A special State officer is prohibited from representing any party other than the State in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before the particular agency in which he/she holds office. (Section 16) This prohibition also extends to any partnership, firm, or corporation in which he/she has an interest, interest being defined in section 13(g) as (1) more than 10% of the profits or assets of a firm or more than 10% of stock in a corporation other than a professional services corporation or (2) ownership or control of more than 1% of the profits of a firm, association, or partnership or more than 1% of the stock of any corporation that is the holder of or applicant for a casino license or in any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto. Provisions of the Conflicts Law governing the conduct of individuals apply to shareholders, associates or professional employees of professional service corporations, regardless of the extent or amount of their shareholder interest.
If a special State officer has duties or responsibilities in connection with the purchase or acquisition of property or services, he/she is prohibited from undertaking any contract, agreement, sale or purchase of the value of $25 or more made by his/her agency unless the contract is made after public notice and competitive bidding and with the prior approval of the Commission. This prohibition extends to partners or any corporation in which the special State officer owns or controls more than 1% of the stock. (Section 19)
With regard to activities following State service, a special State officer is prohibited from representing, appearing for, negotiating on behalf of, providing "insider" information or services or agreeing to perform any of those activities for any person or party other than the State in connection with any specific cause, proceeding, application or other matter in which he/she had been substantially and directly involved during the course of his/her office. This prohibition also extends to any firm in which the special State officer has more than a 10% interest. (Section 17)
With regard to casinos, a special State officer is prohibited from holding an interest in or representing, appearing for or negotiating on behalf of a holder of or applicant for a casino license, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, in connection with any matter. However, he/she may hold employment with a casino license holder or applicant if the Commission grants a waiver and, if so employed, may hold an interest in or represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of the casino employer.
With respect to the other provisions of the Conflicts Law, a special State officer is prohibited from accepting from any person, directly or indirectly or through his/her spouse or member of his/her family or through any partner or associate, any gift, favor, service, employment or offer of employment or any other thing of value which is offered with the intent to influence him/her in the performance of his/her duties or responsibilities. (Section 14)
A special State officer is prohibited from soliciting, receiving or agreeing to receive from any source other than the State, any compensation, reward, employment, gift or other thing of value for any service, advice, assistance or other matter related to his/her official duties. There are very limited circumstances under which he/she could accept direct or indirect benefits from an entity that is an interested party with respect to the agency. (Section 24) The Commission has promulgated rules about attendance at events and acceptance of benefits at N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.1 et seq.
A special State officer is prohibited from acting as an officer or agent of his/her agency in the transaction of any business with him or herself or with a corporation, company, association or firm in which he/she has an interest, interest being defined with regard to this prohibition as 10% ownership. (Section 20)
A special State officer is prohibited from having any interest, financial or otherwise, or engaging in any business or transaction or professional activity which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his/her duties in the public interest. (Section 23(e)(1))
A special State officer must notify the Commission if he/she engages in any business, profession, trade or occupation which is subject to licensing or regulation by an agency of State government. (Section 23(e)(2))
A special State officer is prohibited from using or attempting to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for him or herself or others. (Section 23(e)(3))
A special State officer is prohibited from acting in an official capacity in any matter in which he/she has a direct or indirect personal financial interest that might reasonably be expected to impair his/her objectivity or independence of judgment. (Section 23(e)(4))
A special State officer is prohibited from undertaking any employment or service which might reasonably be expected to impair his/her objectivity and independence of judgment in the exercise of his/her official duties. (Section 23(e)(5))
A special State officer is prohibited from accepting any gift, favor, service or other thing of value under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred that the gift, service or other thing of value was offered or given for the purpose of influencing him/her in the discharge of his/her official duties. As a general rule, the Commission requires that gifts from entities with which a special State officer does State business must be reported and remitted immediately to the agency ethics liaison officer. (Section 23(e)(6)) Rules regarding gifts can be found at N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.9 and 6.10.
A special State officer should not knowingly act in any way that might be reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion among the public having knowledge of her/her acts that he/she may be engaged in conduct violative of his/her trust as a special State officer. (Section 23(e)(7))
A special State officer is prohibited from willfully disclosing to any person any information not generally available to members of the public which he/she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his/her official duties. (Section 25)
In addition, special State officers who serve on boards, commissions and agencies specified in Executive Order No. 1 (Corzine, 2006) must file annual financial disclosure/business entity disclosure statements with the Commission.
N.J.S.A. 52:13D-21.2 prohibits independent authorities, boards, commissions and agencies from employing relatives of appointed members. "Relative" is broadly defined.
A special State officer who is involved in the procurement process at his/her State agency or in the procurement process of a State agency other than his/her own must file a Personal and Business Relationships Disclosure Form ("Form") with his/her agency head. Involvement in the procurement process means drafting, reviewing, evaluating or making contract awards, substantively assisting in any of those tasks or authorizing payments under those contracts. The Form is available in a fillable PDF format on the State Ethics Commission's website: http://nj.gov/ethics/forms.
December 7, 2006
April 3, 2007