Module 4: The Dinner Deal

John and Michael are sitting at a restaurant table after a long day working together on a project involving the City of Atlanta’s sewer system. They are not aware that Linda, also working on the same contract, is sitting a few tables away eavesdropping. She overheard Michael talking on the phone to John earlier that day and setting up the dinner meeting and decided to drop by secretly.  She asks a friend of hers to meet her there so that she can blend in.  


Module 4: Q&A

Question 1:  Is it permissible for Michael to meet John for dinner at the restaurant after work?

A. No, because they work together on a city project.
B. No, because they are meeting after work hours and not during city hours.
C. Yes, Michael may meet John for dinner at the restaurant.

Answer: C. Yes, Michael can meet John at the restaurant for dinner but he must pay for his own dinner. John should not pay for Michael’s dinner because to do so would violate Section 2-817 of the Ethics Code which governs gratuities. John is considered a prohibited source and employees are prohibited from accepting anything of value from prohibited sources; unless specific exceptions apply.    


Question 2: If Michael decides to accept John’s offer to work for him can he do so?

A. Yes, if he will work for John on his own personal time.
B. No, because he works closely with John on his city job.
C. No, because John has a contract with Michael’s department.

Answer: B. Michael should not accept an offer of employment from John because they currently work together closely on a city project and to do so would violate Section 2-820 on Incompatible Interests.  Michael cannot accept this private employment or provide private services for Michael because this is incompatible with his job duties. 


Question 3: If John asks Michael to work on an unrelated project with a private company can Michael accept?

A. Yes, he can accept the offer.  

B. No, he cannot accept the offer.
C. Yes, but he must get permission from his manager before he does so.

Answer: B. Michael should not work for John in any capacity while they are working together on the current city project.  Because he oversees and manages that project, it would be a conflict of interest for him to work for the city contractor. This employment is adverse to his official job duties and violates Section 2-820. 


Question 4: If Michael learns that Linda intends to report what took place during his dinner with John using the Integrity Hotline, what can Michael do to stop her?

A. Attempt to discourage Linda from reporting the violations because he is her boss.
B. Fire Linda for cause since she was spying on him.
C. Refrain from interfering because Linda is acting in good faith.

Answer: C. Under Section 2-823 of the Ethics Code, Michael cannot use or threaten to use any official authority or influence to discourage, restrain or interfere with any other person for the purpose of preventing such person from acting in good faith to report or otherwise bring to the attention of the board of ethics information relating to an ethics violation or investigation. Therefore, since Linda is acting on good faith based on her observations of Michael’s actions, Michael must refrain from interfering with her bringing the matter to the attention of the Ethics Officer.




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