Sworn Complaints

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;

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

Sections 334.025 and 335.055, Local Government Code, concerning false and misleading campaign material supporting or opposing the authorization of a sports or community venue project.

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. You may submit the completed form by: (1) mail to P.O. Box 12070, Austin, Texas 78711, (2) hand delivery to 201 E. 14th Street, Sam Houston Building, 10th floor, Austin, Texas 78701, or (3) Fax to 512-463-5777 (mail or hand delivery are preferred).    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: August 31, 2017

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