Given the mandatory language of N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.10(b), it appears that imposition of a fine is mandatory:
b. An elected local government officer or employee found guilty by the Local Finance Board or a county or municipal ethics board of the violation of any provision of P.L.1991, c. 29 (C.40A:9-22.1 et seq.) or of any code of ethics in effect pursuant to P.L.1991, c. 29 (C.40A:9-22.1 et seq.), shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to “the penalty enforcement law” (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.). (Emphasis added.)But, another statute--N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.24--softens the "shall be fined" language:
If the ethics board determines that the officer or employee is in conflict with the code or any financial disclosure requirements, it may impose any penalties which it believes appropriate within the limitations of this act. (Emphasis supplied.)The two sections contradict each other. But, my guess is that imposition of a penalty for ethics violations is discretionary.