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Members of the Employees Board of Appeals shall, in addition to any and all requirements of law applicable to members of municipal boards, be bound by the following canons of conduct.
(A) Canon 1. A board member should uphold the integrity and independence of the Employees Board of Appeals. An independent and honorable Board is indispensable for maintaining the integrity of the civil service merit system. A board member should participate in establishing, maintaining and enforcing and should himself or herself observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the civil service merit system may be preserved. The provisions of these canons should be construed and applied to further that objective.
(B) Canon 2. A board member should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of his or her board activities.
(1) A board member should respect and comply with the law and the provisions of the City Code and should conduct himself or herself in a manner that promotes confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Employees Board of Appeals.
(2) A board member should not allow his or her personal relationships to influence his or her conduct or judgment while acting in his or her official capacity as a board member. A board member should not lend the prestige of his or her position to advance the private interests of others, nor should a board member convey or authorize others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the board member. A board member should not testify voluntarily as a character witness for any city employee in any disciplinary proceeding.
(C) Canon 3. A board member should perform the duties of the Employees Board of Appeals impartially and diligently.
(1) A board member should be faithful to the law and should be unswayed by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism.
(2) A board member should maintain order and decorum in proceedings before him or her.
(3) A board member should be patient, dignified and courteous to parties, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom he or she deals in his or her official capacity.
(4) A board member should accord to every person who is legally interested in a proceeding, or his or her lawyer, full right to be heard according to the law and the procedures of the Employees Board of Appeals. A board member shall not communicate with any person whatsoever regarding a pending disciplinary action unless such communication occurs in a meeting which complies with all provisions of F.S. Ch. 286.011, commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law; provided, however, that a board member may obtain the advice of the Board's legal counsel on the law, admissibility of evidence, procedures or other related items which are applicable to a proceeding before the Board.
(5) The Board should dispose promptly of the business of the Board.
(D) Canon 4.
(1) A board member should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which his or her impartiality might be reasonably questioned, including but not limited to, instances where:
(a) He or she has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;
(b) A board member served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy, or a lawyer with whom he or she previously practiced law served during such association, or the board member or such lawyer has been a material witness concerning it;
(c) The board member knows that he or she individually or as a fiduciary, or his or her spouse or minor child residing in his or her household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceedings; or
(d) He or she, or his or her spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such person, is a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director or trustee of a party; is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding; is known by the board member to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceedings; or is to the board member's knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.
(2) For the purposes of this section:
(a) The degree of relationship is calculated according to the civil law system;
(b) Fiduciary includes such relationships as executor, administrator, trustee and guardian; and
(c) Financial interest means ownership of a legal or equitable interest, however small, or a relationship as a director, advisor or other active participant in the affairs of a party, except that, ownership in a mutual or common investment fund that holds securities is not a financial interest in such securities unless the board member participates in the management of the fund; an office in an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization is not a financial interest in securities held by the organization; the proprietary interest of a policyholder in a mutual insurance company, or a depositor in a mutual savings association, or a similar proprietary interest, is a financial interest in the organization only if the outcome of the proceeding could substantially affect the value of the interest; and ownership of government securities and a financial interest in the insurer only if the outcome of the proceeding should substantially affect the value of the security.
(3) If the disqualified board member holds his or her position by appointment, the appointing power may appoint a substitute to serve in the matter from which the individual is disqualified. If the board member is an employee representative, an emergency election pursuant to the requirements of § 34.148 of this chapter may be held to appoint an alternate member. However, if a quorum remains after the individual is disqualified, it shall not be necessary to appoint a substitute to serve in the matter from which the individual is disqualified and such decision shall be made solely by the City Commission.
(a) The time periods for holding a hearing shall be adjusted to allow a decision as to whether an alternate should be appointed and to allow such appointment to be made if the City Commission so determines.
(b) Any board action taken by a duly appointed substitute for a disqualified board member shall be as conclusive and effective as if the board action had been taken by the agency as it was constituted prior to any substitution.
(E) Canon 5. A board member should regulate his or her extra-board activities to minimize the risk of conflict with his or her official board duties.
(F) Violations of the canons set forth in this section may subject a board member to removal as set forth in the City Charter.
(Ord. 91-38, passed 3-5-91)