POLICY STATEMENT

It is policy of the Executive Branch of Wayne County Government to carry out its mission in accordance with ethical guidelines to ensure that Executive Appointees conduct themselves in a manner that fosters public confidence in the organization, its processes, and its accomplishments.  Executive Appointees shall conduct themselves, at all times, in a manner that avoids favoritism, bias, and even the appearance of impropriety.

This policy is intended to supplement existing Executive ethical policies.

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

It is the policy of the Executive Branch of Wayne County Government that participation in any political campaign, campaign activity or event is voluntary and not a condition of employment.

No Executive Appointee shall direct or coerce any other Wayne County employee to participate in any political campaign, campaign activity or event. 

No Executive Appointee shall state or imply to any other County employee that participation in any political campaign, campaign activity or event is necessary for employment or any benefit of employment with Wayne County. 

CONTRACTING WITH THE COUNTY

An Executive Appointee shall not have a business or contractual relationship with the County of Wayne and/or a Wayne County vendor, separate from their county employment.

An Executive Appointee shall immediately disclose when a relative acquires a business or contractual relationship with Wayne County and/or a Wayne County vendor.  Persons who knowingly and intentionally fail to promptly disclose shall be subject to discipline.

An Executive Appointee shall not influence the decision to allow a relative to acquire a business or contractual relationship with Wayne County and/or a Wayne County vendor.

COMPENSATION

While serving on behalf of Wayne County in any capacity on a board, committee, voting body or any other organization, an Executive Appointee shall not solicit or receive additional compensation or anything of value.

While serving on behalf of Wayne County in any capacity on a board, committee, voting body or organization, an Executive Appointee shall not attempt to obtain monetary benefits for a relative or anyone with whom the Executive Appointee has a business or employment relationship.

EXECUTIVE BENEFIT PLAN

The Executive Benefit Plan may be revised as needed by the department of Personnel/Human Resources as a result of market trends, strategic direction, and the health and well-being of the employee population.

All Executive appointees shall receive a Plan Document. The Plan Document will include an overview of Wayne County Benefits.

The Plan Document must be approved and signed by:

 

·        CEO

·        Director of Personnel/Human Resources

·        Chief Financial Officer

·        Corporation Counsel

 

No Executive Appointee shall revise or supplement the Plan Document unless it is approved and signed by:

 

·        CEO

·        Director of Personnel/Human Resources

·        Chief Financial Officer

·        Corporation Counsel

 

The CEO and/or Executive Appointee shall inform in writing the Retirement Commission regarding any revision to a retirement benefit prior to implementation. 

The CEO shall inform in writing the Chair of the Wayne County Commission of any revisions or supplements to the Executive Benefit Plan, prior to implementation. 

Any benefits promised or documents executed that do not comport to these requirements shall be void. 

 

COUNTY PROPERTY

Executive Appointees shall use county property, including but not limited to, computer equipment, copiers, vehicles, and electronic equipment for business and incidental personal use only.  Wayne County property is to be used for business purposes in serving the interest of the county, the public and agency customers in the course of normal operations.

All Wayne County electronic equipment and its contents may be monitored and inspected as appropriate to ensure compliance with this provision. 

LOBBYING REGISTRATION

A lobbyist who lobbies any Executive Appointee shall be required to register with the State of Michigan and comply with all State of Michigan lobbying regulations.  An Executive Appointee shall request and receive written verification of registration.  The failure to obtain written verification bars the Executive Appointee from meeting with the lobbyist.

A lobbyist shall not pay food and beverage expenses on behalf of any Executive Appointee in amounts that exceed $100 annually.  All other monetary or non-monetary gifts or gratuities by lobbyists to Executive Appointees are prohibited, with the exception of charity.  

WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION

Rights.  All covered persons by this ethics policy have, without impediment, the following rights:

    

  1. To speak freely about work-related matters, including unlawfully suppressed information, suspected illegal or unethical conduct, or suspected misuse of County funds or other resources;

  2. To communicate freely with investigators and respond to investigative inquiries’;

  3. To expect reasonable conditions of employment, respect for individual privacy and unrestricted access to their personal and personnel records.

 

Responsibilities.  Executive Appointees who believe they have knowledge of ethical misconduct shall make immediate, lawful and protected disclosure to their supervisor.  Supervisors receiving a report of ethical misconduct shall immediately refer the complaint to the Inspector General.  Executive Appointees who believe they have knowledge of criminal misconduct shall promptly make a report to the chief of operations, department of the Wayne County prosecuting attorney.

 

Protections and Prohibitions.  No Executive Appointee shall retaliate against a complainant or whistleblower because of lawful, protected disclosure or refusal to comply with an illegal order.  Specifically, no Supervisor shall discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, deny promotion to or in any other manner discriminate against a complainant or whistleblower because of lawful and protected disclosure.    

ENFORCEMENT

In collaboration with the Department of Personnel/Human Resources, it is the responsibility of Directors/Managers/Supervisors to ensure compliance of this ethics policy.  The Department of Personnel/Human Resources will also assist in the interpretation of this ethics policy. 

Failure by any Executive Appointee to adhere to this policy shall result in discipline, including but not limited to reprimand, suspension or termination, as well as any potential civil or criminal sanctions under the law.

 

DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this policy:

“Relative” means 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 an individual’s spouse, domestic partner and the individual’s fiancé or fiancée.

“Anything of value” includes anything of monetary value, including, but not limited to money, social event tickets, and food and refreshments over $100.00 annually.  Marketing materials and expense incurred in the normal course of operations are excluded from this definition.

 “Business or contractual relationship with Wayne County and/or a Wayne County vendor” shall be deemed a direct or reasonably foreseeable personal pecuniary interest that is derived from the relationship with Wayne County and/or the Wayne County vendor.

“Lobbyist” means an individual who is either retained or employed to influence decisions made by officials in government.