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.180 Annual statements.

Public officials, commissioners and employees of the city shall file annual statements of financial interest in accordance with Government Code Section 87203 and Section 87200. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.190 Violations--Actions.

The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be;

A. As to all city employees, grounds for dismissal from city employment;

B. As to any appointed position on any board, commission or committee, grounds for removal from any such board, commission or committee;

C. As to any prosecution of any elected official the city council may, by majority vote, cause notification of the appropriate agency to initiate an, investigation. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)

2.36.200 State laws--Control.

This chapter and its application is intended to be supplemental to and consistent with all applicable state laws. (Ord. 330 (part), 1993)