Representing Private Interests

Prohibited Appearances

No appearances before city agencies. City officials and employees may not represent private interests before any city agency while serving the City or working for it and in the year after they leave the City.

Example:  A City Councilmember may not represent a client of his law firm before a city department in a contract dispute between the City and the client, who is a city contractor.

No appearances against the city’s interest. City officials and employees may not represent private interests in actions that conflict with the city’s interests, in litigation where the City is involved, or in proceedings in municipal court where the complainant is the City or a city agency.

Example:  A member of the Citizen Review Board may not personally represent police officers in workers compensation claims against the City.

Special rule for City Councilmembers. Councilmembers may not appear before the Zoning Review Board on behalf of constituents or in the performance of their public or civic obligations because matters may be appealed from the board to the City Council.

Special rule for volunteer city officials. Board members may not represent their own business, clients, or other private interests before their own board, the city agency regulated by the board, or the board’s oversight department.  In addition, board members may not appear before their own board on behalf of a community group or in the public’s interest.

Example:  A member of the Tree Conservation Commission may not file an appeal before the commission challenging an arborist’s decision to permit the removal of trees to enable a city department to construct an underground tunnel.

Appearances Allowed

Appearances in a personal capacity. City officials and employees may appear in their own behalf before a city agency.

Example:  A member of the Board of Zoning Adjustment may appeal the denial of a building permit for a fence she seeks to build in her back yard.  She is disqualified from participating in the appeal as a member of the board and must file a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Report.

Appearances by City Councilmembers without payment. A member of the City Council may appear before any city agency on behalf of constituents or in the performance of public or civil obligations if the official does not receive any compensation or remuneration for his or her work.

Appearances by board members before the City Council. A city board member may appear before the City Council and its committees in their own behalf and on behalf of their employer regarding proposed city policies and legislation.

Code of Ethics

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68 Mitchell Street, SW
Suite 1100
Atlanta, GA 30303