Restrictions on Other Employment and Financial Interests

Sections 6-11 to 6-22 of the Ethics Law, contained in Article 8 of the City Code, prohibit public servants from holding certain secondary employment and financial interests.

Watch and read below to learn more.

General Prohibition

A public servant may not be employed by, sit on the board of, or have a financial interest in, any person that is:

  • Subject to the authority of the public servant or the public servant’s agency; OR
  • Negotiating or has entered into:
    • A contract with the City or a City agency if:
      • The contract benefits, or will be administered by, the public servant’s agency;
      • The contract is worth more than $1,000 and the public servant’s duties substantially relate to or affect the contract; OR
      • For any other contract, the public servant fails to timely disclose to the Ethics Board and appropriate procurement agencies the nature of their employment or financial interest.

A public servant may not hold any other employment relationship that would impair the public servant’s impartiality or judgement.

No Contingent Compensation: A public servant may not assist or represent a party for contingent compensation in any matter before or involving any City agency.

Post-Employment Restrictions: After leaving City service, a public servant may never represent/assist a party--other than the City--for compensation in any matter that involves City government and on which public servant significantly participated while employed by the City. 

**Additional Restriction for Former elected officials:  May not represent/assist a party--other than the City or other governmental entity--in any matter subject to legislative action for 1 year after leaving office. 


Board Regulation

Does not apply to an employment or financial interest allowed by Ethics Board rule or regulation if:

  • Employment does not create or appear to create a conflict of interest;
  • Financial interest is disclosed in the required manner.

Industry Representative

Does not apply to an individual appointed to a regulatory or licensing unit where the unit is required to contain representatives from a certain industry.

New Board Members

Does not apply to board members holding employment or financial interests at the time of appointment, if properly disclosed before confirmation to the appointing authority, Ethics Board (by affidavit), and the City Council (if applicable).

Service on City’s Behalf

Does do not apply to a public servant serving as a trustee or director of a business entity doing business with or regulated by the City as long as:

  • The City has an economic or programmatic interest in the entity; and
  • The public servant:
    • Serves as part of their official City duties, at the direction of their agency;
    • Receives no money or other payments for their service; and
    • Does not participate in any matter in which the public servant or any “disqualifying relative” has a “financial interest.”

Extraordinary Circumstances

Does not apply if Ethics Board determines that not granting an exemption would limit the City’s ability to recruit/hire highly or uniquely qualified individuals for public service. 

  • This exemption must be requested by relevant agency, and approved by Mayor.

Permitted Transactions

Does not apply if the public servant is performing the following:

  • Uncompensated appearance before agency on behalf of constituents or while performing any other public duty;
  • Accepting/using any benefit or facility otherwise available to citizens (i.e., can’t use official position to secure benefit/facility for private use).
  • Selling real property to City, if at market rate (as determined by 2 appraisers) and if related records are open to public inspection.

Key Terms

any person or organization engaged in any for-profit or not-for-profit business or other organized activity.

any one (1) or combination of sales, purchases, leases, or contracts that total $5,000 or more cumulatively and that are made to/from/with the City, OR to/from/with a person in connection with a City contract.

an individual’s spouse, parent, child, or sibling

ownership of a business entity (including convertible securities) that amounts to more than 3% of the entity, OR ownership of any interest that either resulted in the receipt of more than $1,000 in any one of the past three calendar years or that will result in the receipt of more than $1,000 in the current year or any future calendar year.

transfer of any thing or service of economic value without adequate consideration (i.e., without giving something of similar value in return, such as monetary payment). Does NOT include political contributions regulated under State Election Law, Title 13 (campaign finance).

legal or economic interest, regardless of encumbrance (e.g., a mortgage), that is owned or held wholly or partly, jointly or severally, or directly or indirectly.  Does not include certain financial interests, such as an insurance policy or pension.

a person who communicates with a public servant for the purpose of influencing legislative or executive action and who, in connection with that communication, expends $100 or more for gifts, incurs expenses of $500 or more, OR earns $2,500 or more in compensation.

any City elected official, head of Department, head of bureau/division, or any other individual with similar decision-making authority.  Also includes individuals with decision-making authority in quasi-judicial, regulatory, licensing, inspecting, or auditing functions.

any City official or employee.