Sugar Land, Texas – The city of Sugar Land will accept applications for a newly created independent Ethics Review Board beginning April 16.
Those serving on the board will review sworn complaints of Code of Ethical Conduct violations by elected or appointed officials.
Guidelines for service on the Ethics Review Board includes the following items:
The application will be posted at www.sugarlandtx.gov/EthicsBoardApplication.
The Ethics Review Board will consist of nine members appointed by City Council. Initial appointments will range from one to three-year terms of service. Beginning in 2019, all new members will serve three-year terms.
City Council is scheduled to make initial appointments to the board in September, with oaths of offices set for the second City Council meeting in October.
Sugar Land City Council adopted a new Code of Ethical Conduct for city officials last year. The code includes the creation of the independent review board.
The document was approved after a citizen committee spent months researching best practices and obtaining public input. Sugar Land’s previous ethics code was approved in December 2005, and changes in state law prompted City Council to establish a seven-member task force to conduct a 10-year review.
The Ethics Code includes specific guidelines and regulations governing conflicts of interest, business interactions with the City, City Council’s role in the procurement procedures, disclosure of gifts, private interests, misuse and disclosure of confidential information and restrictions on political activity and political contributions.
A process for filing a complaint is detailed in the new code, and the duties and procedures of an independent review board of appointed citizens are included.
The Ethics Code is available online at www.sugarlandtx.gov/CodeofEthics.
The code is designed to supplement the requirements in state law to ensure Sugar Land’s elected and appointed officials are held to the highest ethical standard. The new code provides for a maximum penalty of $2,000 for ethics violations. Other sanctions include measures such as censure, written reprimands, removal of appointed officials and recommendations for the recall of elected officials.