Sworn complaint received by Knox County Law Director and forwarded to all members of the Ethics Committee (“the Committee”).
The Chair of the Committee shall forward a letter to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the complaint.
The acknowledgement letter shall inform the complainant if there exist any procedural shortcomings in the complaint for example, failure to sign the complaint under oath.
Committee makes determination whether complaint is in proper order and credible.
This determination may involve interviewing the complainant and asking for documents.
A credible person is one who is entitled to be believed. In law and legal proceedings, one who is entitled to have his oath or affidavit accepted as reliable, not only on account of his good reputation for veracity, but also on account of his intelligence, knowledge of the circumstances, and disinterested relation to the matter in question. Also, a credible person is one who is competent to testify.
By definition, an anonymous complaint, or one that is not in writing and signed by the person making the complaint, is not credible.
If the committee makes a determination that the complaint is not credible, then the Chair shall draft a proposed letter informing the complainant of that fact.
The proposed letter shall be circulated to all members of the Committee prior to the date and time noticed to the complainant.
The full Committee shall then vote on the letter.
The Committee can confirm that their finding of the complaint is not credible, or the Committee can determine that the complaint is credible.
A determination by the Committee regarding the credibility of the complaint shall be by vote of the majority of the Committee members “present when there is” a quorum.
If there is a determination of credibility by the committee, then:
Chair writes the respondent a letter and attaches a copy of the complaint.
- letter advises respondent that they have the right to appear and be heard. Letter will include date, time and place of hearing on Committee’s Agenda.
- contains a Miranda type warning
- outlines the hearing process
- tells respondent he/she may bring attorney or representative of his/her choice
- tells respondent he/she maybe bring witnesses/documents
- Chair asks Committee to meet to hear the complaint.
Letter to all who are involved by the complainant of date, time and place of hearing.
- tells complainant may bring witnesses or documents
- Public Notice of hearing date, time and place.