April 7, 2011
Re: New Financial Disclosure Reporting Requirements
The Annual Financial Disclosure Statements required under the Local Government Ethics Law have been mailed to Municipal and County Clerks, Regional Authority Secretaries and County Colleges along with an updated Local Finance Notice 2011-11 (www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/lfns/11lfns/2011-11.doc) and 2011 Rosters. Please refer to the Notice for guidance on the filing requirements. As a reminder the filing deadline is April 30, 2011.
The Local Finance Notice also contains new information on the consequences of a local official failing to file timely and completely. In the past, upon submission of a signed written complaint against a local government officer alleging non-filing or inadequate disclosure on a filed Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS), the Board’s policy was to provide the accused with one opportunity to file or correct the filing. Upon submission of the late or corrected filing, the Board dismissed the complaint.
In the future, upon receipt of a complaint of this nature it is the Board’s intention to authorize Board staff to initiate an investigation. The local government officer will be given an opportunity to file the FDS and to provide an explanation as to the reason for the late or incomplete filing. The Board will then review the explanation and circumstances. Unless good cause is shown for the lack of a timely and complete filing, the Board will determine the matter to be a violation and will assess a fine in the minimum amount of $100 pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.10.
Please be sure that officials with filing requirements are aware of this policy. If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Matt Weng, Staff Attorney at 609-695-3481 x137 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.