South Carolina Code of Regulations
Chapter 52 - STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
Article 7 - CONTESTED CASE PROCEDURE
Section 52-718 - Confidentiality of Proceedings

Universal Citation: SC Code Regs 52-718

Current through Register Vol. 46, No. 3, March 25, 2022

A. No person associated with a complaint including the Complainant, Respondent, counsel, counsel's staff, Commission members or employees, reporters or investigators, shall mention the existence of the proceedings or disclose any information pertaining thereto except to persons directly involved including witness and potential witnesses, and then only to the extent necessary for investigation and disposition of the complaint. Witnesses and potential witnesses shall be bound by these confidentiality provisions.

B. The Respondent may waive the confidentiality of the proceeding in writing filed with the Commission.

C. The requirements of confidentiality do not apply to the following:

(1) Providing the identity of the Complainant to the Respondent.

(2) Disclosing information by the Commission or its staff necessary to conduct an investigation and hearing, to issue subpoenas, and any other action related to the contested case proceedings.

(3) Referring or releasing information to another prosecuting authority.

D. These confidentiality provisions apply to an order as a result of a hearing or otherwise setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law that the complaint was groundless. When there is a finding of a violation as to any allegation, the order including findings and conclusions of any non-violation shall be a public record.

E. The final disposition of a complaint must contain a finding that the complaint was groundless in order for the matter to be stricken from the public record.

F. After the final disposition of a matter where a violation is found, the Commission shall prepare a public record which shall consist of the pleadings and record of the hearing. The Commission's internal and investigatory papers including attorney work product shall not be made part of the public record.

ETHICS COMMISSION OPINIONS

City council member who has complaint filed against him may request council in executive session to provide legal counsel for his defense without providing details of complaint. Open session vote can then be taken without disclosing nature of complaint or of agency with which complaint was filed. Op S.C. St. Ethics Comm., SEC AO92-130, June 9, 1992 (under former regulation 52-3.9).

S.C. Code Regs. 52-718

Added by State Register Volume 21, Issue No. 6, Part 2, eff June 27, 1997.

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