Any individual may file a sworn complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission alleging a violation of certain laws. The Ethics Commission may only consider violations of the following laws:
Title 15, Election Code, concerning political contributions and expenditures, and political advertising;
Chapter 302, Government Code, concerning the election of the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives;
Chapter 303, Government Code, concerning the governor for a day and speaker's reunion day ceremonies;
Chapter 305, Government Code, concerning lobbyist registration, reports, and activities;
Section 306.005, Government Code, concerning the use of legislatively produced audio or visual materials in political advertising;
Chapter 572, Government Code, concerning personal financial disclosure of state officers and conduct of state officers and employees;
Chapter 2004, Government Code, concerning representation before state agencies;
Chapter 159, Local Government Code, concerning judges of statutory county courts or statutory probate courts who elect to file a personal financial statement with the Commission; and
A sworn complaint sets in motion a process that may include a preliminary review as well as informal or formal hearings. A sworn complaint may be resolved at several points in the process. The Commission may ultimately resolve a sworn complaint by dismissal or imposition of a civil penalty. A respondent may appeal a final decision of the Commission to a district court for a trial de novo. During most stages of the process the Commissioners and Commission staff are required to keep the complaint confidential.
A sworn complaint must be filed on a form prescribed by the Commission. The form comes in two formats, with line formatting and without line formatting. For further information on the sworn complaint process, please contact the Commission's Legal Department at (512) 463-5800.
The Ethics Commission is authorized to undertake civil enforcement actions on its own motion or in response to a sworn complaint, hold enforcement hearings, issue orders, impose civil penalties, and refer matters for criminal prosecution.
Last Revision: May 22, 2012