For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning. Any term not defined shall have its generally accepted meaning:
   BENEFIT. Includes money, credit; campaign contributions; enhancement of real estate interest(s) or value(s), and business interests or gifts valued in excess of $20. BENEFIT shall specifically not include media coverage; or other intangibles that may be construed as enhancing or detracting from an official’s “individual, political, or personal” persona.
   BUSINESS ENTITY. Includes any entity, profit or nonprofit, organized for any purpose in any form except that BUSINESS ENTITY does not include a government entity.
   CABINET MEMBER. Any person as defined by the County Commissioners of Carroll County, Maryland.
   COMPENSATION. Any money or thing of value, regardless of form, received or to be received by an individual covered by this chapter from an employer for services rendered. For the purposes of the lobbying section of this chapter, if lobbying is only a portion of a person’s employment, COMPENSATION means a prorated amount based on the time devoted to lobbying compared to the time devoted to other employment duties. For reporting purposes, a prorated amount shall be labeled as such.
   COMPLAINANT. Any person filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission alleging a violation of this chapter.
   COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. The Board of County Commissioners of Carroll County, Maryland.
      (1)   If an individual owns one second home, the individual’s second home; or
      (2)   If an individual owns more than one second home, any one second home the individual identifies to the Ethics Commission as the individual’s DESIGNATED SECOND HOME.
   DOING BUSINESS WITH. Having, bidding on, or negotiating a contract that involves the commitment, either in a single or combination of transactions of $5,000 or more of county controlled funds; or being regulated by or otherwise subject to the authority of Carroll County; or being registered as a lobbyist under § 34.13 of this chapter.
   ELECTED OFFICIAL. Any individual who holds an elective office of Carroll County. ELECTED OFFICIAL does not include the Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Register of Wills, or the Clerk of the Court.
   EMPLOYEE. Any person, other than an elected local official, who is employed by the County Commissioners. EMPLOYEE does not include an employee of the Offices of the Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Register of Wills, Clerk of the Court, Carroll County Health Department, or Carroll County Department of Social Services.
   ETHICS ADMINISTRATOR. The Carroll County Ethics Administrator.
   ETHICS COMMISSION. The Carroll County Ethics Commission.
   EXECUTIVE ACTION. Any action taken by the County Commissioners in an executive capacity.
      (1)   Ownership of any interest as a result of which the owner has received within the past three years or currently is receiving, or in the future is entitled to receive, remuneration of cash value or dividends of more than $1,000 per year; or
      (2)   Ownership, or the ownership of securities of any kind representing or convertible to ownership, of more than 3% of a business entity by a county elected official, official or employee, or the spouse of a county elected official, official or employee.
   GIFT. The transfer of anything of economic value, regardless of the form, without an exchange of consideration of at least equal value. GIFT does not include a political campaign contribution regulated under Elections Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, or any other provision of state or local law regulating the conduct of elections or the receipt of political campaigns contributions.
   HOME ADDRESS. The address of an individual’s principal home and designated second home, if any.
      (1)   A payment of money or anything of value for:
         (a)   Speaking to, participating in, or attending a meeting, conference or other function; or
         (b)   Writing an article, other than a book, that has been or is intended to be published.
      (2)   The acceptance of payment for any of the above which falls under performance of job duties and responsibilities is prohibited.
      (3)   The acceptance of payment for any of the above which is nonemployment related must be reported as secondary employment.
      (4)   HONORARIUM does not include payment of or reimbursement for reasonable expenses for meals, travel, lodging, and care for children or dependent adults.
   IMMEDIATE FAMILY. A spouse and dependent children.
   INTEREST. A legal or equitable economic interest, whether or not subject to an encumbrance or a condition, that is owned or held, in whole or in part, jointly or severally, directly or indirectly. For the purposes of this chapter, INTEREST includes any interest held at any time during the reporting period. INTEREST does not include (1) an interest held in the capacity of a personal agent, custodian, fiduciary, personal representative, or trustee, unless the holder has an equitable interest in the subject matter; (2) an interest in a time or demand deposit in a financial institution; (3) an interest in an insurance policy, endowment policy, or annuity contract under which an insurer promises to pay a fixed amount of money either in a lump sum or periodically for life or a specified period; (4) a common trust fund or a trust which forms part of a pension or profit sharing plan which has more than 25 participants and which has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be a qualified trust under the Internal Revenue Code; or (5) a college savings plan under the Internal Revenue Code.
   LOBBYING. The performing of any act requiring registration under this chapter. These include (1) communicating in the presence of a county official or employee with the intent to influence any official action of that official or employee; or (2) engaging in activities with the express purpose of soliciting others to communicate with a county official or employee with the intent to influence that official or employee.
   LOBBYIST. Any person who, within a reporting period, in the presence of any official or employee has communicated with that official or employee for the purpose of influencing any legislative action, and who, for that purpose either incurs expenses or receives compensation, or gives to one or more officials or employees meals, beverages, entertainment or gifts in connection with or with the purpose of influencing executive action. LOBBYIST is a person required to register and report expenses related to lobbying under § 34.13 of this chapter.
   OFFICIAL. An elected official, an employee of the county, or a person appointed to or employed by the county or any county agency, board, commission or similar entity, whether or not paid in whole or in part with county funds and whether or not compensated.
   PERSON. An individual or a business entity.
   PRINCIPAL HOME. The sole residential property that an individual occupies as the individual’s primary residence, whether owned or rented by the individual.
   QUALIFIED RELATIVE. A spouse, parent, child, brother or sister.
   QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. Any entity that is created by state statute, that performs a public function, and that is supported in whole or in part by the state but is managed privately.
   RESPONDENT. Any person responding to a complaint filed against them alleging a violation under this chapter.
   SECOND HOME. A residential property that (1) an individual occupies for some portion of the filing year; and (2) is not a rental property or a time share.
(2004 Code, § 18-2) (Ord. 03-14, passed 7-1-2003; Ord. 2010-10, passed 6-17-2010; Ord. 2018-02, passed 3-13-2018; Ord. 2021-03, passed 3-11-2021; Ord. 2022-16, passed 11-10-2022)