Only the Ethics Commission has the authority to investigate and resolve alleged violations of the Ethics Act. Anyone may file a verified written complaint with the Commission. The Commission must accept all sworn complaints it receives. No particular form or format is required, but a complaint must be in writing and must be verified by oath or affirmation. (Click here
The Commission may also initiate complaints when it receives credible evidence of a material violation of the Ethics Act. Whether a citizen files a complaint or the Commission initiates a complaint, the Commission only investigates complaints which, according to the Commission’s three-member Probable Cause Review Board, allege a material violation of the Ethics Act.
Complaints which allege trivial or inconsequential violations or are outside the two-year statute of limitations are dismissed.
The Commission has authority to subpoena evidence and testimony although no person alleged to have violated the Act is required to give testimony. Giving false or misleading information to the Commission or procuring or inducing another to provide false information to the Commission is a violation of the Ethics Act.
Persons found guilty of a material violation of the Act may be publicly reprimanded and fined up to $5,000 per violation. The Commission may order restitution or recommend that the person be removed from office or that his or her employment be terminated. The Commission may also order a respondent to repay the Commission its investigative costs.
Additional information and forms:
1. Complete information and forms to file a complaint
2. Verification form only