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Advisory

Summary of Ethics and Conflicts of Interest Laws

This advisory is intended to provide guidance on statutory ethical constraints that should be followed by Shawnee State University personnel.

This advisory is a brief summary of the Ohio Revised Code. Full copies of the applicable sections of the Ohio Revised Code are available on the reserve shelf of the library. In case of conflicts between this advisory and the law, the law which is subject to change, takes precedence.

1.0  Terms Explained

1.1  SSU Personnel: Unless the context indicates otherwise, means trustees, faculty, administrators, hourly, and other employees, including adjunct faculty and contract employees of Shawnee State University.

1.2  Honorarium - Any payment made in consideration for any speech given, article published, or attendance at any public or private conference, convention, meeting, social event, meal, or similar gathering. "Honorarium" does not include ceremonial gifts or awards that have insignificant monetary value; unsolicited gifts of nominal value or trivial items of informational value; or earned income from any person, other than a legislative agent, for personal services that are customarily provided in connection with the practice of a bona fide business, if that business initially began before the public official or employee conducting that business was elected or appointed to his office or position of employment.

1.3  Anything of Value - Includes money, securities, commercial paper, goods and chattels, promissory notes, rights in action, any interest in realty, any promise of future employment, every other thing of value.

1.4  University - Shawnee State University.

2.0  Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract (RC 2921.42)

2.1  SSU personnel are prohibited from authorizing or using the influence of their position to secure:

(a) a University contract (including employment) in which the employee, a member of his/her family, or any of his business associates has an interest; or

(b) investment of public funds in any bond, share, or security with respect to which he/she, a member of his/her family or any business associates has an interest or receives any brokerage or service fees.

2.2  SSU personnel are prohibited from profiting from a University contract which he/she authorized. This prohibition extends for one year after the employment ceases.

2.3  SSU personnel are prohibited from having an interest in the profits or benefits of a University contract.

2.4  SSU personnel do not violate this section if his/her interest is limited to owning shares of a corporate contractor which do not exceed five percent (5%) of the outstanding shares, and the employee files an affidavit with the General Counsel of SSU giving his/her exact status with the corporation at the time the contract is entered into.

2.5  For the purposes of this section, family member includes: parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, spouse, siblings, or any other person related to the employee by blood or marriage and residing in the same household.

3.0  Improper Compensation (RC 2921.43)

3.1  No University employee may solicit or accept any compensation other than his or her established salary or wage, to perform any act or service in the employee's University position.

3.2 Employees may not solicit or accept anything of value for the purpose of:

(a) appointing, securing, maintaining, or renewing the employment of any person with the University; or

(b) preferring or maintaining the status of any public employee with respect to his/her compensation, duties, placement, location, promotion, or other material aspects of his/her employment.

3.3  Employees may not coerce contributions for the benefit of a political party, campaign committee or political action committee as consideration for:

(a) appointing, securing, maintaining, or renewing the employment of any person with the University; or

(b) preferring or maintaining the status of any public employee with respect to his/her compensation, duties, placement, location, promotion, or other material aspects of his/her employment.

4.0  Other Compensation-Interest in State Contracts (RC 102.04)

4.1  SSU personnel may not sell or agree to sell, except through competitive bidding, any goods or services, to the University or the state or any of its departments, agencies, or instrumentalities except as provided in paragraph 4.2.

4.2  SSU personnel may sell goods and services to state departments or agencies, other than the University, if prior to the sale, the employee files a statement with the University General Counsel, the Ohio Ethics Commission and the state agency that is purchasing the goods or services. The statement will include the employee's name, home address, the name and mailing address of the state agency which employs him/her and the state agency which has agreed to purchase goods or services from him/her. The statement will also include a declaration that the employee disqualifies himself/herself for a period of two years from participating in any matter before the agency to which the good or services are sold.

5.0  Post Employment Restrictions (RC 102.03(A))

SSU personnel (except faculty members whose position does not involve performance of or the authority to perform administrative or supervisory functions) are prohibited during the period of their employment and for one year thereafter from representing anyone on any matter in which the employee personally participated in his/her official University capacity.

6.0  Conflict of Interest (RC 102.03 (D), (E), (F))

SSU personnel (except faculty members whose position does not involve performance of or the authority to perform administrative or supervisory functions) are prohibited from using the authority or influence of their office or soliciting or accepting anything of value which manifests a substantial and improper influence upon him/her with respect to his/her official duties. Anything of value includes the promise of future employment.

7.0  Honorarium, Travel, Meals, and Lodging (RC 102.03(H))

SSU personnel (except faculty members whose position does not involve performance of or the authority to perform administrative or supervisory functions) may only accept an honorarium or reimbursement for travel, meal, and lodging expenses in recognition of demonstrable business, professional, or aesthetic interests of the employee that exist apart from the employee's official duties. Payments are not permitted under this section from any person or entity doing, or seeking to do, business with the University.

8.0  Ethics Laws

8.1  A compendium of state and federal ethics laws are available on the reserve shelf of the library. Laws are subject to change and employees should seek legal advice if there is a question of statutory construction.

8.2  A copy of this advisory and Ohio Revised Code Chapter 102 and Section 2921.42 are also available on the University's homepage under "University Advisories."

9.0  Distribution of this Advisory

This Advisory was made available to all University personnel at the start of the Fall 1997 Academic year. It will be distributed to all new employees upon employment by the Personnel Office.

Board of Trustees

Contact Information

Shawnee State University
Joyce Moore, Office of the President
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Phone: (740) 351-3542
Fax: (740) 351-3470

jmoore@shawnee.edu

Page maintained by the department of communications.