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205 South Lincoln Ave.
Beaver Dam, WI 53916
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    (920) 887-4600

Ethics Code

Violations of these provisions in state law may be treated as felonies and, if found guilty, a public official or employee could be fined up to $10,000 and receive up to two years in prison for each offense.

Section 19.59, Wisconsin Statutes, establishes a code of ethics for all units of local government. No official or employee may:

  • Use their position for financial gain or to obtain anything of substantial value for their private benefit, the benefit of their immediate families or an organization with which they are associated.
  • Accept "anything of value" if it could reasonably be expected to influence how they vote or actions they may take, influence their judgment in a matter, or could reasonably be considered as a reward for any official action or inaction on their part.
  • Take an official action that substantially affects a matter in which they, a member of their immediate family, or an organization with which they are associated, have a substantial financial interest.
  • Use their position to produce a substantial benefit for themselves, a member of their immediate family, or an organization with which they are associated.
  • The term "anything of value" means money, property, a favor or service.
  • The term "immediate family" means one's spouse and family members who receive more than one-half of their support from the official or employee.
  • The term "organization" means one in which the official or employee serves as an officer, director or trustee, or owns at least ten percent of the organization.
  • City officials and employees who suspect an action they may take may place them in violation of the ethics code for local governments can ask the City Attorney for an advisory opinion.
  • To insure the integrity of City government and foster public trust, officials and employees are encouraged to disclose information that may establish grounds for believing another official or employee has engaged in any of the following:
  • Violation of a law, rule or regulation.
  • Gross mismanagement or a waste of public funds.
    • Abuse of authority.
    • Danger to public health or safety.
  • Violation of the ethics code for local government officials.

  • Elected and appointed officials may give information about possible wrongdoing by another employee or City official to their attorney, City attorney- Mayor or, if appropriate, a law enforcement agency; employees may give information to their attorney, supervisor or department head, collective bargaining representative or, if appropriate, a law enforcement agency.
  • It is City policy that retaliatory action not be taken against an employee who discloses information concerning possible wrongdoing by another employee or City official.
  • Retaliatory action means any act intended to punish an employee because he or she disclosed information, testified or assisted in any action related to wrongful or unethical conduct.
  • Retaliatory actions include verbal or physical harassment, reprimand, suspension, demotion, dismissal, transfer, reduction in pay, reclassification or another act which has the effect of penalizing an employee for lawfully disclosing information.