2017 Tennessee Code
Title 3 - Legislature
Chapter 6 - Ethics and Lobbying
Part 2 - Tennessee Ethics Commission Act of 2006 -- Violations
§ 3-6-202. Confidentiality -- Public disclosure.
- (a) (1) The members and staff of the Tennessee ethics commission shall preserve the confidentiality of all commission proceedings, including records relating to a preliminary investigation. Such records shall be exempt from the provisions of title 10, chapter 7 and shall be confidential until:
- (A) The alleged violator requests in writing that the investigation and associated records and meetings be made public;
- (B) The commission finds that probable cause exists to believe that a violation has occurred. Upon this determination, the records and proceedings shall be made public on:
- (i) The date the public hearing to determine whether a violation has occurred commences; or
- (ii) The date the commission refers a matter based upon a finding of probable cause; or
- (C) The commission determines that no probable cause exists to believe that a violation has occurred. Upon such determination, the records and proceedings shall be made public sixty (60) days after:
- (i) The date the report of the commission's finding is issued, if the complainant does not request a probable cause hearing pursuant to § 3-6-203(b)(1); or
- (ii) The date the commission issues its finding of no probable cause from a probable cause hearing.
- (2) No personal or professional financial records of the alleged violator shall be disclosed pursuant to this section upon a finding of no probable cause.
- (3) A member of the commission or a member of the commission staff may acknowledge receipt of a complaint or may disclose information to the extent necessary to successfully pursue an investigation. In no event shall such information against a candidate in any election, as defined in § 2-10-102, be disclosed during the period from thirty (30) days immediately preceding the commencement of voting for that election through election day, unless the candidate requests in writing the disclosure of the information.
- (b) A member of the commission or member of the commission staff who knowingly discloses information in violation of this section commits a Class C misdemeanor. A violation of this section also subjects the person to the civil penalties imposed by § 3-6-205(a)(2). Violation of this section by a member of the commission shall be grounds for removal from office.
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