Byline: R.I. Lawyers Weekly Staff
Where the son of a member of the Jamestown Town Council is a police dispatcher in the town, she is prohibited by the Code of Ethics from participating in Town Council discussions and decisionmaking relative to line items in the budgets for the Jamestown Fire Department, the Police Department and the town that would financially impact herself or her son.
" However, the Petitioner need not recuse from budgetary line items that do not financially impact her or her son, even though they may impact other police or fire department operations or personnel, and may participate in the Town Council's vote to approve or reject as a whole the budgets for the Fire Department, the Police Department and/or the Town.
"The Petitioner is a member of the Jamestown Town Council ('Town Council') and a volunteer member of the Jamestown Fire Department ('Fire Department'). She states that her son is employed by the Town of Jamestown ('Town') as a civilian police dispatcher. The Petitioner represents that, as a member of the Fire Department, she receives a tax abatement in the amount of $750 per year, provided she remains a 'member in good standing,' and an incentive check in the amount of up to $2,500 per year depending on her level of certification and her maintaining a duty shift. The Petitioner states that she will recuse from Town Council discussions and decision-making regarding matters involving the Fire Department's tax abatement or the incentive check.
"Because the Petitioner's request lacks specificity regarding particular budgetary matters pending before the Town Council involving the Fire Department, the Police Department and/or the Town, this advisory opinion only offers general guidance regarding her ability to...