SUBPART B. PROCEDURE
§1141. Complaints and investigations
A.(1) The Board of Ethics members may sit en banc or in panels in such order and at such times as the board directs.
(2) The Board of Ethics may authorize the hearing and determination of matters by separate panels, each consisting of not less than three members. Such panels shall sit at the times and places to hear matters assigned as the chairman directs. Such hearings shall be public except those provided for in Subsection C of this Section. All determinations of a panel shall be by a majority vote. However, if a panel consists of three members, all determinations of the panel shall require a unanimous vote of the members of the panel. Each panel shall be vested with specific subject matter jurisdiction. The Board of Ethics may determine by rule a procedure to rotate members among different subject matter panels to encourage the participation of each member of the board in, and the knowledge of each member of the board of, matters concerning the different provisions of law under the jurisdiction of the board.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, the presence of nine members shall be required to conduct the business of the Board of Ethics sitting en banc.
(4) The Board of Ethics shall promulgate procedural and jurisdictional rules relative to the establishment of the several panels. The rules shall specify procedures wherein the chairman may refer matters to the appropriate panel with proper subject matter jurisdiction.
(5) The Board of Ethics by a majority vote of its membership, may review any opinion, decision, finding, or ruling of any panel.
B.(1)(a) The Board of Ethics shall consider any signed sworn complaint from any elector, hereinafter referred to as complainant, concerning a violation of this Chapter which is within its jurisdiction or the regulations or orders issued by the Board of Ethics, or may, by a two-thirds majority vote of its membership, consider any matter which it has reason to believe may be a violation of this Chapter. Additionally, the board may consider any matter which it has reason to believe may be a violation of any other provision of law within its jurisdiction as provided in this Subsection or as may be otherwise provided by law. A certified copy of the vote; a detailed explanation of the matter, including the specific factual allegations upon which the board based its decision to investigate; and a copy of any complaint received by the board, from which the name of the complainant has been redacted, shall be sent by certified mail to the accused and the complainant within ten days after the vote occurs or after receipt of a signed sworn complaint. The chairman of the Board of Ethics may assign a matter to the appropriate panel for investigation, in which case the panel shall conduct a private investigation to elicit evidence upon which the panel shall determine whether to recommend to the board that a public hearing be conducted or that a violation has not occurred.
(b) The board shall provide a person who has filed a non-sworn complaint with only a notification stating the final disposition of the complaint.
(2) A notice or report sent to the board by the legislative auditor or the inspector general may be treated by the board as a matter for consideration in accordance with the provisions of this Subsection.
(3) Any person who, with knowledge of its falsity, makes a false complaint shall be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S. 42:1153.
C.(1) Upon receiving a sworn complaint or voting to consider a matter as provided in Subsection B of this Section, a private investigation shall be conducted to elicit evidence upon which the Board of Ethics shall determine whether a public hearing should be conducted or that a violation has not occurred. The accused and the complainant shall be given written notification of the commencement of the investigation not less than ten days prior to the date set for the commencement of the investigation.
(2) After the investigation has been completed, the Board of Ethics shall determine whether a public hearing should be conducted to receive evidence and to determine whether any violation of any provision of law within its jurisdiction has occurred. If a violation has not occurred, the defendant and the complainant shall be notified within ten days of the ruling.
(3)(a) If the board determines following an investigation that a public hearing should be conducted, the board shall issue charges. A public hearing shall be conducted to receive evidence relative to the facts alleged in the charges and to determine whether any violation of any provision of law within the jurisdiction of the board has occurred. The public hearing on such charges shall be conducted by the Ethics Adjudicatory Board in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and this Part.
(b) The charges issued by the board shall contain each of the following:
(i) A plain, concise, and definite written statement of the essential facts constituting the alleged violation.
(ii) The official or customary citation of the statute which is alleged to have been violated.
(iii) The date of the meeting at which the board voted to issue charges.
(iv) The name of the trial attorney, if designated.
(c) If the Board of Ethics does not issue charges within one year from the date upon which a sworn complaint is received or, if no sworn complaint was received, within one year from the date the board voted to consider the matter, the matter shall be dismissed. The one-year period shall be prescriptive. The prescriptive period may be suspended, interrupted, or renounced. The prescriptive period shall be suspended by any of the following:
(i) The person who is the subject of the investigation or complaint files any pleading or proceeding in a state or federal court or with the Ethics Adjudicatory Board related to the matter under investigation that has the effect of delaying or impeding the proceeding.
(ii) The person who is the subject of the investigation or complaint fails to comply with a subpoena or other request from the Board of Ethics for information related to or in connection with the investigation of the Board of Ethics.
(d) The person who is the subject of the investigation or complaint may consent in writing to the suspension of the prescriptive period.
(e) Determinations concerning the prescriptive period provided for in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph shall be made by the Ethics Adjudicatory Board.
(f) The Board of Ethics shall consider offering a consent opinion to each person who is the subject of an investigation.
(4) - (8) Repealed by Acts 2012, No. 608, §2, eff. June 7, 2012.
D, E, and F. Repealed by Acts 2012, No. 608, §2, eff. June 7, 2012.
Acts 1979, No. 443, §1, eff. April 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1980, No. 579, §1; Acts 1980, No. 580, §1; Acts 1987, No. 730, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 64, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1303, §1; Acts 2001, No. 384, §1; Acts 2008, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 23, §1, eff. Aug. 15, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 128, §1; Acts 2008, No. 595, §1; Acts 2010, No. 1002, §1, eff. July 8, 2010; Acts 2010, No. 861, §22; Acts 2012, No. 608, §§1, 2, eff. June 7, 2012.
NOTE: See Acts 1997, No. 1303, §§2 and 3, for effectiveness of Paragraph (B)(3).
NOTE: See Acts 2012, No.608, §3, relative to the prospective application of Act and the application of R.S. 42:1141(C)(3)(c) and amended by the Act.