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(1) Any county public official or employee who, in the discharge of his or her official duties, is involved or about to be involved in any matter that could result in a violation or the reasonable perception of a violation of this code or a material conflict of interest or reasonable perception of such conflict on his or her part shall:

(a) Prepare a written statement describing such matter and the nature of the possible conflict of interests; and

(b) Deliver copies of the statement to his or her immediate supervisor or the county executive.

(c) Take no further action in regard to such matter except as hereinafter set forth.

(2) If the county public official or employee is not a department or division head, such person’s supervisor shall assign the matter to another employee, who does not have a possible conflict of interest, or contract with outside sources to complete the matter. If the official or employee is a department or division head, he or she shall be guided by written advice from the Corporation Counsel in regard to the matter. The Corporation Counsel shall review the written statement submitted by such official or employee who has no immediate superior, and on the basis thereof and such further investigation of the matter as he deems advisable, shall as promptly as practicable advise such person in writing as to the course of action he or she should follow in regard to the matter. The provisions of this code concerning advisory opinions of the Corporation Counsel apply to advice given under this paragraph.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary in the Municipal Code of Kenosha County, the Corporation Counsel’s Office is authorized to issue an ethics / conflict of interests opinion to any County official or employee and at the request of such official or employee shall keep the matter confidential as it pertains to that individual and request. In situations where guidance is sought on prospective conduct and the official making the request supervises the Corporation Counsel or is authorized to vote on the annual budget of the Corporation Counsel’s Office, the Corporation Counsel may issue an advisory opinion or refer the matter to either the Attorney General, the State Ethics Board, the Kenosha District Attorney or outside counsel. In situations where an opinion is sought pertaining to some act or omission that has occurred, the Corporation Counsel shall refer the request to outside counsel.

(4) No official or employee shall be disciplined for seeking an ethics or conflict of interest opinion or for reporting any violation of County ethics ordinances or policies. Failure to report such a violation as required by this ordinance may, however, be grounds for discipline.

(5) A material conflict of interest on the part of a County official or employee is deemed to exist within the meaning of this section in regard to a matter in which he or she is involved, or is about to be involved, in the discharge of his or her official duties, whenever the County Board Supervisor utilizes and exploits his or her official capacity in such a way as to obtain a personal financial benefit for himself or herself or his or her immediate family or an organization with which he or she is associated.

(6) In cases where an official or employee is aware that a violation has occurred, the matter shall be reported to and reviewed by the Corporation Counsel’s Office and reported by that Office to the Kenosha County Executive, the immediate supervisor of an employee, and to the employee, and if the situation warrants to the, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and the Office of the Kenosha County District Attorney. When, in the opinion of the Corporation Counsel’s Office there is a finding of probable cause that a violation of this ordinance has occurred, he may issue a warning or citation for violation of this ordinance and in cases involving a value of more than $500, he shall refer the matter to the District Attorney. [Code § 20.06-1, 2018.]