CITY OF HOUSTON - Mayor's Policy

M.P. No: 110.00

Subject: Employement: Seeking Elective Office

Effective Date: February 14, 1985

    1. It is the policy of the City of Houston to require any employee who is a candidate for elective office to make his/her candidacy known in writing to the Director of Personnel to determine whether a conflict of interest exists with their City employment or responsibilities as delineated below.
    1. Section 12-156 of the Code of Ordinances
    1. For the purposes of this policy, an elective office shall be any federal, state, county, district, or city office, whether paid or unpaid, requiring public election. Not included are positions won or held as precinct judge, delegate, or chairman, or as county political party chairman.
    2. It should be clear that no employee shall face retribution or reprisal of any sort for having sought or won an elective office and that any personnel action described below shall occur only when overlapping demands exist between the employee's responsibilities to the City and the time or conflict of interest caused as a result of holding elective office.
    3. Once notification of candidacy is received, the Director of Personnel shall review the particulars and determine if the candidacy poses a conflict of interest with the employee's City employment. If any such conflict is found, the Director shall provide the employee's department head with a report of findings along with recommendations which may or may not include disciplinary action.
    4. If the department head concurs that a conflict of interest does exist, (s)he shall report such findings to the Mayor along with recommendations which also may or may not include disciplinary action. The Mayor shall make the binding and final determination whether a conflict of interest with City employment exists and whether or not disciplinary action is appropriate. Disciplinary action is discretionary and should be administered in accordance with existing employment policies.
    5. Where it is determined by the Director of Personnel that no conflict of interest exists and the employee is subsequently elected to the office sought, the same procedures outlined above shall be followed to determine if the holding of the office itself presents a conflict of interest.
    6. It shall also be a portion of this policy to prohibit any employee of the City of Houston to participate in election or campaign activities of any kind with the exception of voting (see policy on voting), during the course of their City employment or while involving City of Houston resources or materials. Prohibition of any related activity which results in the misuse of funds or privileges made available as a direct result of an employee's City responsibilities is also included.
    1. All employees through the Department/Division Director shall comply from policy date forward.
    1. This policy shall not apply to elected officers of the City of Houston (Mayor, Controller, Members of Council) nor shall it apply to employees engaged in election or campaign activities on their own time, to include vacation, floating holidays, or approved leaves of absence for such purpose. All otthe violations and/or exceptions shall be brought to the attention of the Director of Personnel for review and recommended course of action.
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