Prohibited Political Activity
No employee shall intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time. No Board Member or employee shall intentionally use any property or resources of the District in connection with any prohibited political activity. At no time shall any Board Member or employee intentionally require any other Board Member or employee to perform any prohibited political activity: (a) as part of that Board Member’s or employee's duties, (b) as a condition of employment, or (c) during any compensated time off, i.e., as holidays, vacation or personal time off. No Board Member or employee shall be required at any time to participate in any prohibited political activity in consideration for that Board Member or employee being awarded additional compensation or any benefit, whether in the form of a salary adjustment, bonus, compensatory time off, continued employment or otherwise, nor shall any Board Member or employee be awarded additional compensation or any benefit in consideration for his or her participation in any prohibited political activity.
A Board Member or employee may engage in any activity that: (1) is otherwise appropriate as part of his or her official duties or (2) is undertaken by the individual on a voluntary basis that is not prohibited by this policy.
Limitations on Receiving Gifts
Except as permitted by this policy, no Board Member or District employee, and no spouse of or immediate family member living with a Board Member or employee (collectively referred to herein as "recipients"), shall intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any prohibited source, as defined herein, or that is otherwise prohibited by law or policy. No prohibited source shall intentionally offer or make a gift that violates this policy.
The following are exceptions to the ban on accepting gifts from a prohibited source:
Each of the listed exceptions is mutually exclusive and independent of every other.
A Board Member or employee, his or her spouse or an immediate family member living with the Board Member or employee, does not violate this policy if the recipient promptly takes reasonable action to return a gift from a prohibited source to its source or gives the gift or an amount equal to its value to an appropriate charity that is exempt from income taxation under 26 U.S.C. § 501 (c) (3).
In order to effectively manage the receipt of complaints concerning violations of this policy, as soon as possible after a complaint is filed, the Superintendent shall appoint a 3-member Ethics Commission. If the Superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the Board of Education President shall perform this duty. Commission members may be any District resident, except that no person shall be appointed who is related, either by blood or by marriage, up to the degree of first cousin, to the person who is the subject of the compliant.
At the Commission’s first meeting, the Commissioners shall choose a chairperson from their number. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chairperson or any 2 Commissioners. A quorum shall consist of 2 Commissioners, and official action by the Commission shall require the affirmative vote of 2 members. The Commission shall have the following powers and/or duties:
If the Commission finds it more likely than not that the allegations in a complaint charging a Board Member or employee with violating this policy are true, it shall notify the appropriate State’s Attorney and/or recommend disciplinary action for an employee.
The Board President and Superintendent shall seek guidance from the Board attorney concerning compliance with and enforcement of this policy and State ethics laws. The Board may, as necessary or prudent, appoint an Ethics Advisor for this task.
Written complaints alleging a violation of this policy shall be filed with the Superintendent or Board President. If attempts to correct any misunderstanding or problem do not resolve the matter, the Superintendent or Board President shall, after consulting the with Board attorney, either place the alleged violation on a Board meeting agenda for the Board’s disposition or refer the complainant to Board policy 2:260, Uniform Complaint Procedure. A Board member who is related, either by blood or by marriage, up to the degree of first cousin, to the person who is the subject of the complaint, shall not participate in any decision-making capacity for the Board.
If the complaint is deemed not sufficient, the Commission shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice to the parties of the decision to dismiss the complaint.
Unless otherwise stated, all terms used in this policy have the definition given in the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/1-5.
“Prohibited political activity” means:
With respect to an employee whose hours are not fixed, "compensated time" includes any period of time when the employee is on premises under the control of the District and any other time when the employee is executing his or her official duties, regardless of location.
“Prohibited source” means any person or entity who:
“Gift” means any gratuity, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other tangible or intangible item having monetary value including, but not limited to, cash, food and drink, and honoraria for speaking engagements related to or attributable to government employment or the official position of a Board Member or employee.
Complaints of Sexual Harassment Made Against Board Members by Elected Officials
Pursuant to the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (5 ILCS 430/70-5), members of the Board and other elected officials are encouraged to promptly report claims of sexual harassment by a Board member. Every effort should be made to file such complaints as soon as possible, while facts are known and potential witnesses are available. If the official feels comfortable doing so, he or she should directly inform the individual that the individual’s conduct or communication is offensive and must stop.
Board members and elected officials should report claims of sexual harassment against a member of the Board to the Board President or Superintendent. If the report is made to the Superintendent, the Superintendent shall promptly notify the President, or if the President is the subject of the complaint, the Vice President. Reports of sexual harassment will be confidential to the greatest extent practicable.
When a complaint of sexual harassment is made against a member of the Board by another Board member or other elected official, the Board President shall appoint a qualified outside investigator who is not a District employee or Board member to conduct an independent review of the allegations. If the allegations concern the President, or the President is a witness or otherwise conflicted, the Vice President shall make the appointment. If the allegations concern both the President and Vice President, and/or they are witnesses or otherwise conflicted, the Board Secretary shall make the appointment. The investigator shall prepare a written report and submit it to the Board.
If a Board member has engaged in sexual harassment, the matter will be addressed in accordance with the authority of the Board.
The Superintendent will post this policy on the District website and/or make this policy available in the District’s administrative office.
LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 430 State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.
10 ILCS 5/9-25.1, Election Interference Prohibition Act.
CROSS REF.: 2:100 (Board Member Conflict of Interest), 2:110 (Qualifications, Term, and Duties of Board Officers), 2:260 (Uniform Grievance Procedure), 4:60 (Purchases and Contracts), 5:120 (Employee Ethics; Conduct; and Conflict of Interest)
ADOPTED: November 22, 2004
REVISED: June 22, 2009
December 16, 2013
January 27, 2020