Section 212.262  Employee Conduct


a)         Standards of Conduct

Employees of the Office shall obey the rules of conduct of this Office and shall be aware that the absence of a specified published rule of conduct covering an act tending to discredit an employee, this Office or the State of Illinois does not mean that act is condoned or permissible or would not call for, and result in, disciplinary action.  Any act of violence or threat of violence in the workplace, especially resulting in bodily harm or intent to commit bodily harm to another person, may be cause for immediate discharge.


b)         Conflicts of Interest


1)         General Provisions

No employee shall violate any law, rule, regulation, policy or standard concerning conflicts of interest nor shall any employee engage in any conduct in which the employee's private interests or involvements are, or may reasonably be construed to be, in conflict with or detrimental to the objective performance of his or her official duties and responsibilities.


2)         Disclosure Statements


A)        The purpose of the Disclosure Statement required by this subsection is to aid the Executive Director in maintaining the objectivity and impartiality of the conduct of the activities of the Office and, where a potential conflict is unavoidable, to provide for the full disclosure of the facts and circumstances involved.


B)        Disclosure Statements shall be confidential.  The Office of Administrative Services shall be responsible for the safekeeping of Disclosure Statements.  The Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, General Counsel, the Board and the Director of Administrative Services may review the Disclosure Statements.


C)        The Executive Director and Director of Administrative Services shall review all Disclosure Statements.  If a potential conflict of interest is found, the statements shall be submitted to the Board for review and response.


D)        Each employee shall file a Disclosure Statement with the Division of Administrative Services immediately upon employment and shall re-file statements by May 1 annually thereafter indicating all involvements or relationships that could affect the employee's performance of his or her official duties.  Employees shall be under a continuing duty to advise the Director of Administrative Services or his or her designee promptly in writing of any change that would affect an answer given on their current Disclosure Statements or that might affect the objective or efficient performance of their duties.


E)        Statement of Economic Interests:  Certain employees are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests as provided in the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act [5 ILCS 420/4A-101].  The Ethics Officer shall review completed statements prior to their being filed with the Secretary of State's Index Department.


c)         Political Activities


1)         Participation in Political Activities

No employee may participate in political activities, with the exception of voting, while in the employment of the State Board of Elections, pursuant to the Election Code [10 ILCS 5/1A-13].


2)         Prohibited Activity

Employees shall not, at any time, use, threaten to use or offer to use the influence or authority of their position to coerce or to persuade any person to follow any course of political action or to make any contribution to a political cause.


d)         Official Conduct


1)         Criticism of Agencies

No employee shall make use of any information gained in the course of employment with the Office to publicly criticize any State, local, or private agency, such as confidential information obtained during the course of employment with the Office, such as information contained in the record of a closed preliminary hearing.


2)         Handling Antagonism or Refusals

When an employee is faced with a situation in which a co-worker or any outside source appears hostile or antagonistic or refuses to release information or documentation relevant to the operation of the Office, unless the requested information is deemed privileged, the employee shall report the fact to his or her supervisor.  Employees shall at no time threaten or coerce any person.


3)         Self-disqualification from Certain Assignments

When an employee receives an assignment involving a person acting as a representative for any public or private agency or involving the entity itself with whom he or she has had business or other relationships of a nature that might impair, or give the appearance of impairing, the employee's impartiality or independence, the employee shall discuss with his or her supervisor the possible need to have the matter reassigned.


4)         Use of Identification

Credentials issued to employees are for use only in establishing identity or authority in connection with official duties.  An employee shall not allow the use of his or her credentials by any other person.


e)         Use of State Time, Position and Property


1)         Personal Use Prohibited

An employee is forbidden to use State time, position or property for personal purposes.


2)         Protection of Property

An employee has a responsibility to protect and conserve all State property.


3)         Liability for Damage or Loss

An employee may be held financially liable for damage or loss of State property resulting from his or her negligent, willful or wanton acts or omissions.  Costs for damage to or loss of State property may be deducted from the responsible employee's pay.


4)         Reporting Loss or Damage

An employee shall promptly report any loss, theft, or damage to State property or documents in his or her custody to the Director.


5)         Return of Equipment

Upon leaving his or her position with the Office, the employee shall return to the Director of his organizational unit all property and credentials assigned to him or her.  The Director shall assess the condition of property at the time of its return to assure all equipment is fully operational.  At its option, the Office may withhold an employee's final paycheck pending return of State property and credentials assigned to or in the possession of that employee or deduct the value of any property from the departing employee's final paycheck.


f)         Disclosure of Official or Confidential Information


1)         Testifying and Responding to Subpoenas

When requested or subpoenaed to testify or produce documentation pertaining to confidential information before an executive or legislative commission, a court of law or an administrative tribunal, an employee shall notify the Executive Director and the General Counsel prior to giving the testimony or producing the documentation.


2)         Engagements to Speak or Write


A)        No employee may accept invitations for public addresses or submit articles for publication that concern the official activities of the Office without obtaining the prior approval of the Director of his or her organizational unit or, in the case of Executive Employees, the Executive Director.


B)        An employee may not accept compensation, or permit his or her expenses to be paid by sources other than the State of Illinois, for speaking engagements or writings performed as official duties, except with the prior written approval of the Executive Director.