A conflict of interest is a “real or seeming incompatibility between one’s private interests and one’s public or fiduciary interest.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Ed. Within the context of local government, a perceived conflict of interest can be just as problematic as a real conflict. Failure to manage ethical dilemmas appropriately can significantly damage the reputation of a local official, an entire public body, or the municipality as a whole.
Beginning July 1, 2019 every town, city, and village in the State must have a conflict of interest prohibition in place for its elected and appointed officials to comply with Senate bill 8, “An act relating to establishing the State Ethics Commission and standards of governmental ethical conduct.”
MAC’s Model Conflict of Interest Policy and Guidance have been updated to comply with the latest requirements. Use this model to review your municipality’s current conflict of interest policy for compliance or to adopt a new one. Contact MAC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-649-7915 for assistance with legal drafting and review, and onsite training for municipal officials.