City of Atlanta
Georgia

Ordinance
19-O-1477
Adopted Substitute as Amended
Oct 21, 2019 1:00 PM

AN AMENDED SUBSTITUTE ORDINANCE BY COMMITTEE ON COUNCIL TO AMEND PART II (CODE OF ORDINANCES), CHAPTER 2 (ADMINISTRATION), ARTICLE VII (OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES), DIVISION 2 (STANDARDS OF CONDUCT), TO ACCURATELY REFLECT THE CURRENT NOMINATING ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE BOARD OF ETHICS AND INDEPENDENT COMPLIANCE; CLARIFY THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT FOR PROSPECTIVE BOARD MEMBERS; CREATE CONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ETHICS OFFICER AND INDEPENDENT COMPLIANCE OFFICER POSITIONS; ENHANCE THE EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BOARD, THE ETHICS OFFICE, AND THE INDEPENDENT COMPLIANCE OFFICE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Information

Department:Office of Research and Policy AnalysisSponsors:
Category:Committee on CouncilFunctions:None Required

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. COMMITTEE AMENDMENT FORM 19-o-1477 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)

Item Discussion

(Held 9/3/19 for additional information)

 

Body

WHEREAS, two of the current nominating organizations for the Board of Ethics and Independent Compliance (the “Board”), The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers, and The Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, have indicated that they do not intend to recommend members to sit on the Board; and

 

WHEREAS, the nine remaining nominating authorities are sufficiently capable of adjudicating all matters which may arise under the jurisdiction of the Board; and

 

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Board to broaden the pool of potential Board members to include individuals who are employed in or maintain business interests within the City of Atlanta; and

 

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Board to broaden the pool of potential candidates for the position of Ethics Officer and Independent Compliance Officer to include individuals who are admitted to the bar in another jurisdiction with eligibility to the State Bar of Georgia through reciprocity or passage of the Georgia bar examination; and

 

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Board to create consistency between the Ethics Officer and Independent Compliance Officer as it relates to participation in partisan and non-partisan political activity; and

 

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Board to enhance the efficiency and effective administration of the activities of the Board, Ethics Office and Independent Compliance Office by providing that the Board may be advised by the city attorney and may retain outside legal counsel upon a finding by the board of a conflict by the city attorney.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA GEORGIA:

 

SECTION 1: That Part II (General Ordinances), Chapter 2 (Administration), Article VII (Officers and Employees), Division 2 (Ethics and Independent Compliance/Standards of Conduct), Section 2-804 (Board of Ethics and Independent Compliance), subsections (a) and (b) which reads as follows:

Sec. 2-804. - Board of Ethics and Independent Compliance.

 

(a) There is hereby continued in existence an independent board of ethics and independent compliance to consist of eleven members, all of whom shall be known for their personal integrity and all of whom shall be residents of and domiciled in the city. It is further urged that the members of the board of ethics and independent compliance shall reflect the diversity of the city with regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, marital status, parental status, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, age and disability. At all times, at least four members shall be attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.

 

(b) Appointments to the independent board of ethics and independent compliance shall be made by the mayor and city council, the governing authority of the City of Atlanta. Nominations to the board may be made by the following organizations:

 

(1) The Atlanta Bar Association may nominate one member, chosen from the attorney members of the association;

 

(2) The Gate City Bar Association may nominate one member, chosen from the attorney members of the association;

 

(3) The Atlanta Business League may nominate one member, chosen from the organizations that are members of the league, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(4) The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce may nominate one member from the organizations that are members of the chamber, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(5) The Atlanta-Fulton County League of Women Voters may nominate one member, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(6) The Atlanta Planning Advisory Board may nominate one member, which member shall not be an attorney nor an officer of a neighborhood planning unit;

 

(7) The seven major universities/colleges within the city (Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College) may collectively nominate one member;

 

(8) The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers, may nominate one member, chosen from the members of the association;

 

(9) The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners may nominate one member, chosen from the members of the association;

 

(10) The Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants may nominate one member, chosen from the members of the society, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(11) The Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia may nominate one member, chosen from the attorney members thereof, which member shall have experience as a prosecuting attorney.

 

Is hereby amended to read as follows and to add a new subsection (m) (with new language and underlined and with deleted language struck out):

 

Sec. 2-804. - Board of Ethics and Independent Compliance.

 

(a) There is hereby continued in existence an independent board of ethics and independent compliance to consist of eleven nine members, all of whom shall be known for their personal integrity and all of whom shall be residents of, employed or maintain business interests within the City of Atlanta and domiciled in the city. It is further urged that the members of the board of ethics and independent compliance shall reflect the diversity of the city with regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, marital status, parental status, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, age and disability. At all times, at least four three members shall be attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.

 

(b) Appointments to the independent board of ethics and independent compliance shall be made by the mayor and city council, the governing authority of the City of Atlanta. Nominations to the board may be made by the following organizations:

 

(1) The Atlanta Bar Association may nominate one member, chosen from the attorney members of the association;

 

(2) The Gate City Bar Association may nominate one member, chosen from the attorney members of the association;

 

(3) The Atlanta Business League may nominate one member, chosen from the organizations that are members of the league, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(4) The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce may nominate one member from the organizations that are members of the chamber, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(5) The Atlanta-Fulton County League of Women Voters may nominate one member, which member shall not be an attorney;

 

(6) The Atlanta Planning Advisory Board may nominate one member, which member shall not be an attorney nor an officer of a neighborhood planning unit;

 

(7) The seven major universities/colleges within the city (Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College) may collectively nominate one member;

 

The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers, may nominate one member, chosen from the members of the association;

 

(8) The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners may nominate one member, chosen from the members of the association;

 

(9) The Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants may nominate one member, chosen from the members of the society, which member shall not be an attorney;

The Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia may nominate one member, chosen from the attorney members thereof, which member shall have experience as a prosecuting attorney.

 

(m) Upon request of the board, the city attorney, or any attorney representing the city attorney’s office, shall advise the board of ethics and independent compliance.  Upon a finding by the board of a conflict under Rule 1.7 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct by the city attorney regarding a matter, any attorney who shall be selected by a majority of the board shall advise the board of ethics and independent compliance on the matter which the board found the city attorney to be in conflict.

 

SECTION 2: That Part II (General Ordinances), Chapter 2 (Administration), Article VII (Officers and Employees), Division 2 (Ethics and Independent Compliance/Standards of Conduct), Section 2-805 (Ethics Officer), subsections (a) and (c) which reads as follows:

 

Sec. 2-805. - Ethics officer.

 

(a) There is hereby created as a full time salaried position an ethics officer for the city. The city ethics officer must be an active member of the Georgia Bar Association in good standing with five years experience in the practice of law. The ethics officer shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the board for a period of five years, subject to confirmation by a majority of the council and approval by the mayor. Removal of the ethics officer before the expiration of the designated term shall be for cause by a majority vote of the members of the board.

 

(c) The ethics officer shall not be involved in partisan or nonpartisan political activities or the political affairs of the city.

 

Is hereby amended to read as follows (with new language underlined and deleted language struck out):

 

Sec. 2-805. - Ethics officer.

 

(a) There is hereby created as a full time full-time salaried position an ethics officer for the city. The city ethics officer must be an active member of the Georgia Bar Association the State Bar of Georgia or admitted to the bar in another jurisdiction with eligibility to the State Bar of Georgia through reciprocity or passage of the Georgia bar examination and be in good standing with five years experience in the practice of law. If the City ethics officer is not an active member of the State Bar of Georgia on the date of hire, he or she shall seek and obtain admission within 12 months of hire date. The ethics officer shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the board for a period of five years, subject to confirmation by a majority of the council and approval by the mayor. Removal of the ethics officer before the expiration of the designated term shall be for cause by a majority vote of the members of the board.

 

(c) The ethics officer shall not engage in city election political activities and may not make campaign contributions to candidates in city elections during their term. A violation of this subsection shall constitute cause for removal as described in this section. be involved in partisan or nonpartisan political activities or the political affairs of the city.

 

SECTION 3: That Part II (General Ordinances), Chapter 2 (Administration), Article VII (Officers and Employees), Division 2 (Ethics and Independent Compliance/Standards of Conduct), Section 2-806 (Investigations and Hearings) which reads as follows:

 

 

 

Sec. 2-806. - Investigations and hearings.

 

The board shall conduct investigations into alleged violations of the ethics code and of matters under the jurisdiction of the independent compliance officer, hold hearings and issue decisions as prescribed below:

 

(1) The proceedings of the board and records shall be open unless otherwise permitted by state law.

 

(2) Upon request of the board, the city attorney, or any attorney representing the city attorney's office, or in the event of a conflict, any attorney who shall be selected by a majority of the board and who will provide pro bono services to the board, shall advise the board of ethics.

 

(3)

a. Preliminary investigation of complaint. The ethics officer or the independent compliance officer, shall conduct a preliminary investigation of any complaint and provide a written report to the board discussing the officer's findings and recommend to the board whether there is probable cause for belief that this division, or any matters under the jurisdiction of the independent compliance officer have been violated warranting a formal hearing.

 

b. If the board determines after the preliminary investigation of a complaint that there does not exist probable cause for belief that this division has been violated, the board shall so notify the complainant and the subject of the investigation. If the board determines after a preliminary investigation of the complaint that there does exist probable cause for belief that this division, or any matters under the jurisdiction of the independent compliance officer have been violated, the board shall give notice to the person involved to attend a hearing to determine whether there has been such a violation.

 

(4) For use in proceedings under this division, the board shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel any person to appear, give sworn testimony, or produce documentary or other evidence. Any person who fails to respond to such subpoenas may be subjected to the penalties set forth in section 2-807 of this division.

 

(5) All hearings of the board pursuant to this section shall be as follows:

 

a. All testimony shall be under oath, which shall be administered by a member of the board. Any person who appears before the board shall have all of the due process rights, privileges and responsibilities of a witness appearing before the courts of this state. Any person whose name is mentioned during a proceeding of the board and who may be adversely affected thereby may appear personally before the board on such person's own behalf or may file a written sworn statement for incorporation into the record to be made part of all proceedings pursuant to this subsection.

 

b. The board's decision shall be governed by a preponderance of the evidence standard.

 

c. At the conclusion of proceedings concerning an alleged violation, the board shall immediately begin deliberations on the evidence and proceed to determine by a majority vote of members present whether there has been a violation of this division. The findings of the board concerning a violation and the record of the proceedings shall be made public by the board as soon as practicable after the determination has been made.

 

Is hereby amended to read as follows (with new language underlined and deleted language struck out):

 

Sec. 2-806. - Investigations and hearings.

 

The board shall conduct investigations into alleged violations of the ethics code and of matters under the jurisdiction of the independent compliance officer, hold hearings and issue decisions as prescribed below:

 

(1) The proceedings of the board and records shall be open unless otherwise permitted by state law.

 

(2) Upon request of the board, the city attorney, or any attorney representing the city attorney's office, or in the event of a conflict, any attorney who shall be selected by a majority of the board and who will provide pro bono services to the board, shall advise the board of ethics.

 

(2)

a. Preliminary investigation of complaint. The ethics officer or the independent

compliance officer shall conduct a preliminary investigation of any complaint and provide a written report to the board discussing the officer's findings and recommend to the board whether there is probable cause for belief that this division, or any matters under the jurisdiction of the independent compliance officer have been violated warranting a formal hearing.

 

b. If the board determines after the preliminary investigation of a complaint that there does not exist probable cause for belief that this division has been violated, the board shall so notify the complainant and the subject of the investigation. If the board determines after a preliminary investigation of the complaint that there does exist probable cause for belief that this division, or any matters under the jurisdiction of the independedent independent compliance officer have been violated, the board shall give notice to the person involved to attend a hearing to determine whether there has been such a violation.

 

(3) For use in proceedings under this division, the board shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel any person to appear, give sworn testimony, or produce documentary or other evidence. Any person who fails to respond to such subpoenas may be subjected to the penalties set forth in section 2-807 of this division.

 

(4) All hearings of the board pursuant to this section shall be as follows:

 

a. All testimony shall be under oath, which shall be administered by a member of the board. Any person who appears before the board shall have all of the due process rights, privileges and responsibilities of a witness appearing before the courts of this state. Any person whose name is mentioned during a proceeding of the board and who may be adversely affected thereby may appear personally before the board on such person's own behalf or may file a written sworn statement for incorporation into the record to be made part of all proceedings pursuant to this subsection.

 

b. The board's decision shall be governed by a preponderance of the evidence standard.

 

c. At the conclusion of proceedings concerning an alleged violation, the board shall immediately begin deliberations on the evidence and proceed to determine by a majority vote of members present whether there has been a violation of this division. The findings of the board concerning a violation and the record of the proceedings shall be made public by the board as soon as practicable after the determination has been made.

 

SECTION 4: That Part II (General Ordinances), Chapter 2 (Administration), Article VII (Officers and Employees), Division 2 (Ethics and Independent Compliance/Standards of Conduct), Section 2-825 (Mandatory Ethics Training), subsection (a) which reads as follows:

 

Sec. 2-825. - Mandatory ethics training.

 

(a) AH part-time, full-time, and contract employees of the offices of council members, council staff, municipal clerk, and council president shall receive a minimum of two hours of training within six months of the effective date of this ordinance and receive additional training at least once every three years after completing the initial training. This includes, but is not limited to, all employees reporting to the director of council staff and the municipal clerk, as well as city council assistants, senior council assistants, special council assistants, and contracted employees of the council member offices. Contract employees covered in this code section shall be persons that receive a 1099 FORM or 1099- MISC FORM from the Internal Revenue Service, pursuant to Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 as extended by section 269(c) of P.L. 97-248, for services offered to a council member, the council President or any office of the council member or council president that amounts to $600.00 or more per calendar year and work for the department of council for a period of 21 days per calendar year or more.

 

Is hereby amended to read as follows (with new language underlined and deleted language struck out):

 

Sec. 2-825. - Mandatory ethics training.

 

(a) AH All part-time, full-time, and contract employees of the offices of council members, council staff, municipal clerk, and council president shall receive a minimum of two hours of training within six months of the effective date of this ordinance and receive additional training at least once every three years after completing the initial training. This includes, but is not limited to, all employees reporting to the director of council staff and the municipal clerk, as well as city council assistants, senior council assistants, special council assistants, and contracted employees of the council member offices. Contract employees covered in this code section shall be persons that receive a 1099 FORM or 1099- MISC FORM from the Internal Revenue Service, pursuant to Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 as extended by section 269(c) of P.L. 97-248, for services offered to a council member, the council President or any office of the council member or council president that amounts to $600.00 or more per calendar year and work for the department of council for a period of 21 days per calendar year or more.

 

SECTION 5: That Part II (General Ordinances), Chapter 2 (Administration), Article VII (Officers and Employees), Division 2 (Ethics and Independent Compliance/Standards of Conduct), Section 2-826 (Independent Compliance Office/Jurisdiction/Training), subsection (a) which reads as follows:

 

Sec. 2-826. - Independent compliance officer/jurisdiction/training.

(a) There is hereby created as a full time salaried position an independent compliance officer for the city. The independent compliance officer must be an active member of the Georgia Bar Association in good standing with at least five years' experience in the practice of law. The independent compliance officer shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the board of ethics and independent compliance for a period of five years, subject to confirmation by a majority of the council and approval by the mayor. Removal of the independent compliance officer before the expiration of the designated term shall be for cause by a majority vote of the members of the board of ethics and independent compliance.

 

Is hereby amended to read as follows (with new language underlined and deleted language struck out):

 

Sec. 2-826. - Independent compliance officer/jurisdiction/training.

 

(a) There is hereby created as a full time full-time salaried position an independent compliance officer for the city. The independent compliance officer must be an active member of the State Bar of Georgia or admitted to the bar in another jurisdiction with eligibility to the State Bar of Georgia through reciprocity or passage of the Georgia bar examination Georgia Bar Association in good standing with at least five years' experience in the practice of law. The independent compliance officer shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the board of ethics and independent compliance for a period of five years, subject to confirmation by a majority of the council and approval by the mayor. Removal of the independent compliance officer before the expiration of the designated term shall be for cause by a majority vote of the members of the board of ethics and independent compliance.

 

SECTION 6: All ordinances in conflict with this ordinance are waived to the extent of the conflict.

 

SECTION 7: The amendments contained in this ordinance shall be effective immediately upon approval.

______

 

 

Meeting History

Aug 19, 2019 11:15 AM Video Committee on Council Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:ACCEPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Amir R Farokhi, District 2
SECONDER:Matt Westmoreland, Post 2 At Large
AYES:Jennifer N. Ide, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Andre Dickens, Amir R Farokhi, Cleta Winslow, Matt Westmoreland, Antonio Brown
Aug 19, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COUNCIL BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 14 YEAS; 0 NAYS

RESULT:REFERRED TO COMMITTEE [14 TO 0]
MOVER:Jennifer N. Ide, Councilmember, District 6
SECONDER:Dustin Hillis, Councilmember, District 9
AYES:Matt Westmoreland, Andre Dickens, Carla Smith, Amir R Farokhi, Antonio Brown, Cleta Winslow, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Jennifer N. Ide, Howard Shook, J. P. Matzigkeit, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Joyce M Sheperd
AWAY:Michael Julian Bond
Sep 3, 2019 11:15 AM Video Committee on Council Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Carlos Santiago, Deputy Ethics Officer

RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Jennifer N. Ide, Chair, District 6
SECONDER:Antonio Brown, District 3
AYES:Jennifer N. Ide, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Andre Dickens, Amir R Farokhi, Cleta Winslow, Matt Westmoreland, Antonio Brown
Sep 3, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO COMMITTEE ON COUNCIL WITHOUT OBJECTION

MEMBERS PRESENT: IDE, WESTMORELAND, FAROKHI, WINSLOW, DICKENS, ARCHIBONG & BROWN

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Sep 16, 2019 11:15 AM Video Committee on Council Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE [UNANIMOUS]
AYES:Jennifer N. Ide, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Andre Dickens, Amir R Farokhi, Cleta Winslow, Matt Westmoreland, Antonio Brown
Sep 16, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO COMMITTEE ON COUNCIL WITHOUT OBJECTION

MEMBERS PRESENT: IDE, WESTMORELAND, FAROKHI, WINSLOW, DICKENS, ARCHIBONG & BROWN

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Oct 7, 2019 11:15 AM Video Committee on Council Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
Oct 7, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO COMMITTEE ON COUNCIL WITHOUT OBJECTION

MEMBERS PRESENT: IDE, WESTMORELAND, FAROKHI, WINSLOW, DICKENS, ARCHIBONG & BROWN

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Oct 21, 2019 11:15 AM Video Committee on Council Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:FAVORABLE/SUB/AMENDED [5 TO 0]
MOVER:Amir R Farokhi, District 2
SECONDER:Cleta Winslow, Vice - Chair, District 4
AYES:Jennifer N. Ide, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Amir R Farokhi, Cleta Winslow, Matt Westmoreland
ABSENT:Andre Dickens
AWAY:Antonio Brown
Oct 21, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

ADOPTED SUBSTITUTE AS AMENDED BY A HAND VOTE OF 14 YEAS; 0 NAYS

RESULT:ADOPTED SUBSTITUTE AS AMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
AYES:Michael Julian Bond, Matt Westmoreland, Carla Smith, Amir R Farokhi, Antonio Brown, Cleta Winslow, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Jennifer N. Ide, Howard Shook, J. P. Matzigkeit, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Joyce M Sheperd
ABSENT:Andre Dickens