Ethics

Employees and elected or appointed officers are subject to chapter 25 of the code of ordinances, Ethics Act, and article 16 of the charter, LFUCG Code of Ethics. To avoid conflict of interest, employees and all appointed and elected officers (“employees”) shall not,

  1. Engage in any business or transactions in which they have a personal financial interest.
  2. Engage in private employment or render services for personal use, when private and government-interests conflict, or would tend to impair their independence of judgment or action in the performance of official duties.
  3. Disclose confidential government information that may be used to advance the financial or other private interests of themselves or others.
  4. Accept valuable gifts in form of service, loan, promise, etc., from a person, firm, or corporation, which to their knowledge, is interested in business dealings with the government.
  5. Represent private interest in any action or proceeding before the city while employed by the city.
  6. Vote and participate in negotiations or making of contracts with a business in which they have a financial interest. 
  7. Fail to disclose any direct or indirect personal financial interest in any matter or contract pending before or within a governmental department to the council.
  8. Use government property for personal benefit, convenience, or profit, except as provided by CAO Policy 9: Personal Use of Government Equipment by Employees.
     
Ethics and Performance of Duties

Except as allowed by CAO Policy 9, employees of the city shall not use property owned by the city for personal benefit, convenience, or profit for themselves or other private entities. Employees shall not perform functions or tasks except those directly authorized by the city, which are a direct result of the duties and responsibilities assigned to the positions that employees occupy.

Tasks that are inappropriate and fall outside of the parameters of official duties are those performed on the unauthorized premises of another employee and/or entity that do not relate to the regular services employees were hired to provide. Examples include,

  1. Laying pipe on private premises during work time for pay or no pay.
  2. Painting and repairing private homes.
  3. Cutting trees and lawns using city equipment when such is not related to either a specific city contract or preauthorized rehabilitation grant program.
  4. Transporting materials including household goods, furniture, etc., unless in times of emergencies, natural disasters, etc., for which services are authorized and rendered for all residents or a group thereof.
  5. Repair of automobiles, plumbing, HVAC systems, etc., using city equipment on government time for pay or no pay, unless authorized under a grant or other programs for all residents or a group thereof.
     

Nepotism

In order to avoid favoritism, conflicts of interest, and to maintain morale and productivity, employees cannot (1.) be supervised or hired for a position in which they would be supervised or managed by a relative; (2.) advocate for, recommend, or cause the employment, appointment, promotion, transfer, or advancement of their own relative; or, (3.) participate in any action relating to their relative’s employment or discipline.

Relative includes employee’s family members included in the table below.

Spouse Uncle Half-sibling
Qualified adult Aunt Sister-in-law
Child Nephew Brother-in-law
Parent Niece Mother-in-law
Sibling First cousin Father-in-law
Grandparent Stepparent  
Grandchild Stepsibling  


Last Revised: Aug. 13, 2021

Previous Versions: April 16, 2018
 

Reporting and Enforcement

The Ethics Commission enforces the provisions of the Ethics Act. To read the act in its entirety, see code of ordinances, chapter 25 – Ethics Act.

To report concerns of alleged unethical or illegal actions or behavior by another employee or official serving the city, employees may file a complaint with the ethics commission by contacting the council clerk, who serves as the secretary for the commission, at (859) 258-3240. Employees may file an anonymous complaint using the LFUCG Ethics Tip Line or by calling the Alertline number at (855) 261-6658.

Reference:
Code of Ordinances, Chapter 25 – Ethics Act.
CAO Policy 43: LFUCG Ethics Tip Line Policy and Procedures
CAO Policy 46: Qualified Adult Benefits

Receipt of Gifts

Generally, gifts from the public should be discouraged; however, in the event that employees choose to accept a gift, the guidelines pertaining to that acceptance are outlined below.

It shall be permissible for an employee of the city to accept a gift from the public so long as its value does not exceed $35. A gift includes, but is not limited to the following.

  1. Gift certificates
  2. Food, beverages or lodging
  3. Products or merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs and hats
  4. Works of art or collectibles
  5. Interests in real property
  6. Contracts or a promise of a future interest in a contract
  7. Transportation
  8. Discounts or rebates not extended to the general public or other businesses
  9. Use of automobiles, boats, apartments, recreational or lodging facilities
  10. Services
     

The gift shall not be in cash or solicited, the acceptance of the gift shall be completely without strings, and it cannot be accepted under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was an attempt to affect a decision that employees need to make.

If employees receive a perishable item and the value exceeds the permissible limit, it shall be shared with other coworkers. If employees receive a nonperishable item and the value exceeds $35, employees shall pay the giver the difference between the price of the gift and the gift limit.

Reference:
CAO Policy 38: Policy on Acceptance of Gifts

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