Complaints which do not set forth a material violation of the Ethics Act are dismissed without being investigated. Complaints which report violations which occurred more than two years before the date the Complaint is filed are dismissed as being outside of the Act’s two-year statute of limitations.
The Act authorizes the Commission to enter into Conciliation (or settlement) Agreements with those who are either the subject of an Ethics Commission investigation or against who a Complaint has been filed. Settlements allow these individuals to avoid the inconvenience and expense of a public hearing.
Conciliation Agreements may be entered into at any stage of an investigation or proceeding.
All Conciliation Agreements are subject to public disclosure. Copies of all agreements may be obtained by contacting the Ethics Commission.
The Ethics Commission may impose one or more of the following sanctions either subsequent to a public hearing on a Complaint or in a Conciliation Agreement:
1. Public reprimand;
2. Cease and desist order;
4. Fines not to exceed $5,000 per violation;
5. Reimbursement to the Commission for the actual costs of investigating and
prosecuting a violation.
The Commission also may recommend to the appropriate governmental body that a Respondent be terminated from employment or removed from office.