Section 2.03.103(A)(2) of the New Castle County Code provides the following procedure when a conflict of interest exists and delegation of official responsibility to vote or take other official action is not possible:
In any case where a person has a legal and/or statutory responsibility with respect to action or nonaction on any matter where the person has a personal or private interest and there is no provision for the delegation of such responsibility to another person, the person may exercise responsibility with respect to such matter, provided that promptly after becoming aware of such conflict of interest, the person files a written statement with the Commission fully disclosing the personal or private interest and explaining why it is not possible to delegate responsibility for the matter to another person. If the matter is one in which the legal and/or statutory responsibility requires the person to vote upon the issue, the written statement filed with the Commission shall be read into the public record prior to the time the person�s vote is cast. Any person choosing to abstain from voting on an issue where [he] or she has a conflict shall state the reasons for his or her conflict on the record; an abstaining voter need not file the written statement with the Commission required when acting on, rather than abstaining from, an issue involving a conflict.
A number of Ethics Commission Opinions also have encouraged use of this procedure in situations where an actual conflict is not present but the official conduct may create an appearance of impropriety.
The written notice to be filed with the Commission and read into the public record prior to the vote or other official act may be made by e-mail, hand delivery, or standard mail. It should include a description of the proposed official conduct, the private or personal interest concerned, and why it is not possible to delegate if an actual conflict exists. The conflict disclosure filing will become a public document after the vote or other official action has taken place.