AP III, Sec. 2 Code of conduct and ethics
Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes AnnotatedAdministrative Procedures of the Court of JusticeEffective: February 1, 2021
Effective: February 1, 2021
Administrative Procedures, AP III, Sec. 2
AP III, Sec. 2 Code of conduct and ethics
A court system that upholds high standards of integrity, impartiality, and independence is indispensable to justice in our society.
SECTION 2.01 Applicability
SECTION 2.02 General Standards of Conduct and Ethical Obligations
SECTION 2.03 Reporting Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
(1) Employees, elected officials, or appointed officials are encouraged to report suspected instances of waste, fraud, and abuse by other employees, elected officials, or appointed officials by calling toll free at 1-844-761-0104 or emailing [email protected].
SECTION 2.04 Violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethics
Employees, elected officials, and appointed officials are encouraged to report an employee's violation of this Code of Conduct and Ethics by following the same reporting method contained in Section 2.03(1) of these Policies.
SECTION 2.05 Confidential Information
(c) Any other information learned or developed during the course of working within the KCOJ that derives independent economic value from not being generally known or readily ascertainable by other individuals. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to, procedures, manuals, reports, communications, and financial information.
SECTION 2.06 Performance of Duties and Impartiality
SECTION 2.07 Abuse of Position
(4) An employee must not attempt to take advantage of his or her access to judges and court files to further any personal or private interest or engage in any action that may appear to be or is an attempt to influence the outcome of a judicial matter pending or impending before any court in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
SECTION 2.08 Anti-Nepotism Policy
The following definitions apply to this section:
(a) “Nepotism” means the participation of an employee, elected official, or appointed official in any action relating to the employment of a person who is a member of his or her family or with whom he or she is in a romantic relationship, including authorizing or otherwise causing the hiring or appointment, reclassification, promotion, demotion, transfer, or assignment to special duty of the person;
SECTION 2.09 Conflict of Interest
(a) An employee participates in an action or decision that directly or indirectly impacts that employee or a member of his or her family, as defined in Section 1.04(7) of these Policies, or a person with whom the employee has a close personal relationship, including a romantic relationship as defined in Section 2.08 of these Policies; or
(b) An employee, elected official, or appointed official supervises or manages, directly or in his or her chain of command, any person who is a member of his or her family, as defined in Section 1.04(7) of these Policies, or is a person with whom he or she has a close personal relationship, including a romantic relationship as defined in Section 2.08 of these Policies.
SECTION 2.10 KCOJ Property and Resources
(2) Employees, appointed officials, and elected officials must return all KCOJ property, including but not limited to, keys, identification badges, parking badges, and assigned technology hardware, to their appointing authority or designee upon separation of employment or office. The KCOJ will consider the failure or refusal of any employee, appointed official, or elected official to return KCOJ property upon separation to constitute theft.
(3) An employee must receive prior approval from his or her appointing authority before removing any KCOJ property, including technology hardware, from his or her workstation. An appointing authority may only permit an employee to remove KCOJ property from his or her workstation if there exists a legitimate business need for the removal and may require the employee to return the KCOJ property at any time.
SECTION 2.11 Outside Employment of Full-Time and Part-Time Employees
(b) All new employees who wish to continue their outside employment must provide a written notification of such employment to their appointing authority at the start of their employment with the KCOJ and receive written approval to continue such employment. New employees engaged in outside employment will be required to cease such employment if the employment does not comply with these Policies.
All employees with approved outside employment must immediately notify their appointing authority in writing when a change in their outside employment status occurs. Written notification of a change in outside employment status must be made when any of the following occurs:
In the absence of proper notification, a change in outside employment status may still be reviewed by the appointing authority for compliance with these Policies. After consulting with the HR Director or designee, the appointing authority will determine whether the change in outside employment status complies with these Policies.
SECTION 2.12 Gifts and Gratuities
(1) Except as provided below in subsection (2), an employee must not accept a gift, payment of cash or cash equivalent (e.g. gift cards), favor, loan, tickets or passes for admission to a sporting or entertainment event, meals, travel expenses, services, memberships to private clubs, including social, athletic or country clubs, or other items totaling a value greater than $25 in a single calendar year from:
(b) Registration fees and travel expenses related to an activity devoted to the improvement of law, the legal system, administration of justice, or an employee's official job duties, sponsored by an outside entity, agency, or organization, so long as, the source of the payment does not improperly influence or the give the appearance of improperly influencing the employee in performance of official duties, or otherwise give the appearance of impropriety. Sponsored expenses are limited to the actual cost of attending the activity, including registration fees, travel, food, and lodging reasonably incurred by the employee.
(b) Return the gift as soon as possible. If returning the item is not possible, the employee's supervisor should contact his or her appointing authority for further guidance. With the approval of the employee's appointing authority, perishable items may be given to a charitable organization or shared by all employees within the employee's office.
SECTION 2.13 Political Activities
All employees of the KCOJ shall terminate their employment upon appointment or prior to filing for election to any partisan political office.
(i) Employees of the KCOJ who are appointed to or seek to hold a nonpartisan, non-judicial office are not required to terminate their employment upon appointment or prior to filing for election to the nonpartisan, non-judicial office as long as campaigning for election does not interfere with the performance of their duties. Any employee who is appointed to or intends to seek a nonpartisan, non-judicial office shall notify his or her appointing authority and the AOC HR Department upon appointment or prior to filing for election.
(c) Conduct by an employee that is consistent with or indicative of an active campaign for an office that would require the employee to terminate his or her employment prior to filing for election under these Policies is incompatible with this Code of Conduct and Ethics. A substantiated report of this conduct may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
SECTION 2.14 Practice of Law
While holding a position with the KCOJ, an employee or elected official who is an attorney must not engage in the practice of law outside the scope of his or her duties, except an employee or elected official may act pro se and may, without compensation, give legal advice to and draft or review documents for a member of his or her family. All employees and elected officials previously engaged in the practice of law shall cease all advertising upon employment by or election to the KCOJ.
Adopted by Order 2021-05, eff. 2-1-21
Administrative Procedures, AP III, Sec. 2, KY ST ADMIN P AP III, Sec. 2
Current with amendments received through June 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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