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Adjudicatory Hearings

If the Commission holds an adjudicatory hearing, the Commission must:

  1. give the subject of the complaint a copy of the complaint, including the identity of the complainant; and
  2. give the subject of the complaint copies of those portions of approved minutes of the Commission relating to the complaint, and any report to the Commission issued by the investigator.

The Commission may:

  1. issue summonses and subpoenas to compel attendance at a hearing;
  2. require any person to produce records at a hearing; and
  3. administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses.

The subject of the complaint and the County are the parties to the hearing. Each party may be represented by counsel and may present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The prosecutor may be an attorney in the County Attorney's office, or a special counsel. The Commission may admit and give appropriate weight to evidence, including hearsay, that possesses probative value commonly accepted by reasonable and prudent persons.

Hearings are closed to the public, unless the subject of the complaint requests that it be open.

The Commission must make written findings of fact and conclusions of law based on the record made at the hearing. If the Commission finds that no violation occurred, the Commission must dismiss the complaint.

If the Commission dismisses a complaint without holding a hearing or after holding a closed hearing, the Commission may not release to the public the identity of the subject of the complaint, the complainant, or any witness.

If, however, the Commission finds that a violation has occurred, the complainant and the subject of the complaint must be promptly notified of the Commission's findings and conclusions and the disposition of the complaint. The Commission must publicly disclose its findings and conclusions, including the identity of the subject of the complaint, the complainant and the witnesses.

If the Commission finds a violation, the Commission may:

  1. seek injunctive relief;
  2. proceed against the violator for a class A violation under the County Code;
  3. seek an appropriate civil recovery;
  4. seek the imposition of disciplinary action, including termination of employment, suspension of compensation or other disciplinary action;
  5. order the subject of the complaint to stop any violation; and
  6. issue a public or private reprimand.

The Commission may also refer to an appropriate prosecuting attorney any information indicating that a criminal offense may have occurred.

Montgomery County Ethics Commission · 100 Maryland Avenue · Room 204 · Rockville, Maryland 20850 · Telephone: 240-777-6670 · Fax: 240-777-6672
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