Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 102
October 13, 2005
Issued By: City Attorney’s Office
May a city employee process payment to a city contractor if the employee has a part-time job with the contractor?
The city contracts with a sports league in connection with a community recreation program. Pursuant to the contract, the city provides funds to pay for referee services. A city employee works for the contractor on a part-time basis as a referee. The department for which he works is involved in the processing of payments to the contractor to pay for these services. The department inquires whether the employee is prohibited from performing any work for the city in connection with that contract.
III. Ethics Code
The Ethics Code has two “conflicts-of-interest” provisions. The first states that a city official or employee cannot take any official action that is likely to affect the economic interests of the
1) official or employee;
2) family members within the 2nd degree, and members of the household;
3) businesses in which the official or employee or family members hold an ownership interest;
4) employers of the official or employee or family members;
5) business entities or non-profit organizations for which the official or employee serves in an executive or decision-making capacity;
6) individuals or businesses with whom the official or employee is engaged in business or employment negotiations; and
7) any outside client of the official.
Ethics Code, Section 2-43. Should a matter that would affect the employee’s financial interests or the financial interests of his outside employer come before the employee , the Ethics Code requires that he recuse himself from any involvement in the issue and that the he disclose his conflict of interest on a form filed with the Office of the City Clerk
The second conflict-of-interest provision states that a city official cannot use his or her position with the city to unfairly advance or impede private interests or to secure for any person any form of special consideration, treatment, exemption or advantage beyond that which is lawfully available to other persons. Ethics Code, Section 2-44. Accordingly, the employee may not use his position within the city to promote the interests of his outside employer.
A city employee who has outside part-time employment with a city contractor cannot take part in any activity pertaining to the processing of payments to that entity pursuant to the city contract.