Skip to content


NJ Local Officials Ethics Act

Hollander v. Watson (1979): A Freeholder may not serve on the Board of a County College.

Allen v. Toms River Regional BOE (1989): Under the Doctrine of Necessity, there are circumstances that require members with conflicts to vote anyway.

Barrett v. Union Township (1989): Council member is disqualified from voting on a zoning ordinance impacting a nursing home where his mother lives even though neither he nor his mother had a financial interest in the establishment.

Local Finance Board Opinion 92 – 009 (1992): A computer contractor may receive a contract from a town where the contractor serves on the Zoning Board.

Local Finance Board Opinion 92-011 (1992): A member of the governing body may not participate in the drafting of bid specifications for services that the member provides in his private business or submit a response to an bid released by the municipality for those services.

Local Finance Board Opinion 92 – 015 (1992):  A member of a governing body may not provide goods or services to the municipality through the State Cooperative Bidding program.

Local Finance Board Opinion 93-003 (1993): A Freeholder may serve as municipal prosecutor in towns within the county.

Local Finance Board Opinion 92-004 and 93-019 (1993): An officer of fire department may not serve on the Board of Fire Commissioners that controls that fire department, but a volunteer who is not an officer may serve on the board.

Local Finance Board Opinion 93-020 (1993): A Housing Authority Commissioner may serve as auditor for a neighboring Housing Authority.

Wyzykowski v. Rizas (1993): A Mayor may apply to a Planning Board for approval even though the Mayor has an interest in the project.

Local Finance Board Opinion 95 – 001 (1995): in most circumstances, a member of the governing body who is also a teacher may participate in matters before the governing body that relate to the Board of Education.  

Horvath v. Local Finance Board (2004): A Mayor may appoint a daughter to the Planning Board even though the appointment did not require Council approval.

Shapiro v. Mertz (2004): A Council Member may not vote on the appointment of a spouse to a Planning Board.

Beacon Hill Farm v. Marlboro (2006): Council President who recused himself from a matter may not continue to preside at the meeting while the matter is being considered.

Murtagh v. Park Ridge (2006): A Planning Board member who recused himself because of his personal interest in the application may speak from the audience at the hearing.

Re: Zisa (2006): Following advice from municipal attorney provides limited safe harbor.

Hughes v. Monmouth University (2007): It is not a conflict for members of a planning board to vote on the expansion of an university library even though they are alumni of that university.

State v. Lake (2009): Mayor sentenced to 5 years for offering his opponent a job if he dropped out of Mayor’s race.

Local Finance board Opinion 11-073 (2011): A Council Member may not serve as the paid Planning Board Secretary.

Local Finance Board Opinion 11-146 (2011):  The Mayor may not urge citizens to “vote yes” on a referendum in a news letter paid by the town, but may explain the referendum in the newsletter.

Local Finance Board Opinion 12-011 (2012):  A Commissioner in a Commissioner form municipality, may not serve as both Public Safety Director and as the non-paid Secretary of the Volunteer Fire Department.

Local Finance Board Opinion 12-037 (2012):  A mayor may use the title to solicit contributions to a charity

Local Finance boards Opinion 12-030 (2012):  A Mayor may award a consulting contract to a university even though the Mayor is a very active alumni and supporter.

Local Finance Board Opinion 12-093 (2012):  The Mayor’s insurance firm may provide coverage to a lawn service that did work for the town.

Local Finance Board Opinion 13-009 (2013): A Council Member may inquire about the status of construction projects on behalf of companies from which the official received campaign contributions and/or had a business relationship.

Local Finance Board Opinion 13-044 (2013): A Council Member may not move to give a contract to a law firm that includes a child even if the Council Member abstains from the final vote.

Local Finance Board Opinion 12 – 013 (2013): An elected official may not use official stationary to support candidates for public office.

Local Finance Board Opinion 14-008 (2014): Elected officials may vote to appoint their campaign managers to vacant positions on a MUA Board.

Local Finance Board Opinion 11-088 (2015): Local public officials may appear before as advocates before a local public body in quasi-judicial proceedings provided they are (1) representing the public interest and (2) have no role in reviewing the local public agency’s decision.

Local Finance Board Opinion 13-014 (2015): A local elected official must recuse on any matter involving a non-profit organization where the official is also an officer of the non-profit.