2018 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 74E. Ethics Rules
Rule 4.7. State Officer Impartiality.

In the event a state officer or employee:

(1) knows that a particular matter involving specific parties is likely to have a direct and predictable effect on the material financial interests of the state officer or employee or of his or her family member; or

(2) knows that a person with whom he or she has a business relationship other than a routine consumer transaction is a party to or represents a party to such matter; or

(3) determines that the circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his or her impartiality in the matter;

the state officer or employee shall not participate in the matter unless he or she is required to do so by law or permitted to do so by these Rules. This provision shall not apply when the effect of the matter applies equally to all members of a profession, occupation or large class. In considering whether a relationship would cause a reasonable person to question his or her impartiality, the state officer or employee may seek the advice of the Commission. The Commission may exercise discretion in determining whether or not to provide such advice or may delegate responsibility to the Executive Director to provide such advice. Such advice, if given by the Commission or the Executive Director, shall bind the Commission. Failure to seek such advice shall have no relevance in any subsequent proceeding involving that individual. A particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on a material financial interest if there is a close causal link between any decision or action to be taken in the matter and any expected effect of the matter on the material financial interest, even though the effect is not immediate. It shall not apply to a chain of causation if it is attenuated or is contingent on the occurrence of events that are speculative or that are independent of, and unrelated to, the matter.

For purposes of this Rule, a “material financial interest” shall mean:

(1) an ownership interest in a private business, including but not limited to, a closely held corporation, limited liability company, Subchapter S corporation or partnership for which the state officer or employee or his or her family member is a director, officer, owner, manager, employee, or agent or any private business, closely held corporation or limited liability company in which the state officer or employee or his or her family member owns or has owned stock, another form of equity interest, stock options, debt instruments, or has received dividends or income worth Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) or more at any point during the preceding calendar year; or

(2) an ownership interest of five percent (5%) or more in a publicly traded corporation or other business entity by a state officer or employee or his or her family member at any point during the preceding calendar year; or

(3) an ownership interest in a publicly traded corporation or other business entity from which dividends or income, not to include salary, of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) or more were derived during the preceding calendar year by the state officer or employee or his or her family member; or

(4) an interest that arises as a result of the state officer’s or employee’s or his or her family member’s service as a director or officer of a publicly traded corporation or other business entity at any time during the preceding calendar year; or

(5) any sources of income derived from employment, other than compensation pertaining to the office for which the state officer or employee or his or her family member holds, in the amount of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) or more by the state officer or employee or his or her family member.

For purposes of this Rule a “material financial interest” shall not mean (1) an interest in a mutual fund or other community investment vehicle in which the state officer or employee or his or her family member exercises no control over the acquisition or sale of particular holdings, or (2) an interest in a pension plan, 401k, individual retirement account or other retirement investment vehicle that makes diversified investments over which the state officer or employee or his or her family member exercises no control over the acquisition or sale of particular holdings.

Promulgated by Ethics Commission January 10, 2014; effective upon Legislature’s sine die adjournment May 23, 2014; operative January 1, 2015.

Amendment promulgated by Ethics Commission January 27, 2017, effective immediately.

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