§ 20-604.  Gifts, Loans and Favors to City Personnel. 36
   (1)   No City officer or employee shall accept or receive gifts worth more than ninety-nine dollars ($99) in the aggregate per calendar year or any gifts of money from any person who is seeking official action from that officer or employee or who has a financial interest at the time, or in close proximity to the time the gift is received, which the officer or employee is able to substantially affect through official action. An officer or employee may not solicit gifts of any value from a person who is seeking official action from that officer or employee or who has a financial interest the officer or employee is able to substantially affect through official action.
   (2)   No person shall offer, make or render gifts worth more than ninety-nine dollars ($99) in the aggregate per calendar year or any gifts of money to any City officer or employee if the person is seeking official action from that officer or employee or has a financial interest at the time, or in close proximity to the time the gift is received, which the officer or employee is able to substantially affect through official action.
   (3)   An officer or employee may accept, but not solicit, the following gifts, notwithstanding that the person giving the gift may be seeking official action from that officer or employee or may have a financial interest the officer or employee receiving the gift is able to substantially affect through official action:
      (a)   Hospitality provided at a residence when the donor or a family member of the donor is present;
      (b)   Food, beverages, or entertainment provided at a reception for which attendees do not have to purchase a ticket;
      (c)   Rebates or discounts offered to members of the general public or a class of persons, including rebates or discounts offered to a class of officers or employees;
      (d)   Gifts resulting solely from the officer's or employee's membership in a bona fide charitable, professional, educational, labor, or trade organization;
      (e)   Free attendance at an event celebrating a major life event of another individual, for which attendees do not have to purchase a ticket;
      (f)   Food and beverages provided to all participants in the ordinary course of a meeting where the food and beverages are provided at the site of the meeting;
      (g)   Food and beverages provided by a superior, subordinate, or other co-worker and consumed as part of an office or agency event;
      (h)   Gifts resulting solely from the officer's or employee's outside employment;
      (i)   Gifts resulting solely from the officer's or employee's life partner's or spouse's business or employment activities;
      (j)   Free admission to political events, including food and beverages, if the officer or employee is permitted to engage in political activity in coordination with candidates, political parties, or partisan political groups;
      (k)   Payment or reimbursement of an officer's or employee's reasonable expenses for admission, travel, lodging, or food and beverage related to attendance at an event, convention, conference, seminar, or fact-finding trip that will benefit the City and is reasonably related to the officer's or employee's official duties or expertise.
      (l)   Tickets for public events given to an elected officer or employee that the elected officer or employee does not personally make use of and gives to members of the public, who shall not include a family member of the officer or employee or a member of the officer's or employee's government or campaign staff.
      (m)   A gift from a government entity.
   (4)   Other Limitations On Gifts.
      (a)   No person shall give a gift to an officer or employee through another person if this Ordinance would prohibit the person from giving the gift directly to the officer or employee.
      (b)   A gift to another person is a gift to an officer or employee if the officer or employee solicits the gift and receives a financial benefit from it.
      (c)   If a person offers an officer or employee a gift prohibited by this Ordinance, the officer or employee shall not suggest or request an alternative recipient, such as a charity.
   (5)   Valuation of Gifts.
      (a)   The value of a gift is the retail cost the officer or employee would incur to purchase the gift. An officer or employee who does not know the retail cost of a gift shall estimate the retail cost by reference to similar items of like quality.
      (b)   The value of a ticket entitling the holder to food, refreshments, entertainment, or any other benefit shall be the face value of the ticket.
   (6)   Written Approval.
      (a)   Elected officers and board and commission members. An elected officer or a board or commission member does not need to obtain written approval in order to accept a gift pursuant to subsection (3)(k) 37 of this Section.
      (b)   Heads of Executive Branch agencies. The head of an Executive Branch agency must obtain written approval from either the Mayor or the Mayor's designees prior to accepting a gift pursuant to subsection (3)(k) 38 of this Section. The written approval must identify the date of the receipt and nature of the gift and describe how the officer's or employee's participation or attendance will benefit the City and is related to his or her official duties and/or expertise.
      (c)   Most officers and employees. Any officer or employee not covered by subsection (6)(a) or subsection (6)(b) 39 must obtain written approval from the head of his or her agency, or the agency head's designee, prior to accepting a gift pursuant to subsection (3)(k) 40 of this Section. The written approval must identify the date of the receipt and nature of the gift and describe how the officer's or employee's participation or attendance will benefit the City and is related to his or her official duties and/or expertise.
      (d)   Factors relevant to determining whether an officer's or employee's attendance at an event, convention, conference, seminar, or fact-finding trip will benefit the City and is reasonably related to the officer or employee's official duties or expertise include but are not limited to:
         (.1)   Whether the officer or employee is scheduled to deliver a speech, make a presentation, serve on a panel, or otherwise represent the City in his or her official capacity; and
         (.2)   Whether the officer or employee will receive training or information that he or she can use to fulfill his or her official duties.
   (7)   The Board shall not impose a civil penalty on an officer or employee who receives a gift restricted by this Ordinance if he or she within three days of receiving the gift:
      (a)   If the gift is perishable and it is not practicable to return it to the donor, donates the gift to charity, shares it with co-workers, or destroys it; or
      (b)   Notifies the Board's Executive Director by postal mail or e-mail that he or she has returned the gift to the donor or paid the donor the full value of the gift and provides the following information:
         (.1)   The officer's or employee's name and title;
         (.2)   The source of the gift;
         (.3)   The date the gift was received or accepted; and
         (.4)   The date the gift was returned or paid for, and, if paid for, the amount paid.

 

Notes

36
   Amended, Bill No. 140054-A (approved March 31, 2014).
37
   Enrolled bill read "...pursuant to 3(k)...."
38
   Enrolled bill read "...pursuant to 3(k)...."
39
   Enrolled bill read "...covered by § 6(a) or § 6(b)...."
40
   Enrolled bill read "...pursuant to 3(k)...."