456: Staff Ethics/Conflict of Interest

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.

Employees of the Board will not engage in any activity that conflicts, or raises a reasonable question of conflict, with their responsibilities in the school system. More specifically, employees will not:

1. Use institutional privileges for private gain.

2. Solicit or receive compensation other than that allowed by law for performance of their duties. This precludes, among other things, acceptance of any gratuities, gifts, or favors that might impair or appear to impair professional judgment; and any personal dealings with any individual or entity, with whom they, on behalf of the Board, have any direct or indirect contact for purposes of obtaining from such individual or entity noncompetitive contracts, services, or materials.

3. Knowingly authorize or employ the authority or influence of their office or position to secure authorization of any public contract in which they, members of their family, or any of their business associates have an interest.

4. Offer any favor, service, or thing of value to obtain special advantage.

5. Permit commercial exploitation of their professional position.

6. Engage in selling any of the following merchandise or services for personal profit to students or parents in the attendance area served by the schools in which they work: instructional supplies, equipment, reference books, and educational tours.

7. Furnish lists of students or parents to anyone selling such materials or services.

Employees will use time granted for leave, planning, and workshops for the purpose for which it is intended.

EMPLOYMENT AND ASSIGNMENT OF RELATIVES (NEPOTISM)

District administrators will be excluded from all employment and assignment decisions regarding their family members. Employees will not be assigned to any position under any supervision, no matter how remote, of a family member. Employees will not be placed in any other position where prejudicial treatment by a family member may be reasonably expected to occur.

Administrative Implemental Procedures:

1. The following definitions are to be used in interpreting this policy: Family Member - spouse, significant other, child, in-law of these, in-law, grandchild, parent, grandparent, sibling, and any person having been regularly living in the household. Prejudicial Treatment - Any treatment (either positive or negative) beyond that which the supervisor would give any other employee in similar circumstances.

2. In the event marriage or School District reorganization creates a situation that is in noncompliance with this policy, one employee will be transferred as soon as practicable to a vacancy for which he/she is qualified.

3. Any employee who believes a violation of this policy has occurred should immediately report his/her observation to the appropriate supervisor who will, in turn, advise the superintendent. The superintendent or designee will investigate the allegations and take appropriate action.

4. The director of Human Resources will monitor all employment and assignment activities to ensure compliance with this policy. Exceptions will be granted in the best interest of the District and to avoid unfairness to any employee, but only with written permission of the superintendent.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

A mandatory code of conduct will be followed by all members of the staff and vendor/contractors in the business of providing goods and/or services to the school system. The requirements will include, but are not limited to, the following situations:

1. Awarding of any and all building and construction contracts regardless of amount;

2. Awarding of any and all contracts for the providing of goods, e.g., football equipment, basketball equipment, track shoes, films, books, food services, and items of like nature;

3. Awarding of any and all contracts for the providing of services, e.g., window washing, accounting, architectural, cartage, snow removal, security, preemployment physicals, and other services of the like nature;

4. Selection of financial institutions for the deposit of funds; and

5. Such other relationships as the Board determines.

STANDARDS DETERMINING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

For the purpose of this policy, a conflict of interest is deemed to exist when any of the following situations occur:

1. A member of the staff has an interest, by way of ownership or employment, in any firm or company doing business with the School District;

2. A member of the staff has a relationship by way of consanguinity or marriage to an owner, officer, employee, and/or consultant of a corporation or firm doing business with the School District; and

3. A member of the staff uses the position to foster interests that differ or are in conflict with those of the School District.

When a member of the staff has filed such a disclosure, he or she must obtain written approval from the superintendent in order to function as staff on any and all projects involving that business relationship. Should any staff member fail to file such a disclosure, he or she subjects himself or herself to any sanction imposed by the superintendent and approved by the Board, including termination of employment.

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Adopted: May 22, 2003
Revised: February 18, 2010
Reviewed: December 18, 2014, September 22, 2016, September 19, 2017, September 25, 2018, September 3, 2019