Your consideration of future employment by a particular firm – because either you’ve done or said something to apply for employment, or a potential employer has done or said something that would indicate a job offer to you – may constitute a financial conflict of interest. If your City employment puts you in a position to make a decision or take action concerning that firm, you must disclose your financial interest in the firm and disqualify yourself from any decision or action concerning it as required by Sections 20-607 and 20-608 of the Ethics Code. Here is a letter you can use to do so:
If you do leave the City’s employment, both State and City ethics rules prohibit you from exploiting your City position to further your business interests. These laws apply regardless of whether you actually intend to exploit your former City position in your new employment.
Section 1103(g) of the State Ethics Act prohibits you from representing any future employer, client of your future employer, yourself, or any client of yourself, before any department or agency or commission of the City, for one year after you leave your City employment. “Representing” includes having your name appear on a bid, contract proposal, engineering report, invoice, or other official document.
In addition, Section 20-607(c) of the City Ethics Code prohibits you from acquiring a financial interest in any official decision you made while employed by the City (for example, the decision to award a contract to a particular vendor for two years after you leave City employment). Sections 20-602 and 20-603 of the City Ethics Code also prohibit you from ever assisting anyone in a transaction involving the City on a particular issue with which you executed official discretion.
For further information on this topic, you can read several opinions that the Ethics Board has published: http://www.phila.gov/ethicsboard/opinions.html. Each potential employment situation presents its own unique set of facts, so it’s a good idea to seek advice from the Ethics Board before you act.
IntegrityWorks offers guidance for commonly-occurring situations. These are not the only situations in which ethics rules would apply; they are simply the most common ones. Other guidance may be added to this site as situations warrant.
These are general guidelines. Because each situation presents its own set of facts, this general guidance isn’t advice on which you can legally rely. If you want to be absolutely sure that your conduct complies with applicable ethics laws, you should seek advice before taking action.