On May 21, the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board issued an advisory opinion
confirming that employees, trustees, and trustee-designated representatives of the five New York City
pension funds are public servants subject to the City’s conflicts of interest law (NYC Charter Chapter 68).
These five funds are: the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Police Pension Fund, the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System.
Under NYC’s conflicts law, public servants may not, for example, accept any valuable gift from any person or firm which the public servant knows is or intends to become engaged in business dealings with New York City. Likewise, a public servant shall not solicit any position with any person or firm who or which is involved in a particular matter with the city, while such public servant is actively considering, directly concerned, or personally participating in that matter on behalf of the city.
Persons required to be listed on a NYC-lobbyist registration statement, such as the lobbyists, their spouses and domestic partners, and certain employees of lobbying organizations, may not offer or make a gift to a public servant. While the new opinion does not address the lobbyist gift ban directly, the implication is that lobbyists may not make gifts to employees, trustees, and trustee-designated representatives of the five NYC pension funds.