The Governor hereby adopts this Code to ensure public trust and confidence by providing a clear standard of conduct for the Governor.
The position of Governor exists to serve the public in a manner that fosters the respect, trust, and confidence of the public.
This Code of Conduct prohibits conflicts that are substantial and material or that may bring the Governor into disrepute. This Code is not intended to be applied in a vacuum. To that end, it attempts to balance public perception with the practical realities of the position of Governor. This Code attempts to set a high standard of ethical behavior and provide clearcut guidelines that accommodate the unique role of Governor as the head of State government, Stateís leading advocate, and head of a political party.
In any instance in which the Governor is not certain what the standard of conduct should be, he should consult the Advisory Ethics Panel, as established hereunder, as well as such members of his staff as he deems appropriate.
(1) Except as otherwise provided herein or unless offered to the general public, the Governor shall not solicit, receive, or agree to receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation, reward, gift, favor, service, outside employment, offer of outside employment, preferential loans, services at preferential rates, discounts, gratuities, meals, lodging, travel expenses or anything of monetary value intended to influence him in the conduct of his public duties.
(2) The Governor may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.
(3) The Governor may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses that are paid for by a State Committee of a political party or similar entity.
(4) The Governor may accept and personally retain a gift of minimal value tendered and received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy.
(5) A tangible gift of greater than minimal value is deemed to have been accepted on behalf of the State of New Jersey and, on acceptance, shall become the property of the State of New Jersey. The Governor may retain such gifts during the period of his incumbency. At the conclusion of the Governorís final term, such gifts shall be delivered to the State Museum, for appropriate disposition. Alternatively, the Governor may purchase any or all such gifts at fair market value.
(6) For the purposes of this section, minimal value is deemed to be $285, to be adjusted in accordance with the Federal Gift and Decorations Act.
(1) The Governor may attend any function and accept food and beverages and related privileges if his attendance at the event furthers a public purpose.
(2) The Governor may attend any event or function as official business if the Governorís attendance is paid for by the State.
(3) The Governor may attend an event or function paid for by a State Committee or other similar entity.
(4) The Governor may attend events or functions other than events or functions open to the general public. Examples of such events or functions include a conference, ground-breaking, ribbon-cutting, meal, open house, cocktail party, fund-raiser, holiday party, social or business function.
(5) The Governor may attend any event or function paid for with personal funds.
The Governor is permitted to advocate the interests of public and private groups other than the State if doing so promotes a legitimate public purpose.
(1) State payment of travel, including actual transportation and related lodging and subsistence, that is reasonably related to a governmental purpose is permissible. Any private reimbursement of such expenses, unless otherwise exempted herein, shall be made to the State.
(2) With the approval of the Ethics Liaison Officer, the Governor may accept reimbursement of actual expenses for travel, lodging and meals in connection with private speeches or published works on matters within the scope of the Governorís official duties, for which reimbursement is not sought or received from the State.
(3) The Governor may accept travel and related expenses provided by a government, a governmental agency, a foreign government, a governmental authority, a bona fide public or private educational institution, a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or by a person outside the United States which substantially satisfies the requirements for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(4) For purposes of this section, a gift of travel does not include travel that is paid from campaign funds, or that is an in-kind political contribution.
The Governorís status as de facto head of his political party is intertwined with his public responsibilities as Head of the State government. The Governor may act in a partisan political role, identify himself as Governor in that capacity, endorse political candidates, attend political events and raise and accept political contributions in accordance with governing campaign contribution laws.
(1) The Governor shall not engage in conduct that constitutes a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is defined as use by the Governor of the authority of his office or of any confidential information received through his holding public office for the private pecuniary benefit of himself, a member of his immediate family, or a business in which he or a member of his immediate family has a financial interest. For purposes of this section, a "financial interest" means (a) the ownership or control of more than 10% of the profits or assets of a firm, association, or partnership, or more than 10% of the stock in a corporation for profit other than a professional service corporation organized under the "Professional Service Corporation Act," P.L. 1969, c. 232 (C. 14A:17-1 et seq.); or (b) the ownership or control of more than 1% of the profits of a firm, association, or partnership, or more than 1% of the stock in any corporation, which is the holder of, or an applicant for, a casino license or in any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, as defined by the "Casino Control Act," P.L. 1977, c. 110 (C. 5:12-1 et seq.). "Conflict" does not include:
(a) an action having a de minimis economic impact, or
(b) an action that affects to the same degree the Governor and members of the general public, or
(c) a circumstance where the Governorís action may impact the Governor or members of his immediate family in a manner different in degree than members of the general public where the action reasonably cannot be avoided under the doctrine of necessity, and where the action is preceded by public disclosure of the interrelationship of the proposed action and the personal interest of the Governor or his immediate family. Examples of such actions include instances where by operation of state or federal law, only the Governor can act, such as approval or disapproval of legislative enactments, nominations or appointments of State officers, or declaration of emergencies.
(2) The Governor shall not solicit or accept anything of monetary value, including a gift, loan, political contribution, reward, or promise of future employment based on any understanding of the Governor that the vote, official action, or judgment of the Governor would be influenced thereby.
(3) The Governor shall not have any direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the Governorís duties in the public interest.
(4) The Governor shall not act in his official capacity in any matter wherein he has a direct or indirect personal financial interest that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment except as herein provided.
(5) The Governor shall not either personally or through any person or entity undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale or purchase valued at $25.00 or more with any State agency, except as otherwise provided in the Conflicts of Interest Law and approved by the Advisory Ethics Panel.
(6) The Governor shall not undertake any outside employment; or any service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity and independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.
(7) The Governor shall not accept any personal gift, favor, service or other thing of value under circumstances from which the Governor knows or has reason to believe that such personal gift, favor, service or other thing of value is offered with the intent to unduly influence him in the performance of his public duties or under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred that such gift, service or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing the employee in the discharge of the employeeís official duties.
(8) The Governor shall not knowingly act in any way that might reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion among the public having knowledge of his official duties that he may be engaged in conduct inconsistent with this Code.
(1) Consistent with the other provisions of this Code, the Governor shall use the information, property and funds under his or her official control in accordance with prescribed procedures and not for personal gain or benefit.
(2) Consistent with the other provisions of this Code, the Governor shall not use or disclose information not generally available to members of the public, which information he obtains during the course of his official duties, other than such use or disclosure connected with the Governorís official duties.
(3) In recognition of the nature of the Office of Governor, the Governor generally shall not be restricted in the use of his official title, except that the Governor shall not use his official title for personal financial gain.
(1) The Governor is subject to the statutory provisions concerning contemporaneous and post-State employment restrictions regarding casinos. The proscription is contained in N.J.S.A. 52:13D-17.2.
(2) If the Legislature repeals or suspends N.J.S.A. 52:13D-17.2, in whole or in part, the companion sections of this Code shall, to the same extent, be deemed repealed or suspended and of no effect.
(3) The Governor shall be subject to the Financial Disclosure requirements established by Executive Order.
(1) The Governor may seek advice from the Advisory Ethics Panel created hereunder.
(2) There is hereby created an Advisory Ethics Panel composed of public members knowledgeable about the Office of Governor, State government and ethics to be available for consultation with the Governor regarding conflicts issues. The members shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of three years, or until their successors are appointed and qualified.
Chief Counsel to the Governor