Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 3 : Executive

Chapter 031 : GOVERNMENTAL ETHICS

Subchapter 003 : STATE ETHICS COMMISSION

(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 1223)
  • § 1223. Procedure for handling complaints

    (a) Accepting complaints.

    (1) On behalf of the Commission, the Executive Director shall accept complaints from any source regarding governmental ethics in any of the three branches of State government or of the State's campaign finance law set forth in 17 V.S.A. chapter 61.

    (2) Complaints shall be in writing and shall include the identity of the complainant.

    (b) Preliminary review by Executive Director. The Executive Director shall conduct a preliminary review of complaints made to the Commission in order to take action as set forth in this subsection, which shall include referring complaints to all relevant entities.

    (1) Governmental conduct regulated by law.

    (A) If the complaint alleges a violation of governmental conduct regulated by law, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the Attorney General or to the State's Attorney of jurisdiction, as appropriate.

    (B) The Attorney General or State's Attorney shall file a report with the Executive Director regarding his or her decision as to whether to bring an enforcement action as a result of a complaint referred under subdivision (A) of this subdivision (1) within 10 days of that decision.

    (2) Department of Human Resources, Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual.

    (A) If the complaint alleges a violation of the Department of Human Resources Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the Commissioner of Human Resources.

    (B) The Commissioner shall report back to the Executive Director regarding the final disposition of a complaint referred under subdivision (A) of this subdivision (2) within 10 days of that final disposition.

    (3) Campaign finance.

    (A) If the complaint alleges a violation of campaign finance law, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the Attorney General or to the State's Attorney of jurisdiction, as appropriate.

    (B) The Attorney General or State's Attorney shall file a report with the Executive Director regarding his or her decision as to whether to bring an enforcement action as a result of a complaint referred under subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3) as set forth in 17 V.S.A. § 2904a.

    (4) Legislative and Judicial Branches; attorneys.

    (A) If the complaint is in regard to conduct committed by a State Senator, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the Senate Ethics Panel and shall request a report back from the Panel regarding the final disposition of the complaint.

    (B) If the complaint is in regard to conduct committed by a State Representative, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the House Ethics Panel and shall request a report back from the Panel regarding the final disposition of the complaint.

    (C) If the complaint is in regard to conduct committed by a judicial officer, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the Judicial Conduct Board and shall request a report back from the Board regarding the final disposition of the complaint.

    (D) If the complaint is in regard to an attorney employed by the State, the Executive Director shall refer the complaint to the Professional Responsibility Board and shall request a report back from the Board regarding the final disposition of the complaint.

    (E) If any of the complaints described in subdivisions (A)-(D) of this subdivision (4) also allege that a crime has been committed, the Executive Director shall also refer the complaint to the Attorney General and the State's Attorney of jurisdiction.

    (5) Closures. The Executive Director shall close any complaint that he or she does not refer as set forth in subdivisions (1)-(4) of this subsection.

    (c) Confidentiality. Complaints and related documents in the custody of the Commission shall be exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and kept confidential. (Added 2017, No. 79, § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2018; amended 2021, No. 44, § 1, eff. June 1, 2021.)