Code of Ethics / Code of Conduct
City Council directed staff to develop a Code of Conduct and a Code of Ethics to provide enforceable guidelines that further the public's trust in democratic government and uphold the public interest. The new Code of Ethics / Code of Conduct (PDF) policy was adopted in 2014 and since been updated, most notably to allow a less-formal process that allows amicable parties to resolve a complaint prior to an investigation or a hearing.
1. Section 2-208(a)(5) was amended to include a process that would allow the subject of the complaint to submit, in writing to the Board of Ethics, a response to the alleged violation of the Codes.
2. Section 2-208(a)(6) allows the Board of Ethics to consider public records of the event where the alleged misconduct occurred as well as the written response from the subject of the complaint to provide context for their initial screening process, to be conducted in an executive session.
3. Section 2-208(a)(6) allows the Board of Ethics to recommend the parties pursue an alternative process for informally resolving the conflict. As part of this process, at the Board's discretion, the Board may request that the parties participate in an executive session.
4. Section 2-208(a) (8) was revised to include an intermediary process that would allow the parties to participate in mediation as a method for resolving the conflict. The costs of such mediation would be to be split between the two parties.
5. Section 2-208(a) (10) which outlines the hearing procedures, was revised to simplify the process and make it easier for a member of the public to be represented pro se. The intent of this revision is to simplify the hearing process ensuring that any party may represent themselves at the hearing, or they may be represented by an attorney or any person of their choice other than a City Official.
6. The policy language was streamlined throughout Section 2-208, to eliminate references to "inquiry or complaint" and replace these references with "complaint". This change was made as an effort to clarify and distinguish the concepts of a citizen inquiry (which is not permitted under the current policy), a formal complaint regarding an alleged violation, and an advisory opinion.
7. Additional edits and changes were made as an effort to clean-up, clarify, and streamline the policy.
The Board of Ethics comprises five (5) at-large community members. The purpose of the board is to issue advisory opinions on ethical issues arising under the Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics; to hear inquires or complaints; and to issue finding and recommendations regarding alleged violations of the Code. Interested applicants shall have expertise in ethic acquired through education or experience.
City officials and the public may identify and resolve conduct and ethical issues by filling out a complaint form online or by going to the City Clerk's Office located at 949 E. 2nd Ave.
Any person covered by the City of Durango's Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics or any member of the public may submit a complaint to the Board of Ethics regarding alleged violations of the City's Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics Policy. Click here for a copy of the complaint form.
Advisory Opinion Process
Any city officer or board or commission member who is covered by the City of Durango's Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics may submit a written request to the Board of Ethics for an advisory opinion. Advisory opinion requests should outline specific actions or conduct that are relevant to the individuals' official duties and the Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics. Advisory opinion requests must be submitted to the Board of Ethics in advance of any official action. The Board of Ethics may publish advisory opinions to provide general guidance for City Officers and Boards and Commission members.