A Code of Ethics outlines the core values and morals a city seeks to adhere to in its business operations. It is a high-level overview of the principles and values that the city wants those acting on their behalf to uphold when doing business much like a Code of Conduct for employees in that it establishes behavior expectations that an organization has of its employees and third parties. However, it is slightly different because a Code of Ethics dives deeper into the principles that should guide their actions and touches upon issues such as harassment, safety, and conflicts of interest. Should the council have a Code of Ethics? How would you handle the situation if a councilperson violates these standards?

My Answer

A council person should be held to the code of ethics as outlined in Colorado Revised Statutes PART 1 CODE OF ETHICS.

Universal Citation: CO Rev Stat § 24-18-105 (2017)

(1) The principles in this section are intended as guides to conduct and do not constitute violations as such of the public trust of office or employment in state or local government.

(2) A public officer, a local government official, or an employee should not acquire or hold an interest in any business or undertaking which he has reason to believe may be directly and substantially affected to its economic benefit by official action to be taken by an agency over which he has substantive authority.

(3) A public officer, a local government official, or an employee should not, within six months following the termination of his office or employment, obtain employment in which he will take direct advantage, unavailable to others, of matters with which he was directly involved during his term of employment. These matters include rules, other than rules of general application, which he actively helped to formulate and applications, claims, or contested cases in the consideration of which he was an active participant.

(4) A public officer, a local government official, or an employee should not perform an official act directly and substantially affecting a business or other undertaking to its economic detriment when he has a substantial financial interest in a competing firm or undertaking.

(5) Public officers, local government officials, and employees are discouraged from assisting or enabling members of their immediate family in obtaining employment, a gift of substantial value, or an economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value from a person whom the officer, official, or employee is in a position to reward with official action or has rewarded with official action in the past.

2017 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 24 - Government - State
Administration
Article 18 - Standards of Conduct
Part 1 - Code of Ethics
§ 24-18-109. Rules of conduct for local government officials and employees

Universal Citation: CO Rev Stat § 24-18-109 (2017)

(1) Proof beyond a reasonable doubt of commission of any act enumerated in this section is proof that the actor has breached his fiduciary duty and the public trust.

(2) A local government official or local government employee shall not:

(a) Engage in a substantial financial transaction for his private business purposes with a person whom he inspects or supervises in the course of his official duties;

(b) Perform an official act directly and substantially affecting to its economic benefit a business or other undertaking in which he either has a substantial financial interest or is engaged as counsel, consultant, representative, or agent; or

(c) Accept goods or services for his or her own personal benefit offered by a person who is at the same time providing goods or services to the local government for which the official or employee serves, under a contract or other means by which the person receives payment or other compensation from the local government, unless the totality of the circumstances attendant to the acceptance of the goods or services indicates that the transaction is legitimate, the terms are fair to both parties, the transaction is supported by full and adequate consideration, and the official or employee does not receive any substantial benefit resulting from his or her official or governmental status that is unavailable to members of the public generally.

(3) (a) A member of the governing body of a local government who has a personal or private interest in any matter proposed or pending before the governing body shall disclose such interest to the governing body and shall not vote thereon and shall refrain from attempting to influence the decisions of the other members of the governing body in voting on the matter.

(b) A member of the governing body of a local government may vote notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) if his participation is necessary to obtain a quorum or otherwise enable the body to act and if he complies with the voluntary disclosure procedures under section 24-18-110.

(4) It shall not be a breach of fiduciary duty and the public trust for a local government official or local government employee to:

(a) Use local government facilities or equipment to communicate or correspond with a member's constituents, family members, or business associates; or

(b) Accept or receive a benefit as an indirect consequence of transacting local government business.

(5) (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article 18, it is neither a conflict of interest nor a breach of fiduciary duty or the public trust for a local government official who is a member of the governing body of a local government to serve on a board of directors of a nonprofit entity and, when serving on the governing body, to vote on matters that may pertain to or benefit the nonprofit entity.

(b) (I) Except as provided in subsection (5)(b)(II) of this section, a local government official is not required to provide or file a disclosure or otherwise comply with the requirements of subsection (3) of this section unless the local government official has a financial interest in, or the local government official or an immediate family member receives services from, the nonprofit entity independent of the official's membership on the board of directors of the nonprofit entity.

(II) A local government official who serves on the board of directors of a nonprofit entity shall publicly announce his or her relationship with the nonprofit entity before voting on a matter that provides a direct and substantial economic benefit to the nonprofit entity.

 

 

Colorado Revised Statutes Title 31. Government Municipal § 31-4-108. Expulsion from city council--vacancies in other offices provides that council members can be removed from office by a two thirds vote by council.

(1) Any member of the city council may be expelled or removed from office, for good cause shown, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to the city council, but he may not be removed a second time for the same offense.