LIBRARY TRUSTEE, OFFICER AND EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS
AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The Library Board of Trustees recognizes that sound, ethical standards of conduct serve to increase the effectiveness of the Library Board of Trustees, Library staff and volunteers. Actions based on an ethical code of conduct promote public confidence and the attainment of Library goals. The Board also recognizes its obligation, under the provisions of the New York General Municipal Law, to adopt a code of ethics setting forth the standards of conduct required of all Library trustees, officers, and employees.
The Library Board of Trustees is also committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of simultaneous, conflicting interests of any Library trustee, officer, or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the Library. The Board affirms its commitment to adhere scrupulously to all applicable provisions of law regarding material conflicts of interest.
- Gifts: No trustee, officer, or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit, accept, or receive any money or gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of cash, check, loan, credit, services, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the money or gift was intended to influence him or her in the performance of his or her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his or her part. However, the Board welcomes and encourages the writing of letters or notes expressing gratitude or appreciation to staff members.
- Confidential Information: No trustee, officer, or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further his or her personal interest. In addition, he or she shall not disclose information regarding any matters discussed in an executive session of the Board of Trustees regardless of whether or not such information is deemed confidential.
- Representation Before the Board: A trustee, officer, or employee shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Library Board of Trustees.
- Representation Before the Board for a Contingent Fee: A trustee, officer, or employee shall not receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Library Board, whereby the compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by the Board with respect to such matter.
- Disclosure of Interest in Matters before the Board: A member of the Board of Trustees and any trustee, officer, or employee of the district, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Board on any matter before the Board shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he or she has in such matter. The term “interest” means a pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a trustee, officer, or employee.
- Disclosure of Interests in Contracts: To the extent known, any trustee, officer, or employee of the Library who has, or will have, or subsequently acquires any interest in any contract with the Library shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest in writing to the Library Board as well as to the Library Director as soon as he or she has knowledge of such actual or prospective interest.
- Investments in Conflict with Official Duties: No trustee, officer, or employee of the Library shall invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction that creates a conflict with his or her official duties.
- Certain Real Property Interests Prohibited: No trustee, officer, or employee of the Library who has an interest in any real property, either individually or as an officer or employee of a corporation or partnership, shall participate in the acquisition or plan for acquisition of said property or any property adjacent to said property by the Library. The term “participate” shall include the promotion of the site as well as the negotiation of the terms of the acquisition.
- Prohibited Conflicts of Interest: No Library trustee, officer, or employee shall have an interest in any contract between the Library and a corporation or partnership of which he or she is a trustee, officer, or employee when such Library trustee, officer, or employee has the power to negotiate, prepare, authorize or approve the contract or authorize or approve payment there under, audit bills or claims under the contract, or appoint an officer or employee who has any of the powers or duties set forth above, and no chief fiscal officer, treasurer or his or her deputy or employee shall have an interest in a bank or trust company designated as a depository paying agent, registration agent or for investment of Library funds of which he or she is an officer or employee. The provisions of this action shall in no event be construed to preclude the payment of lawful compensation and necessary expenses of any Library trustee, officer, or employee in one or more positions of public employment, the holding of which is not prohibited by law.
- Certain Prohibited Actions: No person employed by the Library shall hire, supervise, evaluate, promote, review or discipline any other employee who is a member of the same family. In the event that marriage, promotion, or reorganization results in a situation not in compliance with this policy, reassignment or transfer will be effected in accordance with the prior practices of the library.
- Private Employment: No trustee, officer, or employee of the Library shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his or her official duties.
- Future Employment: No trustee, officer, or employee of the Library shall, after the termination of service or employment with the Library Board, appear before the Board or any panel or committee of the Board, in relation to any case, proceeding, or application in which he or she personally participated during the period of his or her service or employment or that was under his or her active consideration. This shall not bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former Library trustee, officer, or employee of any claim, account, demand or suit against the Library on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any member of his or her family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
- Use of Library Property: No Library trustee, officer, or employee shall use or permit the use of property, owned or leased to the Library, for anything other than official purposes or for activities not otherwise officially approved by the Library Board of Trustees.
- Duty to Disqualify: It is incumbent upon any Library trustee, officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, to disqualify him or herself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.
- Duty to Report Conflicts of Interest: In the event that any Library trustee, officer, or employee knows of or perceives a direct or indirect conflict of interest, he or she shall report it to the Library Board. Any resolution of such conflict by the Board shall hold the Library’s interest paramount, as well as maintain the Board’s integrity in its governing role.
- Duty to Report Violations of this Policy: Any Library trustee, officer, or employee or any member of the public noting or suspecting a violation of this policy is encouraged to report the matter, either in confidence or in public, to the Library Board.
Distribution of the Library Trustee, Officer and Employee Code of Ethics and
Conflict of Interest Policy
The Library Board of Trustees shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy to be distributed to every trustee, officer and employee of the Library. Each trustee, officer, and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his or her office or employment. In addition, the Board shall ensure that a copy of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law shall be kept posted in each public building under the Library’s jurisdiction in a place conspicuous to the Library’s trustees, officers and employees.
A Library trustee,officer, or employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including the imposition of fines, suspension, and dismissal, in the manner provided by applicable law.
Standard of Conduct
The standard of conduct at the Freeport Memorial Library is that all trustees, officers, and employees, whether paid or unpaid, scrupulously avoid any conflict of interest between the interests of the Freeport Memorial Library on the one hand, and their personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes avoiding actual conflicts of interest as well as potential and perceived conflicts of interest.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees March 14, 2007