Code of Ordinances

of Union County, Illinois.

Ordinance Chapter: Article V - Ethics Code

(A) Any per­son who inten­tion­al­ly vio­lates any pro­vi­sion of Sec­tion 22–5‑3 of this Arti­cle may be pun­ished by a term of incar­cer­a­tion in a penal insti­tu­tion oth­er than a pen­i­ten­tiary for a peri­od of not more than three hun­dred six­­­ty-four (364) days, and may be fined in an amount not to exceed Two Thou­sand Five Hun­dred Dol­lars ($2,500.00).

(B) A per­son who inten­tion­al­ly vio­lates any pro­vi­sion of Sec­tion 22–5‑5 of this Arti­cle is sub­ject to a fine in an amount of not less than One Thou­sand One Dol­lars ($1,001.00) and not more than Five Thou­sand Dol­lars ($5,000.00).

(C) Any per­son who inten­tion­al­ly makes a false report alleg­ing a vio­la­tion of any pro­vi­sion of this Arti­cle to the local enforce­ment author­i­ties, the State’s Attor­ney or any oth­er law enforce­ment offi­cial may be pun­ished by a term of incar­cer­a­tion in a penal insti­tu­tion oth­er than a pen­i­ten­tiary for a peri­od of not more than three hun­dred six­­­ty-four (364) days, and may be fined in an amount not to exceed Two Thou­sand Five Hun­dred Dol­lars ($2,500.00).

(D) A vio­la­tion of Sec­tion 22–5‑3 of this Arti­cle shall be pros­e­cut­ed as a crim­i­nal offense by an attor­ney for the Coun­ty Gov­ern­ment by fil­ing in the Cir­cuit Court infor­ma­tion, or sworn com­plaint, charg­ing such offense.  The pros­e­cu­tion shall be under and con­form to the rules of crim­i­nal pro­ce­dure.  Con­vic­tion shall require the estab­lish­ment of the guilt of the defen­dant beyond a rea­son­able doubt.  A vio­la­tion of Sec­tion 22–5‑5 of this Arti­cle may be pros­e­cut­ed as a qua­si-crim­i­­­nal offense by an attor­ney for the Coun­ty Gov­ern­ment, or, if an Ethics Com­mis­sion has been cre­at­ed, by the Com­mis­sion through the des­ig­nat­ed admin­is­tra­tive procedure.

(E) In addi­tion to any oth­er penal­ty that may be applic­a­ble, whether crim­i­nal or civ­il, an offi­cer or employ­ee who inten­tion­al­ly vio­lates any pro­vi­sion of Sec­tion 22–5‑3 or Sec­tion 22–5‑5 of this Arti­cle is sub­ject to dis­ci­pline or discharge.

(Ord. No. 2009-02; 01–20–09)

An offi­cer or employ­ee, his or her spouse or an imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber liv­ing with the offi­cer or employ­ee, does not vio­late this Arti­cle if the recip­i­ent prompt­ly takes rea­son­able action to return a gift from a pro­hib­it­ed source to its source or gives the gift or an amount equal to its val­ue to an appro­pri­ate char­i­ty that is exempt from income tax­a­tion under Sec­tion 501(c)(3) of the Inter­nal Rev­enue Code of 1986, as now or here­after amend­ed, renum­bered, or succeeded.

Sec­tion 22–5‑5 is not applic­a­ble to the following:

(A) Oppor­tu­ni­ties, ben­e­fits, and ser­vices that are avail­able on the same con­di­tions as for the gen­er­al public.

(B) Any­thing for which the offi­cer or employ­ee, or his or her spouse or imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber, pays the fair mar­ket value.

(C) Any (i) con­tri­bu­tion that is law­ful­ly made under the Elec­tion Code or (ii) activ­i­ties asso­ci­at­ed with a fundrais­ing event in sup­port of a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion or candidate.

(D) Edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als and missions.

(E) Trav­el expens­es for a meet­ing to dis­cuss business.

(F) A gift from a rel­a­tive, mean­ing those peo­ple relat­ed to the indi­vid­ual as father, moth­er, son, daugh­ter, broth­er, sis­ter, uncle, aunt, great aunt, great uncle, first cousin, nephew, niece, hus­band, wife, grand­fa­ther, grand­moth­er, grand­son, grand­daugh­ter, father-in-law, moth­­­er-in-law, son-in-law, daugh­­­ter-in-law, broth­­­er-in-law, sis­ter-in-law, step­fa­ther, step­moth­er, step­son, step­daugh­ter, step­broth­er, step­sis­ter, half broth­er, half sis­ter, and includ­ing the father, moth­er, grand­fa­ther, or grand­moth­er of the individual’s spouse and the individual’s fiance or fiancee.

(G) Any­thing pro­vid­ed by an indi­vid­ual on the basis of a per­son­al friend­ship unless the recip­i­ent has rea­son to believe that, under the cir­cum­stances, the gift was pro­vid­ed because of the offi­cial posi­tion or employ­ment of the recip­i­ent or his or her spouse or imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber and not because of the per­son­al friend­ship.  In deter­min­ing whether a gift is pro­vid­ed on the basis of per­son­al friend­ship, the recip­i­ent shall con­sid­er the cir­cum­stances under which the gift was offered, such as: (i) the his­to­ry of the rela­tion­ship between the indi­vid­ual giv­ing the gift and the recip­i­ent of the gift, includ­ing any pre­vi­ous exchange of gifts between those indi­vid­u­als; (ii) whether to the actu­al knowl­edge of the recip­i­ent the indi­vid­ual who gave the gift per­son­al­ly paid for the gift or sought a tax deduc­tion or busi­ness reim­burse­ment for the gift; and (iii) whether to the actu­al knowl­edge of the recip­i­ent the indi­vid­ual who gave the gift also at the same time gave the same or sim­i­lar gifts to oth­er offi­cers or employ­ees, or their spous­es or imme­di­ate fam­i­ly members.

(H) Food or refresh­ments not exceed­ing Sev­en­­­ty-Five Dol­lars ($75.00) per per­son in val­ue on a sin­gle cal­en­dar day; pro­vid­ed that the food or refresh­ments are (i) con­sumed on the premis­es from which they were pur­chased or pre­pared or (ii) catered.  For the pur­pos­es of this Sec­tion, “catered” means food or refresh­ments that are pur­chased ready to con­sume which are deliv­ered by any means.

(I) Food, refresh­ments, lodg­ing, trans­porta­tion, and oth­er ben­e­fits result­ing from out­side busi­ness or employ­ment activ­i­ties (or out­side activ­i­ties that are not con­nect­ed to the offi­cial duties of an offi­cer or employ­ee), if the ben­e­fits have not been offered or enhanced because of the offi­cial posi­tion or employ­ment of the offi­cer or employ­ee, and are cus­tom­ar­i­ly pro­vid­ed to oth­ers in sim­i­lar circumstances.

(J) Intra-gov­­­ern­­­men­­­tal and inter-gov­­­ern­­­men­­­tal gifts.  For the pur­pose of this Act, “intragov­ern­men­tal gift” means any gift giv­en to an offi­cer or employ­ee from anoth­er offi­cer or employ­ee, and “inter-gov­­­ern­­­men­­­tal gift” means any gift giv­en to an offi­cer or employ­ee by an offi­cer or employ­ee of anoth­er gov­ern­men­tal entity.

(K) Bequests, inher­i­tances, and oth­er trans­fers at death.

(L) Any item or items from any one pro­hib­it­ed source dur­ing any cal­en­dar year hav­ing a cumu­la­tive total val­ue of less than One Hun­dred Dol­lars ($100.00).

Each of the excep­tions list­ed in this Sec­tion is mutu­al­ly exclu­sive and inde­pen­dent of every other.

Except as per­mit­ted by this Divi­sion, no offi­cer or employ­ee, and no spouse of or imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber liv­ing with any offi­cer or employ­ee (col­lec­tive­ly referred to here­in as “recip­i­ents”), shall inten­tion­al­ly solic­it or accept any gift from any pro­hib­it­ed source, as defined here­in, or which is oth­er­wise pro­hib­it­ed by law or ordi­nance.  No pro­hib­it­ed source shall inten­tion­al­ly offer or make a gift that vio­lates this Section.

(A) No offi­cer or employ­ee shall inten­tion­al­ly per­form any pro­hib­it­ed polit­i­cal activ­i­ty dur­ing any com­pen­sat­ed time, as defined here­in.  No offi­cer or employ­ee shall inten­tion­al­ly use any prop­er­ty or resources of the Union Coun­ty Gov­ern­ment in con­nec­tion with any pro­hib­it­ed polit­i­cal activity.

(B) At no time shall any offi­cer or employ­ee inten­tion­al­ly require any oth­er offi­cer or employ­ee to per­form any pro­hib­it­ed polit­i­cal activ­i­ty (i) as part of that offi­cer or employee’s duties, (ii) as a con­di­tion of employ­ment, or (iii) dur­ing any com­pen­sat­ed time off (such as hol­i­days, vaca­tion or per­son­al time off).

(C) No offi­cer or employ­ee shall be required at any time to par­tic­i­pate in any pro­hib­it­ed polit­i­cal activ­i­ty in con­sid­er­a­tion for that offi­cer or employ­ee being award­ed addi­tion­al com­pen­sa­tion or any ben­e­fit, whether in the form of a salary adjust­ment, bonus, com­pen­sato­ry time off, con­tin­ued employ­ment or oth­er­wise, nor shall any offi­cer or employ­ee be award­ed addi­tion­al com­pen­sa­tion or any ben­e­fit in con­sid­er­a­tion for his or her par­tic­i­pa­tion in any pro­hib­it­ed polit­i­cal activity.

(D) Noth­ing in this Sec­tion pro­hibits activ­i­ties that are per­mis­si­ble for an offi­cer or employ­ee to engage in as part of his or her offi­cial duties, or activ­i­ties that are under­tak­en by an offi­cer or employ­ee on a vol­un­tary basis which are not pro­hib­it­ed by this Article.

(E) No per­son either (i) in a posi­tion that is sub­ject to rec­og­nized mer­it prin­ci­ples of pub­lic employ­ment or (ii) in a posi­tion the salary for which is paid in whole or in part by fed­er­al funds and that is sub­ject to the Fed­er­al Stan­dards for a Mer­it Sys­tem of Per­son­nel Admin­is­tra­tion applic­a­ble to grant-in-aid pro­grams, shall be denied or deprived of employ­ment or tenure sole­ly because he or she is a mem­ber or an offi­cer of a polit­i­cal com­mit­tee, of a polit­i­cal par­ty, or of a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion or club. 

For the pur­pos­es of this Arti­cle, the fol­low­ing terms shall be giv­en these definitions:

(A) “Cam­paign for Elec­tive Office” means any activ­i­ty in fur­ther­ance of an effort to influ­ence the selec­tion, nom­i­na­tion, elec­tion or appoint­ment of any indi­vid­ual to any fed­er­al, state or local pub­lic office or office in a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion, or the selec­tion, nom­i­na­tion, or elec­tion of Pres­i­den­tial or Vice-Pres­i­­­den­­­tial elec­tors, but does not include activ­i­ties (1) relat­ing to the sup­port or oppo­si­tion of any exec­u­tive, leg­isla­tive, or admin­is­tra­tive action, (2) relat­ing to col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing, or (3) that are oth­er­wise in fur­ther­ance of the person’s offi­cial duties.

(B) “Can­di­date” means a per­son who has filed nom­i­nat­ing papers or peti­tions for nom­i­na­tion or elec­tion to an elect­ed office, or who has been appoint­ed to fill a vacan­cy in nom­i­na­tion, and who remains eli­gi­ble for place­ment on the bal­lot at a reg­u­lar elec­tion, as defined in Sec­tion 1–3 of the Elec­tion Code (10 ILCS 5/1–3).

(C) “Col­lec­tive Bar­gain­ing” has the same mean­ing as that term is defined in Sec­tion 3 of the Illi­nois Pub­lic Labor Rela­tions Act (5 ILCS 315/3).

(D) “Com­pen­sat­ed Time” means, with respect to an employ­ee, any time worked by or cred­it­ed to the employ­ee that counts toward any min­i­mum work time require­ment imposed as a con­di­tion of his or her employ­ment, but for pur­pos­es of this Arti­cle, does not include any des­ig­nat­ed hol­i­days, vaca­tion peri­ods, per­son­al time, com­pen­sato­ry time off or any peri­od when the employ­ee is on a leave of absence.  With respect to offi­cers or employ­ees whose hours are not fixed, “com­pen­sat­ed time” includes any peri­od of time when the offi­cer is on premis­es under the con­trol of the employ­er and any oth­er time when the offi­cer or employ­ee is exe­cut­ing his or her offi­cial duties, regard­less of location.

(E) “Com­pen­sato­ry Time Off” means autho­rized time off earned by or award­ed to an employ­ee to com­pen­sate in whole or in part for time worked in excess of the min­i­mum work time required of that employ­ee as a con­di­tion of his or her employment.

(F) “Con­tri­bu­tion” has the same mean­ing as that term is defined in Sec­tion 9–1.4 of the Elec­tion Code (10 ILCS 5/9–1.4).

(G) “Employ­ee” means a per­son employed by the Union Coun­ty Gov­ern­ment, whether on a full-time or part-time basis or pur­suant to a con­tract, whose duties are sub­ject to the direc­tion and con­trol of an employ­er with regard to the mate­r­i­al details of how the work is to be per­formed, but does not include an inde­pen­dent contractor.

(H) “Employ­er” means the Union Coun­ty Government.

(I) “Gift” means any gra­tu­ity, dis­count, enter­tain­ment, hos­pi­tal­i­ty, loan, for­bear­ance, or oth­er tan­gi­ble or intan­gi­ble item hav­ing mon­e­tary val­ue includ­ing, but not lim­it­ed to, cash, food and drink, and hon­o­raria for speak­ing engage­ments relat­ed to or attrib­ut­able to gov­ern­ment employ­ment or the offi­cial posi­tion of an offi­cer or employee.

(J) “Leave of Absence” means any peri­od dur­ing which an employ­ee does not receive (1) com­pen­sa­tion for employ­ment, (2) ser­vice cred­it towards pen­sion ben­e­fits, and (3) health insur­ance ben­e­fits paid for by the employer.

(K) “Offi­cer” means a per­son who holds, by elec­tion or appoint­ment, an office cre­at­ed by statute or ordi­nance, regard­less of whether the offi­cer is com­pen­sat­ed for ser­vice in his or her offi­cial capacity.

(L) “Polit­i­cal Activ­i­ty” means any activ­i­ty in sup­port of or in con­nec­tion with any cam­paign for elec­tive office or any polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion, but does not include activ­i­ties (1) relat­ing to the sup­port or oppo­si­tion of any exec­u­tive, leg­isla­tive, or admin­is­tra­tive action, (2) relat­ing to col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing, or (3) that are oth­er­wise in fur­ther­ance of the person’s offi­cial duties.

(M) “Polit­i­cal Orga­ni­za­tion” means a par­ty, com­mit­tee, asso­ci­a­tion, fund, or oth­er orga­ni­za­tion (whether or not incor­po­rat­ed) that is required to file a state­ment of orga­ni­za­tion with the State Board of Elec­tions or a coun­ty clerk under Sec­tion 9–3 of the Elec­tion Code (10 ILCS 5/9–3), but only with regard to those activ­i­ties that require fil­ing with the State Board of Elec­tions or a coun­ty clerk.

(N) “Pro­hib­it­ed Polit­i­cal Activ­i­ty” means:

  1. Prepar­ing for, orga­niz­ing, or par­tic­i­pat­ing in any polit­i­cal meet­ing, polit­i­cal ral­ly, polit­i­cal demon­stra­tion, or oth­er polit­i­cal event.
  2. Solic­it­ing con­tri­bu­tions, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to the pur­chase of, sell­ing, dis­trib­ut­ing, or receiv­ing pay­ment for tick­ets for any polit­i­cal fundrais­er, polit­i­cal meet­ing, or oth­er polit­i­cal event.
  3. Solic­it­ing, plan­ning the solic­i­ta­tion of, or prepar­ing any doc­u­ment or report regard­ing any­thing of val­ue intend­ed as a cam­paign contribution.
  4. Plan­ning, con­duct­ing, or par­tic­i­pat­ing in a pub­lic opin­ion poll in con­nec­tion with a cam­paign for elec­tive office or on behalf of a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion for polit­i­cal pur­pos­es or for or against any ref­er­en­dum question.
  5. Sur­vey­ing or gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion from poten­tial or actu­al vot­ers in an elec­tion to deter­mine prob­a­ble vote out­come in con­nec­tion with a cam­paign for elec­tive office or on behalf of a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion for polit­i­cal pur­pos­es or for or against any ref­er­en­dum question.
  6. Assist­ing at the polls on Elec­tion Day on behalf of any polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion or can­di­date for elec­tive office or for or against any ref­er­en­dum question.
  7. Solic­it­ing votes on behalf of a can­di­date for elec­tive office or a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion or for or against any ref­er­en­dum ques­tion or help­ing in an effort to get vot­ers to the polls.
  8. Ini­ti­at­ing for cir­cu­la­tion, prepar­ing, cir­cu­lat­ing, review­ing, or fil­ing any peti­tion on behalf of a can­di­date for elec­tive office or for or against any ref­er­en­dum question.
  9. Mak­ing con­tri­bu­tions on behalf of any can­di­date for elec­tive office in that capac­i­ty or in con­nec­tion with a cam­paign for elec­tive office.
  10. Prepar­ing or review­ing respons­es to can­di­date questionnaires.
  11. Dis­trib­ut­ing, prepar­ing for dis­tri­b­u­tion, or mail­ing cam­paign lit­er­a­ture, cam­paign signs, or oth­er cam­paign mate­r­i­al on behalf of any can­di­date for elec­tive office or for or against any ref­er­en­dum question.
  12. Man­ag­ing or work­ing on a cam­paign for elec­tive office or for or against any ref­er­en­dum question.
  13. Serv­ing as a del­e­gate, alter­nate, or proxy to a polit­i­cal par­ty convention.
  14. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in any recount or chal­lenge to the out­come of any election.

(O) “Pro­hib­it­ed Source” means any per­son or enti­ty who:

  1. Is seek­ing offi­cial action (a) by an offi­cer or (b) by an employ­ee, or by the offi­cer or anoth­er employ­ee direct­ing that employee;
  2. Does busi­ness or seeks to do busi­ness (a) with the offi­cer or (b) with an employ­ee, or with the offi­cer or anoth­er employ­ee direct­ing that employee;
  3. Con­ducts activ­i­ties reg­u­lat­ed (a) by the offi­cer or (b) by an employ­ee, or by the offi­cer or anoth­er employ­ee direct­ing that employ­ee; or
  4. Has inter­ests that may be sub­stan­tial­ly affect­ed by the per­for­mance or non-per­­­for­­­mance of the offi­cial duties of the offi­cer or employ­ee.