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Ethics Policy

Approved April 2024

The Moweaqua Public Library District (MPLD) policy is to comply with state statutes on and definitions related to ethics (5 ILCS 430).

 

Under the provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (enacted by Public Acts 93-615 and 93-617), all units of local government and school districts are required to adopt policies governing political activities and the solicitation and acceptance of gifts of trustees and employees that are "no less restrictive" than those contained in that Act.

 

Political Activities

No trustee or employee shall intentionally use any MPLD property or resources in connection with any prohibited political activity as defined by state law. At no time shall any trustee or employee intentionally require any other trustee or employee to perform any prohibited political activity as part of that trustee’s or employee's duties, as a condition of employment, or during any compensated time off (such as holidays, vacation or personal time off).

 

No trustee or employee shall be required at any time to participate in any prohibited political activity in consideration for that trustee 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 trustee or employee be awarded additional compensation or any benefit in consideration for his or her participation in any prohibited political activity.

 

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

 

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 MPLD funds 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.

 

Gift Ban

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

 

This policy is not applicable to the following:

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

  • Anything for which the trustee or employee, or their spouse or immediate family members, pays the fair market value.

  • 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.

  • Educational materials and missions.

  • Travel expenses for a meeting to discuss business.

  • A gift from a relative, meaning those people related to the individual as defined by state law.

  • 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 their 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 at the same time gave the same or similar gifts to other officers or employees, or their spouses or immediate family members.

  • Food or refreshments not exceeding $75 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 policy, "catered" means food or refreshments that are purchased ready to consume which are delivered by any means.

  • 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.

  • Intragovernmental and intergovernmental gifts as defined by state law.

  • Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at death.

  • Any item or items from any one prohibited source during any calendar year having a cumulative total value of less than $100.

 

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

 

A trustee or employee, their spouse or an immediate family member living with the trustee or employee, does not violate this policy 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 as defined by state law.

 

The MPLD board shall rely on legal counsel for ethical issues that arise.

 

Penalties

A person who intentionally violates any provision of this policy is subject to, and may be punished as determined by, state law.

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