Criteria and Procedures for Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion
(1)The purpose of this rule is to establish how the Commission uses prosecutorial discretion to decide whether to proceed with an inquiry of a potential violation of ORS Chapter 244 (Government Ethics), 171.725 (Definitions for ORS 171.725 to 171.785) to 171.785 (Sanctions prescribed by either chamber of Legislative Assembly) or 192.660 (Executive sessions permitted on certain matters) (collectively, matters within the Commission’s jurisdiction).
(2)All complaints from members of the public concerning alleged violations of matters within the Commission’s jurisdiction shall be submitted to the Commission’s staff in writing and signed with the person’s true name. No anonymous complaints or oral complaints will be accepted. The Director shall review each complaint to determine if the matters alleged come within the Commission’s jurisdiction, if the matters alleged occurred within four years of the date the complaint was submitted, and if the complaint contains enough specific information to warrant further review. If the Director determines that the complaint contains allegations without any corroborative information, the Director shall, within 10 days of the complaint’s receipt, notify the person filing the complaint that the complaint lacks sufficient information to warrant further review. If the Director is able to determine the nature of additional information that would enable the Commission to pursue the matter, the person filing the complaint shall likewise be also notified.
(3)The Director shall submit all complaints that meet the requirements of subsection (2) to the Commission to be acted upon within the time lines established by law. In addition, the Director or any member of the Commission may propose that the Commission initiate a preliminary review based on information received from objective sources, such as media accounts or information obtained from the Commission’s own records or from other public agencies that indicates that a violation within the Commission’s jurisdiction may have occurred.
(4)The Commission shall consider fully all matters presented for preliminary review, or initiated by the Commission’s own motion, to determine whether there is “cause” to investigate the matter, as that term is defined in 244.260 (Complaint and adjudicatory process)(13)(a). Following the investigation phase, the Commission shall move a matter to a contested case hearing when the Commission determines that the information presented is sufficient to make a preliminary finding of violation of a statute or statutes within the Commission’s jurisdiction. All matters before the Commission may also be settled, at any point in the proceedings, in compliance with OAR 199-001-0020 (Settlement). No settlement negotiated by the Director shall be binding on the parties unless approved by the Commission by motion and vote.
Rule 199-001-0035 — Criteria and Procedures for Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion,