Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 30. General Assembly
Chapter 13. General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act
6/22/2017

§ 30-116. Disposition of cases.

Within 120 days of the chairman's forwarding the signed and sworn complaint to the Panel, the Panel, or a majority of its members acting in its name, shall dispose of the matter in one of the following ways:

1. a. If the Panel determines in its preliminary investigation that the complaint is without merit, the Panel shall dismiss the complaint, so advise the complainant and legislator, and take no further action. In such case, the Panel shall retain its records and findings in confidence unless the legislator under inquiry requests in writing that the records and findings be made public.

b. If the Panel determines in the course of its proceedings that the facts and evidence show that the complaint is without merit, the Panel shall dismiss the complaint, so advise the complainant and legislator, and report its action to the Clerk of the appropriate house, for the information of the House or Senate.

2. If the Panel determines that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the legislator has violated the provisions of this chapter but that the violation was not made knowingly, the Panel shall refer the matter by a written report setting forth its findings and the reasons therefor to the appropriate house of the General Assembly for appropriate action. All Panel reports, which are advisory only, shall be delivered to the Clerk of the appropriate house, who shall refer the report to the Committee on Privileges and Elections in accordance with the rules of the appropriate house. Said Committee shall in all cases report, after due hearings and consideration, its determination of the matter and its recommendations and reasons for its resolves to the appropriate house. If the Committee deems disciplinary action warranted, it shall report a resolution to express such action. The appropriate house as a whole shall then consider the resolution, and if it finds the legislator in violation of any provision of this chapter, it may by recorded vote take such disciplinary action as it deems warranted.

3. If the Panel determines that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the legislator knowingly violated any provision of Article 2 (§ 30-102 et seq.), 3 (§ 30-104 et seq.), 4 (§ 30-107 et seq.) or 5 (§ 30-109 et seq.) of this chapter, except § 30-108 or subsection C of § 30-110, it shall refer the matter by a written report setting forth its findings and the reasons therefor to the Attorney General for such action he deems appropriate. The Panel shall also file its report with the Clerk of the appropriate house, who shall refer the report in accordance with the rules of his house. In the event the Attorney General determines not to prosecute the alleged violation, he shall notify the Clerk of the appropriate house of his determination and the Clerk shall send the report to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. The matter shall thereafter be handled in accordance with the provisions of subdivision 2.

4. If the Panel determines that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the legislator has violated § 30-108 or subsection C of § 30-110, it shall refer the matter by a written report to the appropriate house pursuant to subdivision 2. As its first order of business other than organizational matters and committee work, the house in which the member sits shall immediately upon the convening of the next regular or special session take up and dispose of the matter by taking one or more of the following actions: (i) dismiss the complaint; (ii) sustain the complaint and reprimand the member; (iii) sustain the complaint, censure the member, and strip the member of his seniority; (iv) sustain the complaint and expel the member by a two-thirds vote of the elected members; (v) in the event the house finds a knowing violation, it shall refer the matter to the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision 3.

5. The Panel shall make public any report that it makes pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 1 b, 2, 3 or 4 on the date it refers its report.

1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1, § 2.1-639.48; 2001, c. 844; 2003, c. 649; 2010, cc. 427, 876.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.