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Ethics Commission

Applicable Commission Guidelines

(Excerpted from Section 2-5 of the “Chevy Chase Village Public Ethics Ordinance”)

Sec. 2-4.  Ethics Commission.

(a) There is a Village Ethics Commission that consists of three (3) members, appointed by the Chair of the Village with the concurrence of the Village Board of Managers.

(b) The Commission members shall serve three (3) year overlapping terms.

(c) A Commission member may serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.

(d) The Commission shall elect a chair from among its members.

(1)  The term of the chair is one (1) year.

(2) The chair may be reelected.

(e) The Village Attorney shall assist the Commission in carrying out the Commission’s duties.

(f) If a conflict of interest under section 2-5 of this Chapter or other conflict prohibits the Village Attorney from assisting the Commission in a matter, the Village shall provide sufficient funds for the Commission to hire independent counsel for the duration of the conflict.

(g) The Commission is the advisory body responsible for interpreting this Chapter and advising persons subject to this Chapter regarding its application.

(h) The Commission shall hear and decide, with the advice of the Village Attorney or other legal counsel if appropriate, all complaints filed regarding alleged violations of this Chapter by any person.

(i) The Commission shall conduct a public information and education program regarding the purpose and implementation of this Chapter.

(j) The Commission shall certify to the State Ethics Commission on or before October 1 of each year that the Village is in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland, for local elected officials.

(k) The Commission shall:

(1) Determine if changes to this Chapter are required to be in compliance with the requirements of State Government Article, Title 15, Subtitle 8, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(2) Shall forward any recommended changes and amendments to the Village Board of Managers for enactment.

(l)  Any person subject to this Chapter may request an advisory opinion from the Commission concerning the application of this Chapter.

(1) The Commission shall respond promptly to a request for an advisory opinion and shall provide interpretations of this Chapter based on the facts provided or reasonably available to the Commission within sixty (60) days of the request.

(2) In accordance with all applicable State and Village laws regarding public records, the Commission shall publish or otherwise make available to the public copies of the advisory opinions, with the identities of the subjects deleted.

(3) The Commission may adopt additional policies and procedures related to the advisory opinion request process.

(m)  Any person may file a complaint with the Commission alleging a violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter.

(1) A complaint shall be in writing and under oath.

(2) The Commission may refer a complaint to the Village Attorney, or other legal counsel if appropriate, for investigation and review.

(3) The Commission may dismiss a complaint if, after receiving an investigative report, the Commission determines that there are insufficient facts upon which to base a determination of a violation.

(4) If there is a reasonable basis for believing a violation has occurred, the subject of the complaint shall be given an opportunity for a hearing conducted in accordance with the applicable Village rules of procedure.

(5) A final determination of a violation resulting from the hearing shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(6) Upon finding of a violation, the Commission may take any enforcement action provided for in section 2-8 of this Chapter.

(7)        (i) After a complaint is filed and until a final finding of a violation by the Commission, all actions regarding a complaint are confidential.

(ii) A finding of a violation is public information.

(8) The Commission may adopt additional policies and procedures related to complaints, complaint hearings, the use of independent investigators and staff, the use of witness and document subpoenas, and cure and settlement agreements.

(n) The Commission may grant exemptions to or modifications of the conflict of interest and financial disclosure provisions of this Chapter to officials or employees serving as members of Village boards and commissions, when the Commission finds that the exemption or modification would not be contrary to the purposes of this Chapter, and the application of this Chapter would:

(1) Constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy; and

(2) Significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service.

 

Click here to view the entire “Chevy Chase Village Public Ethics Ordinance”.

Click here if you are interested in joining this Commission (Please Note: Appointments to Village Commissions occur when current members' terms expire, or upon a member's resignation.) Note: you must be logged into the Village website using your resident account to access this form.

Term Expires Member Name  
February 2015 Brian Christaldi, Chair  
February 2017 Robert Brewer, Jr  
February 2016 Frank (Scot) McCulloch

 


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