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(a) Expectations of Government. The citizens of Lakewood rightfully expect their government of elected and appointed officials, and their employees, to behave legally and ethically following principles of open government. All officials will treat each other with respect and together work to make Lakewood a desirable place to live. The citizens also rightfully expect honesty, respect and fair treatment by all involved in governance. City officials have a responsibility to educate, monitor and support all employees and city representatives in this mission.
(b) Oath of Office. Every elected or appointed officeholder of the city shall, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation, to be filed and kept in the office of the clerk of council, that he or she will in all respects faithfully discharge the duties of his or her office.
(c) Public Ethics. The city shall be governed by the following ethical obligations:
(1) The mayor, councilmembers, director of law and director of finance owe a fiduciary duty to the city. As such, these officials, and the city employees under their supervision, shall be held to the highest ethical standards in all public matters. In the interest of preserving the public trust, these officials shall avoid any perceived conflict of interest or any action likely to give the appearance of impropriety in the execution of their public duties.
(2) Upon taking office, the mayor shall insure that policies governing the ethics of city employees in the execution of their job duties are in place, that these polices are consistent with the ethical requirements of general law, and that these policies are communicated in writing to all city employees.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent council from enacting by ordinance or resolution any rules or policies governing ethics of city employees.
(3) No city official or employee, through any improper use of that person's official position with the city, may affect the hiring of any person, letting of any contract or any other action by the city that may result in that official or employee, or any of the official or employee's immediate family members or close business associates, securing anything of value.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a city official or employee from serving as an employment, personal or credit reference for any person.
(4) Any person who has been found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction of any felony violation of the general law relating to bribery, theft in office, having an unlawful interest in a public contract, soliciting or accepting improper compensation, perjury relating to any official duty, or corrupt practices relating to state or federal elections, shall be ineligible to hold office as mayor, member of council, director of law or director of finance.
If, while in office, the mayor, any member of council, the director of law or the director of finance is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction of any felony violation of the general law relating to bribery, theft in office, having an unlawful interest in a public contract, soliciting or accepting improper compensation, perjury relating to any official duty, or corrupt practices relating to state or federal elections, that person shall, upon the finality of the conviction, immediately forfeit the office held.
The terms used in this section shall be interpreted consistent with their use in the general law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit council from enacting additional prohibitions or penalties relating to public ethics.