2009-014: Code of Ethics

City of Canton

Executive Order 2009-014

Code of Ethics

WHEREAS, it is the continuing policy that all City of Canton departments, offices, boards, commissions, corporations, committees (hereinafter referred to as City), do all things and take such action as may be necessary and proper, within constitutional limitations.

WHEREAS, it is hereby now declared that all City residents be assured that the Mayor, Appointees (including, but not limited to Non-Exempt and Exempt/Non-Classified positions and Fiduciaries as defined by the Ohio Revised Code), Civil Service employees and those employees under a Collective Bargaining Agreement uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct (hereinafter referred to as City Employees, unless otherwise stated).

WHEREAS the City of Canton Ethics Executive Order communicates the general terms of the Ohio Ethics and Elections Law, it does not replace or substitute the statutory provisions, which control the conduct of elected officials, appointees, and employees.

WHEREAS this Executive Order does not supersede the Ohio Ethics Law.

WHEREAS, City Employees are subject to the Ohio Ethics Law and related statues regardless of the adoption, renewal or status of this Executive Order.

WHEREAS the Ohio Revised Code empowers the Elections Commission to enforce provisions of the Code and respond to and advise on matters concerning campaign finance and fair campaign practices.

WHEREAS City Employees shall follow the Ohio Revised Code sections under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Elections Commission.

WHEREAS, all City Employees are encouraged to take the time to thoroughly read the copy of the Ohio Ethics Law provided by the Department of Human Resources and of which receipt you acknowledged in writing.

WHEREAS, additional information is available at Ohio Ethics.

WHEREAS, as the Chief Executive Officer of Canton, Ohio, the Mayor is charged with the ultimate responsibility of supervising and directing the day-to-day affairs of City Departments and Offices as prescribed by the Ohio Revised Code and Codified Ordinances of the City of Canton; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, William J. Healy, II, Mayor of the City of Canton, under the authority conferred by the State of Ohio, hereby order that the Mayor, Elected Officials, Appointees and Fiduciaries shall attend ethics training conducted by the Ohio Ethics Commission at least once every two years or as otherwise provided by the Ohio Ethics Commission.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED City Employees shall follow the Ohio Ethics Laws, related Statutes and Administrative Codes of the State of Ohio.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that the Mayor shall follow reporting requirements contained in the Ohio Ethics Laws.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that no City Employee shall accept anything of value including gifts offered, promised or given, have a conflict of interest, create nepotism, be involved in unapproved political involvement, or fail to report as required in the course of their duties as follows:


1. "Anything of value" includes, but is not limited to any and all gifts, payments, loans and services subject to limited exceptions.

2. "Limited exceptions" includes items that are:
a. ceremonial in nature including, but not limited to a plaque, a pen or certificate; or

b. tokens of appreciation such as a t-shirt, cap, mug or lapel pin; or

c. inexpensive meals or refreshments worth $20 or less; or

d. reasonable costs incurred to:
i. attend seminars and conferences or travel when a City Employee is the event speaker, moderator or named on the agenda/program as a City of Canton representative; or

ii. acquire certification, training or advance economic development initiatives; or

iii. perform duties in the ordinary course of business for the City of Canton.

e. gifts received on behalf of the City of Canton and will remain in the City's possession.

f. In any event, no gift shall be accepted unless permitted by Ohio's ethics laws and any accepted gifts will be fully reported in the way the law requires.

3. "Financial Interest" includes, but is not limited to the following:

A City Employee's ownership or any Family Member's ownership in a business or Business Association with a business or other entity entering into a contract with the City.

Involvement in a relationship entitling the City Employee or Family Member to receive personal gain from a Business Association, party or entity entering into a contract with the City.

4. "Family Member" includes, but is not limited to a person related to a City Employee by blood, by significant relationship such as sharing a household or including, but not limited to a spouse, parent/guardian, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother/sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece and/or in-laws.

5. "Personal Gain" includes anything of value that a City Employee or Family Member is due to gain in the event a party or other entity enters into a contract with the City.

6. "Business Association" means any relationship in which the City Employee or Family Member, by virtue of ownership, control, position, influence, actual interest or potential interest (whether economic or non-economic, including but not limited to shareholder, officer, partner, legal counsel or other decision-maker of a business, party or other entity) is affected by an entity entering into a contract with the City. In addition, Business Associations include situations where the relationship is such that it might reasonably be expected or perceived that the City Employee's or Family Member's judgment might be altered or influenced because of the relationship with an entity or party entering into a contract with the City.

Section 2. GIFTS

1. No gift shall be accepted unless permitted by Ohio's ethics laws and any accepted gifts will be fully reported in the way the law requires.


1. City Employees shall not have a definite and direct interest in a contract between the City and themselves without a written Advisory Opinion from the Ohio Ethics Commission permitting the interest as follows:

2. City Employees shall not directly or indirectly solicit any contract between him/herself or on behalf of a Family Member or Business Association and the City, without a written Advisory Opinion from the Ohio Ethics Commission permitting the solicitation.

3. City Employees shall not engage in or accept private employment or render services for private interest when such employment or service is incompatible or in conflict with the proper discharge of his/her official duties or would tend to impair their independence of judgment or action in the performance of his/her official duties;

4. City Employees shall not make use of City personnel, property or funds for personal gain or benefit or for the benefit of a Family Member or Business Association;

5. City Employees shall not participate in making loans, granting subsidies, setting rates, or issuing valuable permits or certificates to any party or entity of which City Employees have, directly or indirectly, any financial or private interest with the party or in the entity;

6. City Employees shall not have a financial interest in a contract with the City or a Business Association with a party or entity that enters into a contract with the City. All employees are responsible for knowing and following R.C. 3517.13 regarding campaign contribution limitations.

7. All City contracts shall contain the Notice of Compliance pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3517.13 and other relevant Code sections.

Section 4. NEPOTISM

1. The City is committed to open, impartial and fair employment practices. Although the Ohio Ethics Laws do not absolutely prohibit relatives from working for the same public agency, questions of fairness and impartiality may arise in such situations. Further, such circumstances may present the appearance of impropriety to the public, even where the City Employee fully and completely removes him/herself from participating in the hiring process.

2. To the extent employment of Family Members or contract involvement are not otherwise prohibited by the Ohio Ethics Laws, this Ordinance controls. As such, subject to Collective Bargaining Agreements and Civil Service Laws, City Employees or Family Members will not be employed by the City under any of the following circumstances:

a. A City Employee will be the immediate supervisor, or the supervisor of the immediate supervisor of a Family Member.

i. Where two City Employees marry, become related, share or begin sharing the same household with one another, and one is the immediate supervisor or the supervisor of the immediate supervisor, only one of the Employees will be permitted to stay with the City, unless reasonable accommodations, as determined by the Appointing Authority or his/her/its designee, can be made to eliminate any appearance of impropriety.

ii. The decision as to which Family Member will remain with the City must be made by the two employees within thirty (30) calendar days of the enactment of this Ordinance, the date they marry, become related, or the date they begin sharing the same household. If no decision has been made during this time, the Appointing Authority reserves the right to reassign or terminate employees under the Appointing Authority's control subject to Civil Service rules and Collective Bargaining Agreements.

b. A City Employee influences or attempts to influence the hiring, transfer, suspension, promotion, discharge, reward, discipline or the adjustment of grievances of a Family Member, whether directly or indirectly.

c. A City Employee influences, or attempts to influence the contract award from the City to a Family Member.


1. No City Employee shall campaign for or against any candidate for political office or participate in political fundraising activities for candidates either: (1) during City work time or (2) while on any City property.

2. This Ordinance does not prevent any City Employee from exercising her/his right to vote or from freely expressing her/his political opinions and is subject to Collective Bargaining Agreements and Civil Service Laws.

3. Any City Employee permitted by Ohio Law to run for political office shall not use her/his position for campaign purposes or conduct any campaign activity on City time or property.


1. Any and all campaign contributions shall follow the Ohio Revised Code §3517.13

2. If a contractor contributes more than permitted pursuant to Ohio Revised §3517.13 and a City contract of $10,000 or more is awarded, then the contract shall be void.

3. In the alternative, the recipient shall reimburse the contractor the amount of the contribution over the permissible limits within 30 days of notification.

Section 7. REPORTING

1. Subject to Collective Bargaining Agreements and Civil Service Laws, City Employees under the direct authority of the Mayor, including, but not limited to Appointees and Department Heads, shall complete the City of Canton Disclosure form and list Business Associations and Family Members within City Departments and Offices.

2. Disclosure forms shall be submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Compliance and maintained in Employees' personnel files in the Office of Human Resources.

3. Each year City Employees shall execute an affidavit that there are no changes to their Business Associations and/or Family Members. If there are changes, City Employees shall complete a new Disclosure form and state the changes in detail.


1. All new City Employees will be provided with a copy of current Ohio Ethics Laws, related Statutes, Administrative Codes and a copy of this Ordinance. In addition, each Employee shall sign a statement acknowledging receipt and a Pledge of Ethical Conduct to be maintained in the Office of Human Resources personnel files.

2. City Employees will at all times conduct any business on behalf of the City ethically and in conformity with any and all Ohio laws, avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

3. City Employees found to have violated the provisions of this Ordinance shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

4. The Ohio Elections and Ethics Commissions encourage individuals to bring violation allegations directly to the appropriate Commission. As such, the Office of Compliance and the Law Department shall forward any and all violation allegations to the appropriate Commission based on the allegation.

5. The City is committed to ensuring the ability of anyone to report without intimidation or retribution from reporting misconduct of supervisors or other employees. Therefore,
anyone is able to confidentially report alleged unethical conduct directly to the Ohio Ethics Commission without first reporting to any City Department or Office.

6. Any violation allegation regarding this Ordinance that is not within the jurisdiction of the Ohio Ethics Commission or the Ohio Elections Commission shall be forwarded to the Office of Compliance for review. The Office of Compliance shall forward any violations to the appropriate prosecuting agency for prosecution, if applicable.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and caused the seal of the City of Canton to be affixed this 9th day of November, 2009.