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(A) Purpose. There shall be created a Board of Ethics, the purpose of which is to review complaints of ethics violations allegedly committed by elected and non-elected officials, to issue findings and conclusions on same when deemed appropriate, to refer out ethics complaints to the appropriate official or the City Commission when necessary, and to prepare advisory opinions regarding ethical issues when solicited to do so by the City Manager, a city employee, a non-elected official, or a member of the City Commission. The City Attorney will advise the Board of Ethics when asked and attend its meetings upon request. The City Clerk will serve as Secretary to the Board, but without voting rights.
(B) Board composition and term of office. There shall be four citizen members and one Commissioner on the board, appointed to three year terms, except for those first appointed, of whom two shall serve three years, two shall serve two years and one shall serve one year. Nominations shall be made by the full City Commission and ratified by majority vote of the same. Members must be residents of the city. Initial nominations shall be made within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter. Vacancies shall also be filled in this same manner and within 60 days of the vacancy. The Board will have its first meeting within 30 days following ratification of membership for the purpose of organizing, making rules of procedure, as well as reviewing this chapter. Thereafter it shall meet as a board as needed. The Chairman of the Board of Ethics or any Commissioner can call for a Board meeting by scheduling same through the City Clerk. If an ethics complaint is forwarded to the Board for consideration, it shall convene a meeting to review said complaint within 14 days of receipt.
(C) Powers and duties. In addition to any powers and duties described above, the Board of Ethics shall have the power to:
(1) Receive requests for advisory opinions from city officials and employees;
(2) Review and consider complaints alleging unethical conduct by a city official if properly referred;
(3) Refer complaints of alleged unethical conduct to the City Attorney, law enforcement, and/or the City Commission for investigation when further investigation appears warranted; and
(4) Issue non-binding findings and conclusions regarding alleged unethical conduct, which in turn will be considered either for ratification and/or as the basis further action by the City Commission.
(Ord. 631, passed 9-25-2017)