Chapter 402: Definitions

Section 402.01: County Ethics Policy Definitions

For the purposes of this Title, the following definitions shall apply unless otherwise provided in the Code:

A. “Appointing Authority” shall mean the County officer, director, commission, board, or body having the power of appointment to, or removal from, positions in any office, department, commission, board, or other authority of the County.

B. “Board Member” shall include members of any board, agency, commission, or authority as is or may hereafter be established by or pursuant to the Charter or County Code who are appointed or confirmed by elected officials or county officers or directors.

C. “Business Associate” shall mean any individual, company, or organization with which an individual is acting together to pursue a common business purpose, including but not limited to, partners in a partnership, co-owners of a business, an outside employer, or co-members of a Limited Liability Corporation.

D. “Contractor” shall mean any person or entity that is a party to an Agreement with the County, as defined in Section 102.01(A) of the Code.

E. “Elected Official” shall include any person holding elective office specified in, or established pursuant to, the Charter. Such Elected Officials shall include, without limitation, the County Executive, the Prosecuting Attorney, and members of County Council.

F. “Employee” shall mean any employee of Cuyahoga County including, but not limited to, any person employed, full or part time in a temporary or permanent capacity, by the County Executive, the Prosecuting Attorney, the County Council, the Personnel Review Commission, the Board of Revision, the Inspector General, and any other county agency hereafter established by or pursuant to the charter.

G. “Gift” includes any gratuity, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other tangible or intangible item having greater than de minimis monetary value including, but not limited to, cash, food and drink, travel, or lodging.

H. “Inspector General” shall mean the Cuyahoga County Inspector General as established in Section 204.01 of this Code.

I. “Interest” shall mean a direct financial or material benefit, but does not include any benefit arising from the provision or receipt of any services generally available to a lawful class of residents or taxpayers of the County. An individual is deemed to have an interest in any private organization when he or she, his or her spouse, or a member of his or her household, is an owner, partner, member, director, officer, employee, or owns or controls more than 5% of an organization’s outstanding stock; provided however, that an individual appointed or otherwise authorized to serve on a private organization, and who solely acts on behalf of the county in his or her capacity for the private organization, shall not be deemed to have an interest in such private organization.

J. “Lobbyist” shall mean any individual employed or retained by a client to contact via private written or oral communication any County elected official, employee, or board member to influence the award of County contracts, the appointment or confirmation of any individual, or the formulation, modification, or adoption of any County legislation, regulation, or policy. A Lobbyist shall not include any individual who spends less than five percent (5%) of his or her compensated time lobbying governmental entities on behalf a specific client. “Lobbyist” shall not include anyone who performs any of the actions described in this paragraph without compensation, whose performance of such action consists solely of testimony provided at public meetings, or whose performance of such actions are an incidental and insignificant portion of one’s duties.

K. “Presumption of Influence” shall mean a rebuttable presumption that a gift made to an elected official, employee, or board member constitutes a substantial and improper influence in violation of this Title. Any person many proffer evidence to rebut a presumption of influence.

L. “Relative” shall mean an individual’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent step-parent, sibling, step-sibling, sibling’s spouse, child, grandchild, step-child, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, or household member, and persons having any of these relationships to the spouse or domestic partner of said individual.

(Ordinance Nos. O2016-0002, Enacted 4/26/2016, Effective 5/27/2016; O2011-0008, Enacted 4/5/2011, Effective 4/8/2011; O2011-0004, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)