Restrictions on Participation in City Matter
Art. 8, § 6-6 to § 6-10
A public servant must disqualify themselves from a City matter/role if:
- they have an “interest” in the matter/role;
- they have a “disqualifying relative” with an “interest” in the matter/role; OR
- they (or their “disqualifying relative”) are affiliated with a “business entity” that is a party to the matter, including having a financial interest in, employment or potential employment arrangement with, existing position with (such as partner, officer, director, trustee, employee, or agent), or a direct and/or substantial credit obligation to the business entity.
Former lobbyists may not participate in a City case, contract, or other specific matter as an official for 1 calendar year after the termination of their lobbyist registration if they were lobbying on/for the matter during their time as lobbyist.
Exception: Former lobbyists may still generally participate as board members.
The restrictions outlined above do not apply if the public servant’s involvement:
- Is allowed by a rule, regulation, or advisory opinion of the Ethics Board;
- Satisfies requirements for certain industry representation on boards; or
- Is a purely “ministerial” activity – i.e., the role does not influence or affect any decision-making related to the matter involved.
Permitted Participation Despite Conflict of Interest
Despite disqualifying conflicts, a public servant may still be able to participate if:
- Disqualification would leave a board or other body with less than a quorum capable of acting;
- The public servant is required by law to act; or
- The public servant is the only individual authorized to act.
Public servant must disclose the conflict to the public and the Ethics Board prior to participation.
Service on City’s Behalf
These restrictions 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.”