The New Castle County Ethics Commission was created in 1990 to administer the New Castle County Ethics Code, found at Sections 2.03.100, et seq., and 2.04.100 et seq. of the New Castle County Code. The Commission is composed of seven (7) New Castle County residents appointed to serve on a bipartisan basis by the County Executive and County Council. The current composition is four democrats and three republicans. The members of the Commission are not paid, may not hold or campaign for any other County office, may not hold office in any political party, nor be employed by the County in any other capacity, whether or not for compensation. The Commission selects its own legal counsel and confidential staff assistant.
In order to reduce the incidence of conflict of interest and increase the public's confidence in the impartiality of those conducting the public business, the New Castle County Ethics Code requires specified public officials and employees to file an annual statement of personal financial interests with the Ethics Commission by May 1 of each year. The Code prescribes the content of the disclosure and identifies the positions of the persons required to file. The list of filers includes: Elected County officials; County officials who perform work that is nonministerial in nature; members of the Boards of Adjustment, Planning, Historic Review, Pension, License Inspection and Review, Assessment Review; the Ethics Commission; General Managers and personnel of equivalent rank; Department Division Heads and personnel of equivalent rank; Code Enforcement officers and personnel of equivalent rank; Public works inspectors and personnel of equivalent rank; Purchasing agents and personnel of equivalent rank; Housing rehabilitation specialists and personnel of equivalent rank; Land use planners and personnel of equivalent rank within the Department of Land Use; the Chief of Police (Police officers below the rank of Chief are not required to file the statement).
Nominees for New Castle County Boards and Commissions must file the statement ten (10) days prior to the Council vote on their appointment. Candidates for County elective office must file the statement not later than seven (7) days after the last date for giving notice of candidacy for public office under the State of Delaware election laws, generally the last Friday in July of each election year.
Statements filed by elected or appointed County officials, candidates for County office, and nominees for County office are available for public inspection. Statements filed by County employees who are not also members of the listed County Boards are not available for public inspection.