116.02 State Officials and Employees Ethics Act Compliance
DEFINITIONS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 1-1 Definitions. For purposes of this Policy, the following terms shall be given
these definitions or, if different from time to time, then as defined by the State Officials and
Employees Ethics Act (codified at 5 ILCS 430/1-1 and following):
“Board” means the Board of Trustees of the College.
“Campaign for elective office” means any activity in furtherance of an effort to influence
the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any federal, State,
or local public office or office in a political organization, or the selection, nomination, or
election of Presidential or Vice-Presidential electors, but does not include activities (i)
relating to the support or opposition of any executive, legislative, or administrative
action, (ii) relating to collective bargaining, or (iii) that are otherwise in furtherance of the
person's official duties.
“Candidate” means a person who has filed nominating papers or petitions for nomination
or election to an elected office, or who has been appointed to fill a vacancy in
nomination, and who remains eligible for placement on the ballot at a regular election, as
defined in section 1-3 of the Election Code (10 ILCS 5/1-3).
“Collective bargaining” has the same meaning as contemplated by the Illinois
Educational Labor Relations Act (115 ILCS 5/1 and following).
“Compensated time” means, with respect to an employee, any time worked by or credited
to the employee that counts toward any minimum work time requirement imposed as a
condition of his or her employment, but for purposes of this Policy, does not include any
designated holidays, vacation periods, personal time, compensatory time off or any
period when the employee is on a leave of absence. With respect to officers or employees
whose hours are not fixed, "compensated time" includes any period of time when the
officer or employee is on premises under the control of the College and any other time
when the officer or employee is executing his or her official duties, regardless of location.
“Compensatory time off” means authorized time off earned by or awarded to an
employee to compensate in whole or in part for time worked in excess of the minimum
work time required of that employee as a condition of his or her employment.
“Contribution” has the same meaning as that term is defined in section 9-1.4 of the
Election Code (10 ILCS 5/9-1.4).
“Employee” means a person employed by the College whether on a fulltime or part-time
basis or pursuant to a contract, whose duties are subject to the direction and control of an
employer with regard to the material details of how the work is to be performed, but does
not include a volunteer or an independent contractor.
“Employer” means the College.
“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 an officer or employee.
“Leave of absence” means any period during which an employee does not receive (i)
compensation for employment, (ii) service credit towards pension benefits, and (iii)
health insurance benefits paid for by the employer.
“Officer” means a person who holds, by election or appointment, an office created by
statute or law, regardless of whether the officer is compensated for service in his or her
official capacity. The term “officer” includes all members of the Board of Trustees.
“Political activity” means any activity in support of or in connection with any campaign
for elective office or any political organization, but does not include activities (i) relating
to the support or opposition of any executive, legislative, or administrative action, (ii)
relating to collective bargaining, or (iii) that are otherwise in furtherance of the person's
“Political organization” means a party, committee, association, fund, or other
organization (whether or not incorporated) that is required to file a statement of
organization with the State Board of Elections or a county clerk under Section 9-3 of the
Election Code (10 ILCS 5/9-3), as the case may be, but only with regard to those
activities that require filing with the State Board of Elections or a county clerk.
“Prohibited political activity” means:
(1) Preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting, political
rally, political demonstration, or other political event.
(2) Soliciting contributions, including but not limited to the purchase of, selling,
distributing, or receiving payment for tickets for any political fundraiser, political
meeting, or other political event.
(3) Soliciting, planning the solicitation of, or preparing any document or report
regarding anything of value intended as a campaign contribution.
(4) Planning, conducting, or participating in a public opinion poll in connection
with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for
political purposes or for or against any referendum question.
(5) Surveying or gathering information from potential or actual voters in an
election to determine probable vote outcome in connection with a campaign for
elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for
or against any referendum question.
(6) Assisting at the polls on election day on behalf of any political organization or
candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(7) Soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate for elective office or a political
organization or for or against any referendum question or helping in an effort to
get voters to the polls.
(8) Initiating for circulation, preparing, circulating, reviewing, or filing any
petition on behalf of a candidate for elective office or for or against any
(9) Making contributions on behalf of any candidate for elective office in that
capacity or in connection with a campaign for elective office.
(10) Preparing or reviewing responses to candidate questionnaires.
(11) Distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature,
campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for
elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(12) Campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum
(13) Managing or working on a campaign for elective office or for or against any
(14) Serving as a delegate, alternate, or proxy to a political party convention.
(15) Participating in any recount or challenge to the outcome of any election.
“Prohibited source” means any person or entity who:
(1) is seeking official action (i) by an officer or (ii) by an employee, or by the
officer or another employee directing that employee;
(2) does business or seeks to do business (i) with the officer or (ii) with an
employee, or with the officer or another employee directing that employee;
(3) conducts activities regulated (i) by the officer or (ii) by an employee, or by the
officer or another employee directing that employee; or
(4) has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or non-
performance of the official duties of the officer or employee.
Section 1-2. Construction. This Policy shall be construed in a manner consistent with
the provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (codified at 5 ILCS 430/1-1 and
following). This Policy is intended to impose the same but not greater restrictions than the Act.
PROHIBITED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
Section 2-1 Prohibited Political Activities.
A. No officer or employee shall intentionally perform any prohibited political
activity during any compensated time, as defined herein. No officer or employee shall
intentionally use any property or resources of the College in connection with any prohibited
B. At no time shall any officer or employee intentionally require any other officer or
employee to perform any prohibited political activity (i) as part of that officer or employee's
duties, (ii) as a condition of employment, or (iii) during any compensated time off (such as
holidays, vacation or personal time off).
C. No officer or employee shall be required at any time to participate in any
prohibited political activity in consideration for that officer 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 officer or employee be
awarded additional compensation or any benefit in consideration for his or her participation in
any prohibited political activity.
D. Nothing in this Section prohibits activities that are permissible for an officer or
employee to engage in as part of his or her official duties, or activities that are undertaken by an
officer or employee on a voluntary basis which are not prohibited by this Policy.
E. No person either (i) in a position that is subject to recognized merit principles of
public employment or (ii) in a position the salary for which is paid in whole or in part by federal
funds and that is subject to the Federal Standards for a Merit System of Personnel Administration
applicable to grant-in-aid programs, shall be denied or deprived of employment or tenure solely
because he or she is a member or an officer of a political committee, of a political party, or of a
political organization or club.
Section 3-1 Gift Ban. Except as permitted by this Article, no officer or employee, and
no spouse of or immediate family member living with any officer or employee (collectively
referred to herein as “recipients”), shall intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any
prohibited source, as defined herein, or which is otherwise prohibited by law. No prohibited
source shall intentionally offer or make a gift that violates this Section.
Section 3-2 Exceptions. Section 3-1 is not applicable to the following
(1) Opportunities, benefits, and services that are available on the same conditions as for
the general public.
(2) Anything for which the officer or employee, or his or her spouse or immediate family
member, pays the fair market value.
(3) Any (i) contribution that is lawfully made under the Election Code or (ii) activities
associated with a fundraising event in support of a political organization or candidate.
(4) Educational materials and missions.
(5) Travel expenses for a meeting to discuss business.
(6) A gift from a relative, meaning those people related to the individual as father,
mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, great aunt, great uncle, first cousin, nephew,
niece, husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, motherin-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother,
stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, and including the father,
mother, grandfather, or grandmother of the individual's spouse and the individual’s fiancé.
(7) Anything provided by an individual on the basis of a personal friendship unless the
recipient has reason to believe that, under the circumstances, the gift was provided because of the
official position or employment of the recipient or his or her spouse or immediate family
member and not because of the personal friendship. In determining whether a gift is provided on
the basis of personal friendship, the recipient shall consider the circumstances under which the
gift was offered, such as: (i) the history of the relationship between the individual giving the gift
and the recipient of the gift, including any previous exchange of gifts between those individuals;
(ii) whether to the actual knowledge of the recipient the individual who gave the gift personally
paid for the gift or sought a tax deduction or business reimbursement for the gift; and (iii)
whether to the actual knowledge of the recipient the individual who gave the gift also at the same
time gave the same or similar gifts to other officers or employees, or their spouses or immediate
(8) Food or refreshments provided as a “contribution” under the definition of the term
offered above, not exceeding $75 per person in value on a single calendar day; provided that the
food or refreshments are (i) consumed on the premises from which they were purchased or
prepared or (ii) catered. For the purposes of this Section, "catered" means food or refreshments
that are purchased ready to consume which are delivered by any means.
(9) Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits resulting from outside
business or employment activities (or outside activities that are not connected to the official
duties of an officer or employee), if the benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of
the official position or employment of the officer or employee, and are customarily provided to
others in similar circumstances.
(10) Intra-governmental and inter-governmental gifts. For the purpose of this Act, “intragovernmental gift” means any gift given to an officer or employee from another officer or
employee, and “inter-governmental gift” means any gift given to an officer or employee by an
officer or employee of another governmental entity.
(11) Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at death.
(12) Any item or items from any one prohibited source during any calendar year having
a cumulative total value of less than $100. Each of the exceptions listed in this Section is
mutually exclusive and independent of every other.
(13) Any item or items provided by the College in support of the employee’s, officer’s or
member’s discharge of official duties.
Section 3-3 Disposition of Gifts. An officer or employee, his or her spouse or an
immediate family member living with the officer 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 Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as now or
hereafter amended, renumbered, or succeeded.
Section 4-1. The President, with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees, may
designate an Ethics Advisor for the College. If no other designation is made, the regularly
retained attorney of the College will serve as the Ethics Advisor.
Section 4-2. The Ethics Advisor shall provide guidance to the officers and employees of
the College concerning the interpretation of and compliance with the provisions of this Policy
and State ethics laws. The Ethics Advisor shall perform such other duties as may be delegated by
Section 5-1. An Ethics Commission may be appointed by the Board to review opinions
issued by the Ethics Advisor, to consider ethics complaints, and to undertake other
responsibilities deemed appropriate. If appointed, the Ethics Commission shall consist of three
(3) members. No person shall be appointed as a member of the Commission who is related,
either by blood or by marriage up to the degree of first cousin, to any member of the Board of
Trustees. The Ethics Commission may be appointed to serve on an ongoing basis or on an ad
Section 5-2. Where appointed to serve on an ongoing basis, at the first meeting of the
Ethics Commission, the initial appointees shall draw lots to determine their initial terms. Two
commissioners shall serve two-year terms, and the third commissioner shall serve a one-year
term. Thereafter, all commissioners shall be appointed to two-year terms. Commissioners may be
reappointed to serve subsequent terms. At the first meeting of the Commission, the
commissioners shall choose a chairperson from their number. Meetings shall be held at the call
of the chairperson or any two commissioners. A quorum shall consist two commissioners, and
official action by the commission shall require the affirmative vote of two members.
Section 5-3 The Board of Trustees. The Board may remove a commissioner in case of
incompetency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office after service on the commissioner by
certified mail, return receipt requested, of a copy of the written charges against the commissioner
and after providing an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel upon not less than 10
days’ notice. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments.
Section 5-4. The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To promulgate procedures and rules governing the performance of its duties and the
exercise of its powers.
(2) Upon receipt of a signed, notarized, written complaint, to investigate, conduct
hearings and deliberations, issue recommendations for disciplinary actions or reprimand. The
Commission shall, however, act only upon the receipt of a written complaint alleging a violation
of this Policy and not upon its own prerogative.
(3) To receive information from the public pertaining to its investigations and to require
additional information and documents from persons who may have violated the provisions of this
(4) To compel the attendance of witnesses and to compel the production of books and
papers pertinent to an investigation. It is the obligation of all officers and employees of the
College to cooperate with the Commission during the course of its investigations. Failure or
refusal to cooperate with requests by the Commission shall constitute grounds for discipline or
(5) The powers and duties of the Commission are limited to matters clearly within the
purview of this Policy.
A. Complaints alleging a violation of this Policy shall be filed with the Ethics
B. The Commission shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice to
the respondent that a complaint has been filed against him or her and a copy of the complaint.
The Commission shall also send by certified mail, return receipt requested, a confirmation of the
receipt of the complaint to the complainant. The notices to the respondent and the complainant
shall also advise them of the date, time, and place of the meeting to determine the sufficiency of
the complaint and to establish whether probable cause exists to proceed.
C. Upon not less than 48 hours’ public notice, the Commission shall meet to review
the sufficiency of the complaint and, if the complaint is deemed sufficient to allege a violation of
this Policy, to determine whether there is cause, based on the evidence presented by the
complainant, to proceed. The meeting may be closed to the public to the extent required by the
Open Meetings Act. The Commission shall issue notice to the complainant and the respondent of
the Commission's ruling on the sufficiency of the complaint and, if necessary, on cause to
proceed within ten business days after such meeting. If the complaint is deemed sufficient to
allege a violation of Article 10 of this Policy and there is a determination of cause, then the
Commission's notice to the parties shall include a hearing date scheduled within four weeks
D. On the scheduled date and upon at least 48 hours’ public notice of the meeting,
the Commission shall conduct a hearing on the complaint and shall allow both parties the
opportunity to present testimony and evidence. The hearing may be closed to the public only if
authorized by the Open Meetings Act.
E. Within 30 days after the date the hearing or any recessed hearing is concluded, the
Commission shall either (i) dismiss the complaint or (ii) issue a recommendation for discipline or
reprimand to the alleged violator and to the Board of Trustees, The particular findings in the
case, any recommendation for discipline, and any fine imposed shall be a matter of public
F. A complaint alleging the violation of this Policy must be filed within one year
after the alleged violation.
BOARD ACTION ON RECOMMENDATION OF COMMISSION
Section 6-1 Officers. Upon receipt of a recommendation from the Ethics Commission,
the Board may issue a reprimand to a board member or officer who intentionally violates any
provision of Article 5 or Article 10 of this Policy.
Section 6-2 Employees. Upon receipt of a recommendation from the Ethics
Commission, the Board may initiate a disciplinary or discharge action against an employee who
intentionally violates any provision of Article 5 or Article 10 of this Policy in accordance with
the applicable procedures.