Conflict of Interest Policy
A conflict of interest occurs when a person's private interests compete with their professional obligations to the Board-governed entity to a degree that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the person's professional actions or decisions are materially affected by personal considerations, including but not limited to personal gain, financial, favoritism or otherwise. Public officials and employees are prohibited from having a direct or indirect interest in transactions with the units of government that they serve without appropriate disclosure. Library legal counsel will be consulted when the legality of a transaction is in question. Library Trustees and Library Staff will be familiar with and comply with Meridian Library District’s Conflict of Interest Policy as well as Idaho Statutes, including but not limited to: Idaho Code § 18-1356 (accepting gifts that exceed a value of $50), Idaho Code §§ 74-401 through 74-406 (Ethics in Government), Idaho Code §§ 74-501 through 74-511 (Prohibitions Against Contracts with Officers), Idaho Code § 18-1359 (Using Public Position for Personal Gain) and Idaho Code § 18-1357 (Compensating Public Servant for Assisting Private Interests).
BOARD MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES
No Board member of the Meridian Library District, member of the Board member’s household or business with which the Board member or a member of their household is associated shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of their participation on the Board as provided in Idaho Code. Other than compensation, no employee, member of the employee’s household or business with which the employee or a member of their household is associated shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of their employment by Meridian Library District except as provided in Idaho Code and through activities that may facilitate professional advancement or contribute to the profession such as publications and professional service and have been fully disclosed to the Board.
An actual or perceived conflict of interest or nepotism may exist when the following occur:
- An employee’s personal activities, relationships, interests in outside businesses, or financial affairs adversely impact their ability to exercise good judgment and/or act in the best interest of the District. An employee is considered to have an interest in an outside business if the employee or their relative holds ownership in the business or its property; furnishes goods or services to the business; is a creditor, employee, agent, officer, director, or consultant of the business. Outside businesses include any person, firm, corporation, or government agency that sells or provides a service to or purchases from the District.
- When an employee is in a position to influence a District decision that may result in a personal gain for that employee or for a relative as a result of the District’s business dealing.
- When an employee is romantically involved and/or dating a subordinate staff member. No dating or romantic relationship is permitted where one of the employees reports either directly or indirectly to the other person involved in the dating/romantic relationship.
- No person will be employed by the District when the employment would result in a violation of provisions found in Idaho Code, including but not limited to Idaho Code §§ 74-401 through 74-406 (Ethics in Government), Idaho Code § 18-1359 (Bribery and Corruption), and their successors. Any such employment made in violation of these sections may be void. No Board member or other public servant, including District employees, will appoint or vote for the appointment of any person related to them by blood or marriage within the second degree to any compensated office, position, employment, or duty. This means no one related within the second degree to anyone involved in any way in the hiring process can be hired and/or that no one related to an applicant within the second degree can take part in the hiring process. This extends to practices that involve employee promotion and transfer. However, family members may be employed by the District, provided they are not supervised by the relative. An employee whose relative is subsequently elected as a Board member may be eligible to retain their position and pay increases as allowed by relevant provisions of Idaho law, including Idaho Code 18-1359(5).
- In accordance with Idaho Code § 74-120 (Prohibition on Distribution and Sale of Mailing or Telephone Number Lists) and § 74-108(3)(Public Records Act – Exemptions from Disclosure), members of Meridian Library District Board, committees, and employees shall refrain from obtaining any list of library patrons that result in personal benefit.
- Members of Meridian Library District Board, committees, and employees may not accept special favors or gifts offered based upon their relationship to the District.
Anyone involved in any of the types of relationships or situations described in this policy shall disclose the potential conflict to their supervisor, Human Resources, the Library Director, or the Board so that a determination can be made as to whether a conflict actually exists as well as what measures will be taken to resolve the conflict. The individuals with the potential conflict shall also refrain from participation in any decision on such matter. Employees of the district whose relative is a Board member are prohibited from discussing the library’s business with the relative and should follow appropriate reporting procedures.
The Meridian Library District reserves the right to apply this policy to situations where there is a conflict or the potential for conflict, even if there is no direct-reporting relationship or authority involved.
If there is reasonable cause to believe that a potential conflict of interest may exist, an investigation will be conducted. Violations of this policy, including failure to disclose a conflict, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination or removal from position.
Approved by Meridian Library District Board of Trustees July 15, 2015
Revised May 19, 2021