Welcome to the New Castle County Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion site. This site contains electronic copies of Advisory Opinions, Complaint Final Orders and decisions on Post Employment Waiver Requests. All Advisory Opinions issued since 1991 are available on this site. All Final Orders and Post employment waivers issued since 2003 are also here. You can search the documents by document number, by entering words in the search box, by selecting a key word or choosing a subject from the list. The documents are in a pdf format and may not be edited by the user. The original signed paper document for each opinion, order or waiver is maintained in the New Castle County Commission Office and that document controls all questions of format or wording.
ADVISORY OPINIONS: Pursuant to Section 2.04.102(I)of the New Castle County Code, the Ethics Commission provides Advisory Opinions to County government employees and officials regarding that person's County duties under the Ethics Code. An appointing authority or County supervisor may also write to request an opinion in respect to a subordinate's duties. The Commission will respond to a written request within 21 working days, but may extend that period for good cause. A person who receives the written opinion and follows its directives has a complete defense in any subsequent enforcement proceeding initiated by the Commission on the same topic. The request is evidence of good faith conduct in any other civil or criminal proceeding if the requester, at least 21 working days prior to the alleged violation, requested the opinion in good faith, disclosed truthfully all the material facts and committed the acts complained of either in reliance on the opinion or because of the failure of the Commission to provide an opinion within 21 days of the receipt of the request or such later extended time. An Advisory Opinion can be requested electronically by clicking on the designated place in the left margin of this page.
COMPLAINT FINAL ORDERS: New Castle County Code sections 2.04.103 and 2.04.104 authorize the Commission to investigate complaints and to sanction violations of the Ethics Code. Complaints may be filed by any member of the public, as well as by County employees or officials. A complaint must be a good faith written allegation of violation of the Ethics Code committed by a specific member or members of County government. The complaint must be sworn to by the filer. The Commission keeps both the identity of a good faith filer and the receipt of the complaint confidential. Following completion of an investigation and/or hearing on a complaint, the Commission issues a Final Order informing the public of facts uncovered in the investigation or hearing and the Commission's decision on the application of the law to those facts, as well as any sanction imposed. The name of the subject of the complaint may be disclosed in the Final Order depending on the severity of the sanction.
A complaint form may be downloaded for your use. The form must be mailed or delivered to the Ethics Office because the Commission requires an original signature on it, swearing to good faith under penalty of perjury.
POST EMPLOYMENT WAIVERS: New Castle County Code Section 2.03.103(D)prohibits a County official or employee from representing or assisting any private enterprise on any matter involving the County for a period of two years following termination of County employment or official status, if the person gave an opinion, conducted an investigation or otherwise was directly and materially responsible for such matter in the course of official duties. Code Section 2.03.105 permits a County department, a former employee or a former official to request, in writing, a waiver of this prohibition on the basis of undue hardship. A person or department may submit any form of written request for a waiver as long as it contains an original signature from the requester.