OverviewIn 2006 the City Council amended provisions in the Code of Ethics related to public disclosure of financial and personal interests. The amendments expand the definition of "immediate family," set out procedures for disclosing conflicts of interest, and require public disclosure on online forms that are immediately accessible to the public. To read a newsletter article about the legislative changes, click here.
Code of Ethics
Defining Immediate Family
Ordinance 06-O-1368 revises the definition of “immediate family” in section 2-801. The definition has been changed from spouse, registered domestic partner, and dependent child to mean “spouse, domestic partner registered under section 94-133, mother, father, sister, brother, and natural or adopted children of an official of employee.” The City Council adopted the ordinance on July 17, 2006. As amended, the Code of Ethics:
Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
Ordinance 06-O-1225 amends section 2-813 on the disclosure of interests to require online reporting of conflicts of interest and to set out a standard procedure for disclosing conflicts. Persons who are disqualified from voting on legislation or a pending agency decision due to a financial or personal interest are required to verbally disclose the nature of their interest at the relevant meeting and efile a Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest form at the City Ethics eFiling System. The ordinance was adopted on June 17, 2006.
Disclosing Expense Reimbursements
The disclosure requirements for travel now require online disclosure of expense reimbursements from non-city sources. City officials and employees must efile an Expense Reimbursement form for travel and related hosting expenses when paid by non-city sources. See section 2-815. Ordinance 06-O-1035 deleted the separate disclosure requirement for all-city related travel as redundant and obsolete since officials and employees file travel expense reimbursements forms with the Finance Department when the City pays for their travel. This ordinance was adopted on May 15, 2006.
The City Council approved four charter amendments dealing with disclosure.
Ordinance 06-O-1371 amends the term "immediate family" to include "registered domestic partner" in the city council policy against nepotism. (Adopted Aug. 21, 2006.)
Ordinance 06-O-1373 amends the term "relative" to include "registered domestic partner" in the provision requiring council members to publicly disclose relatives employed by the City. (Adopted Aug. 21, 2006.)
Ordinance 06-O-1595 amends Section 5-402 on disclosures to require elected officials to publicly disclose the identity of any relative employed by the City by February 15 each year on a form prescribed by the Board of Ethics. (Adopted Sept. 5, 2006.)
Ordinance 06-O-1596 amends Section 2-302 to require council members to publicly disclose any financial or personal interest in a matter coming before the council for a vote by submitting an electronic form prescribed by the Board of Ethics. (Adopted Sept. 5, 2006.)
Gifts and Tickets
On June 5, 2006, the City Council sustained without objection the Mayor's veto of Ordinance 06-O-0980 concerning exceptions to the ban on gratuities. The Ethics Officer testified against the legislation and Board of Ethics passed a resolution urging the council to sustain the veto.