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Rules of Conduct 

General Information 


All public employees, public officeholders, and public members are expected to adhere to and follow the Rules of Conduct as outlined in the Ethics Reform Act. Anyone who is found guilty of violating these rules is subject to prosecution by the State Ethics Commission and the Attorney General's Office.

A public official, public member, or public employee may not knowingly use his official office, membership, or employment to influence a government decision to obtain an economic interest for himself, a family member, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated.

A person may not directly or indirectly give, offer, or promise anything of value to a public official, public member, or public employee with intent to influence the public official's, public member's, or public employee's official responsibilities, nor is the public official, public member, or public employee to ask, demand, solicit, or accept anything of value for himself or for another person in return for fulfilling his official responsibilities or duties.

A public official, public member, or public employee may not receive anything of value for speaking before a public or private group in his/her official capacity.  A meal can be accepted if provided in conjunction with the speaking engagement where all participants are entitled to the same meal and the meal is incidental to the speaking engagement.  A public official, public member or public employee may receive payment or reimbursement for actual expenses incurred.

Public officials, public members, or public employees may not receive money in addition to that received by the public official, public member, or public employee in his official capacity for advice or assistance given in the course of his employment as a public official, public member, or public employee.

No public official, public member, or public employee may disclose confidential information gained as a result of his responsibility as a public official, public member, or public employee that would affect an economic interest held by himself, a member of his immediate family, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated.

No person may serve as a member of a governmental regulatory agency that regulates any business with which that person is associated.

No person shall serve on the governing body of a state; county; municipal; or political subdivision, board, or commission and serve in a position of the same governing body which makes decisions affecting his economic interests.

A public official occupying a statewide office, a member of his immediate family, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated may not knowingly represent another person before a governmental entity.

No member of the General Assembly or an individual with whom he is associated or business with which he is associated may represent a client for a fee in a contested case before an agency, a commission, board, department, or other entity if the member of the General Assembly has voted in the election, appointment, recommendation, or confirmation of a member of the governing body of the agency, board, department, or other entity within the 12 preceding months.

A public member occupying statewide office, an individual with whom associated, or a business with which associated may not knowingly represent a person before the same unit or division of the governmental entity for which the public member has official responsibility.

A public official, public member, or public employee of a county or municipality, may not knowingly represent a person before any agency, unit, or subunit of that county or municipality.

A public employee, other than of a county or municipality, an individual with whom associated, or a business with which associated may not knowingly represent a person before an entity of the same level of government for which the public employee has official responsibility.

No public official, public member, or public employee may cause the employment, appointment, promotion, transfer, or advancement of a family member to a state or local office or position in which the public official, public member, or public employee supervises or manages. A public official, public member, or public employee may not participate in an action relating to the discipline of the public official's, public member's or public employee's family member.

A former public official, former public member, or former public employee holding office, membership, or employment may not serve as a lobbyist or represent clients before the agency or department on which the public official, public member, or public employee formerly served in a matter in which he directly and substantially participated for one year after terminating his public service or employment.

It is a breach of ethical standards for a public official, public member, or public employee who participates directly in procurement to resign and accept employment with a person contracting with the governmental body if the contract falls or would fall under the public official's, public member's, or public employee's official responsibility.

No person may use government personnel, equipment, materials, or an office building in an election campaign. A person may use public facilities for a campaign purposes if they are available on similar terms to all candidates and committees. Likewise, government personnel may participate in election campaign on their own time and on non-government premises.

A public official, public member, or public employee may not have an economic interest in a contract with the state or it's political subdivisions if the public official, public member, or public employee is authorized to perform an official function (including writing or preparing the contract, accepting bids, and awarding of the contracts) relating to the contract.