Docstoc

308

Document Sample
308 Powered By Docstoc
					                                   South Carolina General Assembly
                                       119th Session, 2011-2012

S. 308

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Senator Rose
Document Path: l:\s-res\mtr\035ethi.ebd.mtr.docx

Introduced in the Senate on January 11, 2011
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary

Summary: Ethics committee


HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

    Date     Body     Action Description with journal page number
12/15/2010   Senate   Prefiled
12/15/2010   Senate   Referred to Committee on Judiciary
 1/11/2011   Senate   Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 137)
 1/11/2011   Senate   Referred to Committee on Judiciary (Senate Journal-page 137)

View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site


VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

12/15/2010
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9                               A BILL
10
11   TO AMEND SECTION 8-13-540 OF THE 1976 CODE,
12   RELATING TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
13   REPRESENTATIVES ETHICS COMMITTEES, TO PROVIDE
14   THAT    RESPONDENTS    IN   ETHICS   COMMITTEE
15   INVESTIGATIONS MAY WAIVE THE RIGHT TO
16   CONFIDENTIALITY,    TO    PROVIDE   THAT   THE
17   COMMITTEES MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO
18   TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ETHICAL VIOLATIONS,
19   AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMITTEES MAY
20   REQUIRE THE FORFEITURE OF GIFTS OR PROFITS
21   OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF THIS CHAPTER.
22
23   Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South
24   Carolina:
25
26   SECTION 1. Section 8-13-540 of the 1976 Code is amended to
27   read:
28
29      “Section 8-13-540. (1) When a complaint is filed with or by the
30   ethics committee, a copy must promptly be sent to the person
31   alleged to have committed the violation. If the ethics committee
32   determines the complaint does not allege facts sufficient to
33   constitute a violation, the complaint must be dismissed and the
34   complainant and respondent notified. If the ethics committee finds
35   that the complaining party wilfully filed a groundless complaint,
36   the finding must be reported to appropriate law enforcement
37   authorities. The wilful filing of a groundless complaint is a
38   misdemeanor and, upon conviction, a person must be fined not
39   more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one
40   year. In lieu of the criminal penalty provided by this subsection, a
41   civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars may be
42   assessed against the complainant upon proof, by a preponderance

     [308]                            1
 1   of the evidence, that the filing of the complaint was wilful and
 2   without just cause or with malice. If the ethics committee
 3   determines the complaint alleges facts sufficient to constitute a
 4   violation, it shall promptly investigate the alleged violation and
 5   may compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of
 6   witnesses and the production of pertinent books and papers.
 7      If after such preliminary investigation, the ethics committee
 8   finds that probable cause exists to support an alleged violation, it
 9   shall, as appropriate:
10         (a) render an advisory opinion to the respondent and require
11   the respondent’s compliance within a reasonable time; or
12         (b) convene a formal hearing on the matter within thirty days
13   of the respondent’s failure to comply with the advisory opinion.
14   All ethics committee investigations and records relating to the
15   preliminary investigation are confidential, unless the respondent
16   waives the right of confidentiality. No complaint shall be accepted
17   which is filed later than four years after the alleged violation
18   occurred.
19      (2) If a hearing is to be held, the respondent must be allowed to
20   examine and make copies of all evidence in the ethics committee’s
21   possession relating to the charges. At the hearing the charged
22   party must be afforded appropriate due process protections,
23   including the right to be represented by counsel, the right to call
24   and examine witnesses, the right to introduce exhibits, and the
25   right to cross-examine opposing witnesses. All hearings must be
26   conducted in executive session.
27      (3) After the hearing, the ethics committee shall determine its
28   findings of fact. If the ethics committee, based on competent and
29   substantial evidence, finds the respondent has violated this chapter
30   or Chapter 17 of Title 2, it shall:
31         (a) administer a public or private reprimand;
32         (b) impose a civil penalty of not more than two thousand
33   dollars for each violation;
34         (c) require the forfeiture of gifts, receipts, or profits, or the
35   value thereof, obtained in violation of this chapter, voiding
36   nonlegislative state action obtained in violation of this chapter;
37         (b)(d) determine that a technical violation as provided for in
38   Section 8-13-1170 has occurred;
39         (c)(e) recommend expulsion of the member; and/or,;
40         (d)(f) in the case of an alleged criminal violation, refer the
41   matter to the Attorney General for investigation. The ethics
42   committee shall report its findings in writing to the Speaker of the
43   House or President Pro Tempore of the Senate, as appropriate.

     [308]                              2
 1   The report must be accompanied by an order of punishment and
 2   supported and signed by a majority of the ethics committee
 3   members. If the ethics committee finds the respondent has not
 4   violated a code or statutory provision, it shall dismiss the charges.
 5      (4) An individual has ten days from the date of the notification
 6   of the ethics committee’s action to appeal the action to the full
 7   legislative body.
 8      (5) No ethics committee member may participate in any matter
 9   in which he is involved.
10      (6) The ethics committee shall establish procedures which
11   afford respondents appropriate due process protections, including
12   the right to be represented by counsel, the right to call and examine
13   witnesses, the right to introduce exhibits, and the right to
14   cross-examine opposing witnesses.”
15
16   SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
17                            ----XX----
18




     [308]                             3

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:10/13/2011
language:English
pages:4