Legal Defense | Policy 6170

The Board of Education of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School has established the following policy for the legal defense and indemnification of District employees:

1. The District will:
(a) Provide for the cost of the defense of an employee by providing an attorney selected by the Attorney for the District whenever the Attorney for the District determines that a conflict of interest exists, or, if a court, on appropriate motion, determines such to be the case and that the employee is entitled to be represented by an attorney of his/her choice.
(b) The Attorney for the District may determine that appropriate groups of employees be represented by the same counsel for indemnification purposes. Reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation expenses may be paid by the District, from time to time, during the legal proceedings, with the approval of the Board and if permitted by law.
(c) The District will indemnify and save harmless any employee, as defined below, for the amount of any judgment or settlement, provided the act or omission of the employee occurred while he was acting within the scope of his/her public employment as provided by Section 18 of the New York State Public Officers Law and Education Law, Sections 3023, 3028, and 3811.
(d) The Board must approve the settlement of any and all claims against any and all employees.
(e) The Board may purchase insurance against any liability imposed under this policy or it may elect to act as self-insurer.
(f) The District shall not defend, indemnify or save harmless any employee for any intentional wrongdoing, recklessness or with respect to punitive or exemplary damages, fines, penalties, or money recovered from any employee, pursuant to Section 51 of the General Municipal Law.

The employee is required:

(a) To make a formal request for his/her defense to the Board of Education; and/or
To deliver to the Attorney for the District and the Superintendent the original of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand, or pleading within five days after being served with such document.
(b) To cooperate in the defense of any action or proceeding and defense of any action or proceeding against the District based upon the same act or omission and in the prosecution of any appeal.
(c) To deliver any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading shall be deemed a request by the employee that the District provide for his/her defense pursuant to this policy, unless the employee shall state, in writing, that a defense is not requested.
2. The benefits of this policy will inure to “employees” and shall not enlarge or diminish the rights of any other party, nor shall any provision of this policy be construed to affect, alter or repeal any provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law.
3. The provisions of this policy shall not be construed to impair, alter, limit or modify the rights and obligations of any insurer under any policy of insurance.

Public Officers Law Section 18

The Board of Education hereby also confers the benefits of Section 18 of the New York State Public Officers Law upon the “employees” of the District, as defined in Section 18 of the Public Officers Law; and the District assumes the liability for the costs incurred in accordance with the provisions of Section 18. The benefits accorded to District employees under Section 18 of the Public Officers Law shall supplement and be available in addition to defense or indemnification protection conferred by other enactments or provisions of law.

The term “employees” shall include members of the Board of Education; the Superintendent; District officers; District employees; volunteers expressly authorized to participate in a District sponsored volunteer program; or any other person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the District, whether or not compensated. The term “employee” shall also include a former employee, his/her estate or judicially appointed representative.

Exceptions to Liability Coverage

Indemnification coverage and/or provision of legal defense by the District will not apply unless the actionable claim is of the type covered by the statute(s) and/or is not otherwise exempt from coverage pursuant to law. Additionally, indemnification coverage and/or the duty to provide a defense shall not arise where such action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the School District.

Public Officers Law Section 18
Education Law Sections 1709(26) and (34-b), 2560, 3023, 3028, and 3811
General Municipal Law Sections 6-n and 52

Revised 10/27/97