The Ethics Commission conducts its meetings in accordance with the Delaware Code 29 Del. C10001-10005. The Delaware Code applies to a public body when it is engaged in a legislative or advisory function. The code does not apply to the Ethics Commission when it meets to consider a complaint or a request for an advisory opinion, waiver, or personnel issues because consideration of these matters is an executive function under the code. Therefore, although the commission may provide public notice of a meeting, the meeting itself may not be subject to the code. Even when the commission is engaged in a function subject to the code, the commission may conduct all or part of that meeting in closed session as permitted under Title 29.
In 1990, the New Castle County Council created an ethics code and an Ethics Commission. The ethics code prohibits conflicts of interest and appearance of impropriety in the conduct of New Castle County public officials and employees. It also requires specified public officials and employees to file Statements of Financial Interest by May 1st of each year on a format provided by the commission. Candidates for county elective office must also file a statement at a date set in the state election code.
The ethics code provides authority for the Ethics Commission to issue advisory opinions at the request of public officials and employees, as well as to investigate all complaints of unethical conduct, and to apply sanctions if the complaints are proven. The requests for advisory opinions can be made electronically, but complaints must contain an original signature.
Advisory opinions from 1991 to the present are available for review and download on this website. However, there may be outstanding advisory opinions not yet published.
The privacy of New Castle County officials and employees is important to the New Castle County Ethics Commission. The Commission does not require individuals to identify themselves when visiting the office or calling by the phone which is maintained by County Government.
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