The Rules of the Board of Ethics provide for three types of matters that may be referred to the board, depending on whose conduct is to be reviewed and who is requesting that review.
City officials or employees (including consultants, advisors, contractors, and persons serving on advisory boards and commissions), as well as the City Commission and other city commissions, boards, or committees, may desire a determination of whether their own conduct or anticipated conduct, or that of a person, board or committee under their authority, conforms to or violates the Ethics Ordinance. They may seek that determination by requesting an advisory opinion from the Board of Ethics on the advisory opinion request form. After a hearing at which the involved officials or employees may appear, documents may be presented, and testimony taken, the board issues an opinion on the question presented.
City residents may desire a determination of whether the conduct of city officials or employees conforms to or violates the Ethics Ordinance. They may seek that determination by filing a complaint with the Board of Ethics on the complaint form. After an evidentiary hearing at which the complaining party and the responding party must appear, documents may be presented, and testimony taken, the board issues a decision on the question presented.
The City Commission and the City’s various boards and advisory commissions may themselves desire a determination of whether one of their members should be disqualified, due to a disclosed conflict of interest, from discussion, deliberation, action, or voting on a particular matter. In that instance, the commission or board may refer the question to the Board of Ethics for a final determination as to the conflict in question and whether the official, commissioner, or employee must refrain from participation in the matter.