Bill Text: NJ A4774 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Applies statutory ethics and conflicts-of-interest standards for casino industry regulators and participants to regulators of and participants in legalized marijuana marketplace.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-12-06 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee [A4774 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A4774-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4774

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 6, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ERIK PETERSON

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Applies statutory ethics and conflicts-of-interest standards for casino industry regulators and participants to regulators of and participants in legalized marijuana marketplace.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning ethics and conflicts of interest pertaining to the State regulation of legalized marijuana, supplementing Title 24 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.1971, c.182 and P.L.1981, c.142.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  (New section) Pre-Interest or Pre-Employment Restrictions Concerning State Officers and Employees Regulating Legal Marijuana.

     a.     No person shall be appointed to any office in or employed by any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace if, during the period commencing three years prior to appointment or employment, the person held any direct or indirect interest in, or any employment by, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace; provided, however, that notwithstanding any other provision of this act to the contrary, any such person may be appointed to or employed by a department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body as described herein if the person's prior interest in any such holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other issued document would not, in the opinion of the department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, interfere with the objective discharge of the person's duties or employment obligations, but in no instance shall any person be appointed or employed if the person's prior interest in the holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, constituted a controlling interest in that document holder or applicant therefor; and provided further, however, that notwithstanding any other provision of this act to the contrary, any such person may be employed by the commission in a secretarial or clerical position if, in the opinion of the department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, the person's previous employment by, or interest in, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other issued document would not interfere with the objective discharge of the person's employment obligations.

     b.    Prior to appointment or employment, each person shall swear or affirm that the person possesses no interest in any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document.

     c.  (1) Each appointed officer shall file with the State Ethics Commission a financial disclosure statement listing all assets and liabilities, property and business interests, and sources of income of the officer and the officer's spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union, as the case may be, and shall provide to the State Ethics Commission a financial disclosure statement listing all assets and liabilities, property and business interests, and sources of income of the parents, brothers, sisters, and children of the officer. Such statement shall be under oath and shall be filed at the time of appointment and annually thereafter.

     (2) Each employee, except for secretarial and clerical personnel, shall file with the State Ethics Commission a financial disclosure statement listing all assets and liabilities, property and business interests, and sources of income of the employee and the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union, as the case may be. Such statement shall be under oath and shall be filed at the time of employment and annually thereafter. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (n) of section 10 of P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-21), only financial disclosure statements filed by an employee who is in a policy-making management position shall be posted on the Internet site of the State Ethics Commission.

 

     2.  (New section) Restrictions on State Officers and Employees Regulating Legal Marijuana.

     a.     The "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law," P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-12 et seq.) shall apply to any person appointed to any office in or employed by any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace, except as herein specifically provided.

     b.    (1) Each regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body shall promulgate and maintain a Code of Ethics that is modeled upon the Code of Judicial Conduct of the American Bar Association, as amended and adopted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

     (2) The Codes of Ethics promulgated and maintained by each regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body shall not be in conflict with the laws of this State, except, however, that the Code of Ethics may be more restrictive than any law of this State.

     c.     The Codes of Ethics promulgated and maintained by each regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, and any amendments or restatements thereof, shall be submitted to the State Ethics Commission for approval. The Codes of Ethics shall include, but not be limited to, provisions that:

     (1)   No appointed officer or employee shall be permitted to enter and engage in any activities, nor have any interest, directly or indirectly, in any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, except in the course of the officer's or employee's duties.

     (2)   No appointed officer or employee shall solicit or accept employment from any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, for a period of four years after termination of service with the department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, except as otherwise provided in section 3 of this act.

     (3)   No appointed officer or employee shall act in the officer's or employee's official capacity in any matter wherein the officer, employee, or the officer's or employee's spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union, or child, parent, or sibling has a direct or indirect personal financial interest that might reasonably be expected to impair the officer's or employee's objectivity or independence of judgment.

     (4)   No appointed officer or employee shall act in the officer's or employee's official capacity in a matter concerning any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, and who is the employer of a spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union, or child, parent, or sibling of the officer or employee when the fact of the employment of the spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union, or child, parent, or sibling might reasonably be expected to impair the objectivity and independence of judgment of the officer or employee.

     (5)   No spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union, or child, parent, or sibling of an appointed officer shall be employed in any capacity by any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, nor by any holding, intermediary, or subsidiary company thereof.

     (6)   No appointed officer shall meet with any person, except for another appointed officer or employee of the regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, or discuss any issues involving any pending or proposed application or any matter whatsoever which may reasonably be expected to come before that public body, or any officer thereof, for determination unless the meeting or discussion takes place on the business premises of the public body, provided, however, that appointed officers may meet to consider matters requiring the physical inspection of equipment or premises at the location of the equipment or premises. All meetings or discussions subject to this paragraph shall be noted in a log maintained for this purpose and available for inspection pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.).

     d.    No appointed officer or employee shall have any interest, direct or indirect, in any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, during the member's term of office or employee's term of employment.

     e.     Each appointed officer and employee shall devote the officer's or employee's entire time and attention to the officer's or employee's duties and shall not pursue any other business or occupation or other gainful employment; provided, however, that secretarial and clerical personnel may engage in such other gainful employment as shall not interfere with their duties to the regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, unless otherwise directed; and provided further, however, that other employees of the public body may engage in such other gainful employment as shall not interfere or be in conflict with their duties to the public body, upon approval by the managing officer or body thereof, as the case may be.

     f. (1) An appointed officer and any other employee of a  regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body holding a supervisory or policy-making management position shall not make any contribution as that term is defined in "The New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act," P.L.1973, c.83 (C.19:44A-1 et seq.).

     (2) An appointed officer or employee of a regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body shall not:

     (a)   Use the officer's or employee's official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office;

     (b)   Directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command or advise any person to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency or person for political purposes; or

     (c)   Take any active part in political campaigns or the management thereof; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prohibit an officer or employee from voting as the officer or employee chooses or from expressing personal opinions on political subjects and candidates.

     g.    For the purpose of applying the provisions of the "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law," any consultant or other person under contract for services to a regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body shall be deemed to be a special State employee, except that the restrictions of section 4 of P.L.1981, c.142 (C.52:13D-17.2) shall not apply to such person.  Such person and any corporation, firm, or partnership in which the person has an interest or by which the person is employed shall not represent any person or party other than the regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body.

 

     3.  (New section) Post-Service Restrictions on State Officers and Employees Regulating Legal Marijuana.

     a.     No appointed officer of a department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace, shall hold any direct or indirect interest in, or be employed by, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, for a period of four years commencing on the date that the appointed officer's service on the public body terminates.

     b.  (1) No employee of a regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body may acquire any direct or indirect interest in, or accept employment with, any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, for a period of two years commencing at the termination of employment with the public body, except that a secretarial or clerical employee of the public body may accept such employment at any time after the termination of employment.  At the end of two years and for a period of two years thereafter, a former employee who held a policy-making management position at any time during the five years prior to termination of employment may acquire an interest in, or accept employment with, any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, upon application to, and the approval of, the managing officer or body for the public body at which the employee was formerly employed, upon a finding that the interest to be acquired or the employment will not create the appearance of a conflict of interest and does not evidence a conflict of interest in fact.

     (2)   Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if the employment of an employee, other than an employee or who held a policy-making management position at any time during the five years prior to termination of employment, is terminated as a result of a reduction in the workforce at the regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, the employee may, at any time prior to the end of the two-year period, accept employment with any business or organization issued a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or applicant therefor, upon application to, and the approval of, the managing officer or body for the public body at which the employee was formerly employed, upon a finding that the employment will not create the appearance of a conflict of interest and does not evidence a conflict of interest in fact.  The public body shall take action on an application within 30 days of receipt and an application may be submitted to the public body prior to or after the commencement of the employment.

     c.     No appointed officer or employee shall represent any person or party other than the State before or against the regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, for a period of two years from the termination of office or employment with that public body.

     d.    No partnership, firm, or corporation in which a former appointed officer or employee has an interest, nor any partner, officer, or employee of any such partnership, firm, or corporation shall make any appearance or representation which is prohibited to the former officer or employee.

 

     4.  (New section) Liability For Interest, Employment, and Ethics Violations By Holder of or Applicant for Document to Engage in Legal Marijuana Activities, and State Officers and Employees Regulating Legal Marijuana; Enforcement by State Ethics Commission.

     a. (1) No holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace shall employ or offer to employ, or provide, transfer, or sell, or offer to provide, transfer, or sell any interest, direct or indirect, in any document holder to any person restricted from such transactions by the provisions of sections 1 through 3 of this act.

     (2)   A department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace may deny an application, or revoke or suspend a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document for committing a violation of this subsection, as well as impose a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $10,000, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

     b. (1) An appointed officer or employee of a regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, who makes or causes to be made a political contribution prohibited under subsection e. of section 2 of this act is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, but notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine not to exceed $200,000 may be imposed.

     (2) An appointed officer or employee who willfully violates any other provisions in sections 1 through 3 of this act is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

     c.  The State Ethics Commission, established pursuant to the  "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law," P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-12 et seq.), shall enforce the provisions of sections 1 through 3 of this act, and upon a finding of a violation, impose a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $10,000, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  If a violation also represents a crime or disorderly persons offense as set forth in subsection b. of this section, the State Ethics Commission shall also refer the matter to the Attorney General or appropriate county prosecutor for further investigation and prosecution.

 

     5.  Section 2 of P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-13) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in this act, and unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

     a.  "State agency" means any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of the State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by such department, the Legislature of the State and any office, board, bureau or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch, and, to the extent consistent with law, any interstate agency to which New Jersey is a party and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency. A county or municipality shall not be deemed an agency or instrumentality of the State.

     b.  "State officer or employee" means any person, other than a special State officer or employee (1) holding an office or employment in a State agency, excluding an interstate agency, other than a member of the Legislature or (2) appointed as a New Jersey member to an interstate agency.

     c.  "Member of the Legislature" means any person elected to serve in the General Assembly or the Senate.

     d.  "Head of a State agency" means (1) in the case of the Executive Branch of government, except with respect to interstate agencies, the department head or, if the agency is not assigned to a department, the Governor, and (2) in the case of the Legislative Branch, the chief presiding officer of each House of the Legislature.

     e.  "Special State officer or employee" means (1) any person holding an office or employment in a State agency, excluding an interstate agency, for which office or employment no compensation is authorized or provided by law, or no compensation other than a sum in reimbursement of expenses, whether payable per diem or per annum, is authorized or provided by law; (2) any person, not a member of the Legislature, holding a part-time elective or appointive office or employment in a State agency, excluding an interstate agency, or (3) any person appointed as a New Jersey member to an interstate agency the duties of which membership are not full-time.

     f.  "Person" means any natural person, association or corporation.

     g.  "Interest" means (1) the ownership or control of more than [10%] 10 percent of the profits or assets of a firm, association, or partnership, or more than [10%] 10 percent 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 (2) the ownership or control of more than [1%] one percent of the profits of a firm, association, or partnership, or more than [1%] one percent of the stock in any corporation, (a) 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.), or (b) which is the holder of, or an applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace issued by any  department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace, or any holding or intermediary company with respect to the document holder or applicant therefor.  The provisions of this act governing the conduct of individuals are applicable to shareholders, associates or professional employees of a professional service corporation regardless of the extent or amount of their shareholder interest in such a corporation.

     h.  "Cause, proceeding, application or other matter" means a specific cause, proceeding or matter and does not mean or include determinations of general applicability or the preparation or review of legislation which is no longer pending before the Legislature or the Governor.

     i.  "Member of the immediate family" of any person means the person's spouse, child, parent or sibling residing in the same household.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.432, s.2)

 

     6.    Section 4 of P.L.1981, c.142 (C.52:13D-17.2) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    a. As used in this section "person" means:

     (1)   any State officer or employee subject to financial disclosure by law or executive order and any other State officer or employee with responsibility for matters affecting casino activity or marijuana activity subject to any State law regulating a legalized marijuana marketplace; any special State officer or employee with responsibility for matters affecting casino activity or marijuana activity subject to any State law regulating a legalized marijuana marketplace; the Governor; any member of the Legislature or any full-time member of the Judiciary; any full-time professional employee of the Office of the Governor, or the Legislature; members of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority; appointed officers of any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace; the head of a principal department; the assistant or deputy heads of a principal department, including all assistant and deputy commissioners; the head of any division of a principal department; or

     (2)   (a) any member of the governing body, or the municipal judge or the municipal attorney of a municipality wherein a casino is located; any member of or attorney for the planning board or zoning board of adjustment of a municipality wherein a casino is located, or any professional planner, or consultant regularly employed or retained by such planning board or zoning board of adjustment; or

     (b) any member of the governing body, or the municipal judge or the municipal attorney of a municipality wherein a business or organization authorized under any State law to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace is located.

     b.  (1) No State officer or employee, nor any person, nor any member of the immediate family of any State officer or employee, or person, nor any partnership, firm or corporation with which any such State officer or employee or person is associated or in which he has an interest, nor any partner, officer, director or employee while he is associated with such partnership, firm, or corporation, shall hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or hold employment with, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, any holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, in connection with any cause, application, or matter, except as provided in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.26 (C.52:13D-17.3), and except that [(1)] (a) a State officer or employee other than a State officer or employee included in the definition of person, and [(2)] (b) a member of the immediate family of a State officer or employee, or of a person, may hold employment with the holder of, or applicant for, a casino license if, in the judgment of the State Ethics Commission, the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, or the Supreme Court, as appropriate, such employment will not interfere with the responsibilities of the State officer or employee, or person, and will not create a conflict of interest, or reasonable risk of the public perception of a conflict of interest, on the part of the State officer or employee, or person.  No special State officer or employee without responsibility for matters affecting casino activity, excluding those serving in the Departments of Education, Health [and Senior Services], and Human Services and the Commission on Higher Education, shall hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, any holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, in connection with any cause, application, or matter.  However, a special State officer or employee without responsibility for matters affecting casino activity may hold employment directly with any holder of or applicant for a casino license or any holding or intermediary company thereof and if so employed may hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, [his] that employer, except as otherwise prohibited by law.

     (2)   No State officer or employee, nor any person, nor any member of the immediate family of any State officer or employee, or person, nor any partnership, firm or corporation with which any such State officer or employee or person is associated or in which he has an interest, nor any partner, officer, director or employee while he is associated with such partnership, firm, or corporation, shall hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or hold employment with, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, or derive any remuneration, payment, benefit or any other thing of value for any services, including but not limited to consulting or similar services, from any holder of, or applicant for, a license, permit, or other approval to conduct Internet gaming, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, or any Internet gaming affiliate of any holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, or any business, association, enterprise or other entity that is organized, in whole or in part, for the purpose of promoting, advocating for, or advancing the interests of the Internet gaming industry generally or any Internet gaming-related business or businesses in connection with any cause, application, or matter, except as provided in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.26 (C.52:13D-17.3), and except that [(1)] (a) a State officer or employee other than a State officer or employee included in the definition of person, and [(2)] (b) a member of the immediate family of a State officer or employee, or of a person, may hold employment with the holder of, or applicant for, a license, permit, or other approval to conduct Internet gaming, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto, or any Internet gaming affiliate of any holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or any holding or intermediary company with respect thereto if, in the judgment of the State Ethics Commission, the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, or the Supreme Court, as appropriate, such employment will not interfere with the responsibilities of the State officer or employee, or person, and will not create a conflict of interest, or reasonable risk of the public perception of a conflict of interest, on the part of the State officer or employee, or person.

     (3) No State officer or employee, nor any person, nor any member of the immediate family of any State officer or employee, or person, nor any partnership, firm or corporation with which any such State officer or employee or person is associated or in which he has an interest, nor any partner, officer, director or employee while he is associated with such partnership, firm, or corporation, shall hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or hold employment with, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace issued by any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace, or any holding or intermediary company with respect to that document holder or applicant, in connection with any cause, application, or matter, except as provided in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.26 (C.52:13D-17.3), and except that (a) a State officer or employee other than a State officer or employee included in the definition of person, and (b) a member of the immediate family of a State officer or employee, or of a person, may hold employment with the holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document if, in the judgment of the State Ethics Commission, the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, or the Supreme Court, as appropriate, such employment will not interfere with the responsibilities of the State officer or employee, or person, and will not create a conflict of interest, or reasonable risk of the public perception of a conflict of interest, on the part of the State officer or employee, or person.  No special State officer or employee without responsibility for matters affecting legalized marijuana activity, excluding those serving in the Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services and the Commission on Higher Education, shall hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document in connection with any cause, application, or matter.  However, a special State officer or employee without responsibility for matters affecting legalized marijuana activity may hold employment directly with any holder of or applicant for a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, and if so employed may hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of, that employer, except as otherwise prohibited by law.

     c.     No person or any member of his immediate family, nor any partnership, firm or corporation with which such person is associated or in which he has an interest, nor any partner, officer, director or employee while he is associated with such partnership, firm or corporation, shall, within two years next subsequent to the termination of the office or employment of such person, hold, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or hold employment with, or represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of, any holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, or any holding or intermediary company with respect to that document holder or applicant, in connection with any cause, application or matter, or any holding or intermediary company with respect to such holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or marijuana document, in connection with any phase of [casino] development, permitting, licensure or any other matter whatsoever related to casino or legalized marijuana activity, except as provided in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.26 (C.52:13D-17.3), and except that:

     (1)   a member of the immediate family of a person may hold employment with the holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or the holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document if, in the judgment of the State Ethics Commission, the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, or the Supreme Court, as appropriate, such employment will not interfere with the responsibilities of the person and will not create a conflict of interest, or reasonable risk of the public perception of a conflict of interest, on the part of the person;

     (2)   (a) an employee who is terminated as a result of a reduction in the workforce at the agency where employed, other than an employee who held a policy-making management position at any time during the five years prior to termination of employment, may, at any time prior to the end of the two-year period, accept employment with the holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or the holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document if, in the judgment of the State Ethics Commission, the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, or the Supreme Court, as appropriate, such employment will not create a conflict of interest, or reasonable risk of the public perception of a conflict of interest, on the part of the employee. In no case shall the restrictions of this subsection apply to a secretarial or clerical employee. 

     (b) (i) Nothing herein contained shall alter or amend the post-employment restrictions applicable to members and employees of the Casino Control Commission and employees and agents of the Division of Gaming Enforcement pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection e. [(2)] of section 59 and to section 60 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-59 and C.5:12-60); and

     (ii) Nothing herein contained shall alter or amend the post-service or post-employment restrictions applicable to appointed officers and employees of any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of section 2 and to section 3 of this act; and

     (3)   any partnership, firm or corporation engaged in the practice of law or in providing any other professional services with which any person included in paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section, or a member of the immediate family of that person, is associated, and any partner, officer, director or employee thereof, other than that person, or immediate family member, may represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or the holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document in connection with any cause, application or matter or any holding company or intermediary company with respect to such holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or the holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, in connection with any phase of [casino] development, permitting, licensure or any other matter whatsoever related to casino or legalized marijuana activity, and that person or immediate family member shall not be barred from association with such partnership, firm or corporation, if for a period of two years next subsequent to the termination of the person's office or employment, the person or immediate family member (a) is screened from personal participation in any such representation, appearance or negotiation; and (b) is associated with the partnership, firm or corporation in a position which does not entail any equity interest in the partnership, firm or corporation.  The exception provided in this paragraph shall not apply to a former Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, member of the Legislature, person included in paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, or to the members of their immediate families.

     d.    This section shall not apply to the spouse of a State officer or employee, which State officer or employee is without responsibility for matters affecting casino or legalized marijuana activity, who becomes the spouse subsequent to the State officer's or employee's appointment or employment as a State officer or employee and who is not individually or directly employed by a holder of, or applicant for, a casino license, or any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, or any holding or intermediary company thereof.

     e.     The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards and the State Ethics Commission, as appropriate, shall forthwith determine and publish, and periodically update, a list of those positions in State government with responsibility for matters affecting casino and legalized marijuana activity.

     f.  (1)  No person shall solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any complimentary service or discount from any casino applicant or licensee which he knows or has reason to know is other than a service or discount that is offered to members of the general public in like circumstance.

     (2) No person shall solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any complimentary service or discount from any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, which the person knows or has reason to know is other than a service or discount that is offered to members of the general public in like circumstance.

     g.    No person shall influence, or attempt to influence, by use of his official authority, the decision of the [commission] Casino Control Commission or the investigation of the [division] Division of Gaming Enforcement in any application for casino licensure, or the decision of any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, that is granted the authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace in any application for a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, or in any proceeding to enforce the provisions of this act or the regulations of [the] either the commission or public body. Any such attempt shall be promptly reported to the Attorney General; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be deemed to proscribe a request for information by any person concerning the status of any application for casino licensure or application for a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document, or any proceeding to enforce the provisions of this act or the regulations of [the] either the commission or public body.

     h.    Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section is a disorderly person and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000, or imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both.

     In addition, for violations of subsection c. of this section occurring after the effective date of P.L.2005, c.382, a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $10,000 shall be imposed upon a former State officer or employee or former special State officer or employee of a State agency in the Executive Branch upon a finding of a violation by the State Ethics Commission, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

(cf: P.L.2013, c.27, s.35)

 

     7.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would apply the same statutory ethics and conflicts-of- interest standards for casino industry regulators and participants to any regulators of and participants in a legalized marijuana marketplace, if marijuana is legalized in this State.

      An appointed officer or employee of any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body, including any public body that is in but not of a particular part of the executive branch, which is granted authority under any State law to regulate a legalized marijuana marketplace would be subject to such ethical and conflicts-of-interest restrictions, addressing activities engaged in prior to, during, and following their public service.  For instance, a person generally could not be an appointed officer or employee if, during the period commencing three years prior to appointment or employment, the person held any direct or indirect interest in, or any employment by, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of document which authorizes the recipient thereof to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace, unless the person's prior interest would not, in the opinion of the particular public body, interfere with the person's obligations of appointment or employment; and generally, for a period of four years commencing from the date that an appointed officer's or employee's service terminates, that former officer or employee would not be permitted to hold any direct or indirect interest in, or any employment by, a holder of or applicant for any form of authorizing marijuana documentation  (this four-year post-service restriction would not apply to secretarial or clerical employees).

      At the time of commencing service, each appointed officer and employee, with the exception of secretarial and clerical employees, would be required to file a financial disclosure statement with the State Ethics Commission, listing all assets and liabilities, property and business interests, and sources of income of the person, and the person's spouse, domestic partner, or partner in a civil union couple.  Additionally, appointed officers would have to supply the same information for their parents, brothers, sisters, and children.

      The appointed officers and employees would generally be subject to the "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law," P.L.1971, c.182 (C.52:13D-12 et seq.), as well as a Code of Ethics promulgated by the particular public body that is modeled upon the Code of Judicial Conduct of the American Bar Association, as amended and adopted by the New Jersey Supreme Court.  All officers and employees would be prohibited from using any official authority to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination for office, coerce or advise any person to contribute anything of value to another person or organization for political purposes, or take active part in any political campaign.  For appointed officers and any employee holding a supervisory or policy-making management position, the bill also provides a prohibition on making any political contributions as that term is defined in "The New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act," P.L.1973, c.83 (C.19:44A-1 et seq.).

      The "New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law" is also amended to establish restrictions on various State officers or employees, the Governor and full-time professionals employed in the Governor's Office, members of the Legislature or Judiciary, and municipal officers of a municipality wherein a business or organization authorized under any State law to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace is located, with respect to their own activities, and the activities of their associated partnerships, firms, or corporations, or their family members in connection with either employment or another interest in, or representation of, any holder of, or applicant for, a marijuana license, permit, certification, or other form of authorizing document.  The restrictions, being the same as the current restrictions on these people and businesses concerning casino licensees and applicants, and casino-related activities, include a general prohibition on employment, representation, appearance for, or negotiation on behalf of, any holder of, or applicant for, an authorizing document in connection with any cause, application, or matter, and these restrictions can carry over into the post-employment or post-service period following the departure of a person from State or local employment or office.

      The ethical and conflicts-of-interest restrictions would be enforced by the State Ethics Commission, and any person found to have committed a violation would be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 or more than $10,000.  Additionally, any willful violation of the restrictions that are applicable to the above State or municipal elected, appointed, or employed persons, their associated partnerships, firms, or corporations, or their family members would be considered a disorderly persons offense, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

     If a marijuana regulating department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, public authority, public agency, or other public body found that a holder of, or applicant for, an authorizing document to engage in activities associated with a legalized marijuana marketplace had committed a violation involving an appointed officer or employee with respect to pre-service activities, activities during service, or post-service activities, that document holder or applicant would be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 or more than $10,000, and possible document revocation or suspension, or denial of an application, as applicable.

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