(A)   The City Attorney is designated as the Ethics Officer of the city. Upon the written request of an official or employee potentially affected by the complaint, the City Attorney may render an oral or written advisory ethics opinion based upon this subchapter and other applicable law.
   (B)   (1)   Except as otherwise provided in this division (B), the City Attorney shall investigate any credible complaint against an appointed official or employee charging any violation of this subchapter, or may undertake an investigation on his or her own initiative when he or she acquires information indicating a possible violation, and make recommendations for action to end or seek retribution for any activity that, in the Attorney’s judgment, constitutes a violation of this code of ethics.
      (2)   The City Attorney may request the City Commission to hire another attorney, individual or entity to act as Ethics Officer when he or she has or will have a conflict of interest in a particular matter.
      (3)   When a complaint of a violation of any provision of this subchapter is lodged against a member of the city’s City Commission, the City Commission shall either determine that the complaint has merit, determine that the complaint does not have merit or determine that the complaint has sufficient merit to warrant further investigation. If the City Commissioners determines that a complaint warrants further investigation, it shall authorize an investigation by the City Attorney or another individual or entity chosen by the City Commission.
   (C)   The interpretation that a reasonable person in the circumstances would apply shall be used in interpreting and enforcing this code of ethics.
(Ord. 669, passed 4-23-2007; Ord. 848, passed 2-24-2020)