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Chapter 2.

73 PROHIBITED GIFTS TO CITY OFFICIALS


2.73.010 Definitions.
As used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the following
meanings, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise:
A.
Appointed officer shall mean the City Administrator, the City Attorney or the
Municipal Judge, without regard to whether such officer is or is not considered for federal
income tax purposes to be an independent contractor.
B.
Board and Commission member shall mean any person duly appointed by the
Mayor or City Council to any Board or Commission of the City, as authorized in the City Charter
or this Municipal Code.
C.
City official shall mean a member of City Council, an appointed officer, an
employee, a designated independent contractor or a Board and Commission member.
D.
Designated independent contractor means and shall include any person who: (1)
provides services on behalf of the City as an official who has discretionary authority with respect
to the interpretation and/or enforcement of any code, regulation or published standard applicable
in the City; (2) is compensated pursuant to contract by the City for performing such services; and
(3) is considered for federal income tax purposes to be an independent contractor.
E.
Employee shall mean each compensated person in the service of the City who is
designated as an employee in accordance with the Citys personnel rules and regulations.
F.
Gift shall mean the transfer of a thing of value by one person to another person
without the person transferring the thing of value receiving in return lawful compensation or
consideration of equal or greater value from the person receiving the thing of value. However, a
gift shall not mean any thing of value given to a person by the federal government or by a state
or local government as authorized by law.
G.
Official act or official action means any vote, decision, recommendation,
approval, disapproval, or other action, including inaction, which involves the use of discretionary
authority.
H.
Person shall mean any individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust,
limited liability company, partnership, labor organization, association, political party, committee
or other legal entity. Person shall not include the federal government, a state or local
government, or the Colorado Municipal League.
I.
Thing of value shall mean any tangible or intangible thing having a market
value, including, without limitation, money, real property, personal property, services, loans of
money or property, favors, gratuities, rewards, awards, grants, scholarships, stipends, discounts,
promises of future employment, honoraria, event tickets, travel, lodging, meals, and the
forbearance and forgiveness of debt. (Ord. 5-2007 1)

2.73.020 Prohibited gifts.


A.
A City official shall not solicit or accept any gift or thing of value from any
person, either directly or indirectly through the City officials spouse or dependent child, which
the City official knows, or which a reasonable person in the City officials position should know
under the circumstances, is either:
1.
A gift or thing of value that would tend to improperly influence that City official
to depart from the faithful and impartial discharge of his or her public duties; or
2.
Is a gift or thing of value being solicited or given for the primary purpose of
rewarding the City official for an official action he or she has taken.
B.
A City official shall not solicit or accept any gift or other thing of value from a
professional lobbyist as that term is defined in Subsection 2(5) of Article XXIX of the
Colorado Constitution. This provision is not intended and shall not be construed to prohibit City
officials from attending and/or participating in seminars, workshops, conferences, business
meetings and similar sessions and events hosted, sponsored or arranged by the Colorado
Municipal League or to partake of food, beverages and/or entertainment offered or provided at
such functions. (Ord. 5-2007 1)

2.73.030 Permitted gifts.


A.

The prohibitions of Section 2.73.020 shall not apply if the gift or thing of value is:

1.

A campaign contribution as defined by law;

2.

A non-monetary award, publicly presented, in recognition of public service;

3.
An educational scholarship, stipend, grant or other form of student financial aid
that is offered and available to members of the general public similarly situated and is given
based upon: (i) merit; (ii) demonstrated financial need; (iii) athletic ability; or (iv) any other
factor unrelated to the anticipated or past performance of an official act by a City official;
4.
A donation, loan, grant or service provided for medical, respite or hospice care or
other social welfare needs; provided that such donation, loan, grant or service is available to
members of the general public similarly situated and is unrelated to the anticipated or past
performance of an official act by a City official;
5.
A donation, loan, grant, service or item of tangible personal property offered or
given to assist a person or family impacted by a natural disaster or as the victim of a crime;
provided that such donation, loan, grant, service or item of tangible personal property is available

to similarly situated members of the general public and is unrelated to the anticipated or past
performance of an official act by a City official;
6.
($50.00);

An occasional, unsolicited gift having a fair market value of less than fifty dollars

7.
Unsolicited informational material, publications, or subscriptions related to the
City officials performance of his or her official duties;
8.
An unsolicited token or award of appreciation in the form of a plaque, trophy,
desk item, wall memento or similar item;
9.
Payment of or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenditures for
registration, travel, lodging and meals for attendance at a convention, training seminar, or other
meeting at which the City official is scheduled to participate as a representative of the City or to
attend as part of his or her official duties;
10.
An occasional, unsolicited opportunity to participate in a business meeting or
social function where a meal is served and/or entertainment is provided if the City officials
attendance would not be considered extraordinary when viewed in light of the position held by
the City official;
11.
A payment received by a City official for a speech, appearance or publication
required to be reported by the City official pursuant to C.R.S. Section 24-6-203;
12.
Compensation received by a City official from the City as authorized in the Citys
Charter, ordinances, policies and/or personnel rules and regulations;
13.
An unsolicited gift given by a relative or a personal friend to a City official on a
special occasion that is unrelated to his or her performance of duties for or on behalf of the City
and is not intended to influence the City official in the performance of official acts or to reward
such City official for official action previously taken; and
14.
A gift solicited or received by the spouse or by a dependent child of a City official
that is unrelated to the City officials performance of his or her official duties for the City and
which is not intended to influence the City officials performance of official acts or to reward the
City official for official action previously taken. (Ord. 5-2007 1)

2.73.040 Violations.
A.
It shall be unlawful for any City official to violate Section 2.73.020. Proof of a
violation shall be established by the evidence admitted at trial before the Caon City Municipal
Court. The standard of proof in any such trial shall be proof by a preponderance of the
evidence.

B.
The Caon City Municipal Court is hereby authorized to conduct trials with
respect to alleged violations of Section 2.73.020 by City officials and to impose the civil
penalties provided for in Subsection C of this section.
C.
Any City official determined by the Municipal Court to have violated Section
2.73.020 shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction. The penalty for a City official
who is found to have violated said Section 2.73.020 shall be a civil judgment in an amount equal
to twice the fair market value of the prohibited gift solicited or received by the City official, as
determined by the evidence admitted by the Municipal Court. If the City official fails to pay such
judgment within thirty (30) days following the entry of the final judgment, or such longer period
as may be authorized by order of the Municipal Court, the City may pursue any legal means
available to it for the collection of the judgment.
D.
Nothing in this chapter is intended to preclude the bringing and prosecution of
criminal proceedings in a state court of competent jurisdiction against a City official who is
accused of committing any crime described in Part 3 of Article 8 of Title 18, Colorado Revised
Statutes. A civil judgment entered by the Municipal Court in a proceeding brought pursuant to
this chapter shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal penalty that might be imposed
upon conviction in any such criminal proceeding. (Ord. 5-2007 1)

2.73.050 Municipal Ethics Commission.


A.
There is hereby created a Municipal Ethics Commission to be composed of three
(3) members. The purposes of the Municipal Ethics Commission shall be: to receive and review
complaints; to investigate alleged violations of Section 2.73.020; to dismiss frivolous or
unfounded complaints; to propose and effectuate settlements with respect to complaints that
appear to be valid in appropriate cases; and to recommend the instigation of Municipal Court
proceedings in appropriate circumstances. The Municipal Ethics Commission also may issue
advisory opinions on ethics issues and questions arising under this chapter and may establish a
local repository for disclosure statements voluntarily filed by City officials respecting permitted
gifts received by them, their spouses and/or their dependent children.
B.
The Municipal Ethics Commission shall have authority to adopt reasonable rules
that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section which may be necessary for purposes
of administering and enforcing the provisions of this section.
C.
City Council shall do those things necessary to provide staff assistance and the
funding necessary to allow the Municipal Ethics Commission to carry out its duties pursuant to
this section. Members of the Commission shall receive no compensation for their services on the
Commission, but may have their reasonable expenses paid or reimbursed by the City.
D.

Membership on the Municipal Ethics Commission shall be established as follows:

1.
The City Council shall appoint two (2) members of the Commission at a regular
or special meeting of City Council;
2.
Each of the two (2) appointed members shall be a resident of the City and neither
shall be a City official;
3.
Public notice of the availability of positions on the Municipal Ethics Commission
shall be given prior to City Councils selection and appointment of Commission members from
among the several applicants;
4.

The City Attorney shall be the third member of the Commission.

E.
The terms of the two (2) appointed members of the Commission shall be two (2)
years, except that one such member initially shall be appointed to a one-year term to achieve
staggered terms.
F.
If a member is appointed to fill an unexpired term, that members term shall end
at the same time as the term of the person being replaced was set to expire.
G.
Each member shall continue to serve until a successor has been appointed, except
that if a member is unable or unwilling to continue to serve until a successor has been appointed,
City Council shall fill the vacancy promptly.
H.
Any resident of the City may file a written complaint with the Municipal Ethics
Commission alleging that a City official has violated Section 2.73.020 and stating the factual
basis for such claim. No allegation in any such complaint shall refer to an act occurring prior to
the effective date of the ordinance adopting this chapter and, after this chapter has been effective
for longer than twelve (12) months, no allegation with respect to a violation occurring more
remotely than twelve (12) months prior to the filing date of the complaint shall be considered.
I.
The Commission shall adhere to the procedure set forth in paragraphs 1 through 5
of this Subsection I when dealing with any complaint filed pursuant to Subsection H.
1.
The Commission may dismiss frivolous and unfounded complaints without
conducting or completing an investigation. Complaints dismissed as frivolous or unfounded shall
be maintained confidentially by the Commission.
2.
Except as provided in paragraph 1 of this Subsection I, the Commission shall
conduct an investigation with respect to all complaints.
3.
Following any investigation, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint or refer
the complaint to the Citys Municipal Court Prosecutor with its recommendation that
proceedings against the City official named in the complaint be initiated, as provided for in
Section 2.73.040.

4.
If the Commissions decision is to refer the complaint, the Commission, prior to
such referral, shall have the right, but not the obligation, to propose to the City official named in
the complaint a settlement pursuant to Subsection J of this section under which a resolution
penalty would be paid in lieu of the matter proceeding to Municipal Court.
5.
All decisions of the Commission that are required or permitted in this subsection
shall require a majority vote of the Commission.
J.

Settlement Offers.

1.
The Commission may propose settlements with respect to alleged violations of
Section 2.73.020 to the City official named in a complaint. Such proposals shall be made in
writing and shall designate the amount of a proposed resolution penalty. Settlement proposals
shall be accepted or rejected in writing by the City official within twenty (20) days following the
date of the offer. A failure to respond shall be deemed a rejection.
2.
The proposed resolution penalty shall represent the amount that the Commission
believes, based upon its investigation, is equal to twice the value of a gift or thing of value
improperly solicited or accepted by the City official (or, when applicable, the City officials
spouse or dependent child).
3.
If a resolution penalty is proposed, accepted and paid, the name of the City
official, the essential details of the alleged violation and the amount of the resolution penalty
paid by the City official shall be included in a summary report prepared by the Commission and
filed with the City Clerk. Such summary report shall be a public record.
4.
If a proposed settlement is not accepted or if an agreed-upon resolution penalty is
not paid with thirty (30) days following the acceptance of a settlement offer, the matter will be
referred to the Citys Municipal Court Prosecutor, who shall make the ultimate decision
regarding whether Municipal Court proceedings will be instigated.
5.
The Municipal Prosecutor shall do what is necessary to instigate and prosecute
such proceedings unless he or she believes in good faith that sufficient evidence to support a civil
judgment authorized in Section 2.73.040(C) could not be presented in a Municipal Court
proceeding. If the matter is referred, the fact that a settlement proposal was made shall be kept
confidential and shall not be offered or admitted as evidence at trial.
6.
Resolution penalties paid by City officials shall be deposited into the Citys
General Fund.
K.
During the course of its investigations, the Municipal Ethics Commission shall
have the power to request copies of documents that are relevant to the allegations in a complaint
and to interview witnesses, including but not necessarily limited to the person who filed the
complaint and the accused City official.

L.
If a City official who is accused in a complaint of violating Section 2.73.020 is a
member of the Municipal Ethics Commission, that member shall be disqualified and replaced by
a temporary member appointed by the Mayor for purposes of investigating, considering and
disposing of the complaint.
M.
Any City official may submit a written request to the Municipal Ethics
Commission for an advisory opinion on whether any conduct by that person would constitute a
violation of Section 2.73.020. The Commission may render an advisory opinion pursuant to
written rules adopted by the Commission, but in any event shall respond to such request within
fifteen (15) days of its receipt. Any City official who acts in specific reliance upon an advisory
opinion shall have the right to offer a copy of the opinion as a part of his or her defense in any
trial of such City official conducted pursuant to the authority granted in Section 2.73.040(B).
Unless otherwise provided in the Commissions rules, requests for advisory opinions shall be
filed with the City Attorney. (Ord. 5-2007 1)