Utah Ethics

Citizen’s Check List for Filing an Executive Branch Ethical Complaint

  1. The complaint must be against a sitting executive official.
  2. The complaint cannot be filed during the 60 calendar days preceding a primary or general election if the accused executive official is a candidate and is opposed by another candidate in either of those elections.
  3. The alleged ethical violation generally must have occurred within the past two years.
  4. The complaint may be filed by two or more registered voters currently residing in Utah.
  5. The complaint must contain evidence or sworn testimony that sets forth facts and circumstances supporting the alleged violation that would be of a type generally admissible under the Utah Rules of Evidence.
  6. At least one of the citizen complainants must have actual knowledge of the facts and circumstances supporting the alleged violation. Actual knowledge is typically defined as “direct understanding of a circumstance or fact, resulting in information that would lead a reasonable, prudent person to investigate further. Assuming that a complainant has the evidence required to file a complaint, as indicated in paragraph 5 above, it should satisfy the actual knowledge standard set forth in this paragraph.
  7. The complaint must contain all of the following information;
    1. the name and position or title of the executive officer
    2. the name, address, and telephone number of each individual who is filing the complaint
    3. a description of each alleged violation, including a reference to the section of the code of conduct alleged to have been violated or the criminal provision violated and the docket number of the case involving the legislator
    4. the name of the complainant or complainants who have actual knowledge of the facts and circumstances supporting each allegation
    5. the facts and circumstances supporting each allegation, including copies of official records or documentary evidence or one or more affidavits
    6. a list of the witnesses whom the complainants wish to have called, including each witness’ name, address, and one or more of the witness’ telephone numbers, if available
    7. a brief summary of the testimony to be provided by the witness; and a specific description of any documents or evidence complainants desire the witness to produce;
    8. a statement that each complainant has reviewed the allegations contained in the complaint and the sworn statements and documents attached to the complaint, believes them to be true, and is filing the complaint in good faith.
    9. the signature of each complainant.
  8. The complaint must be kept confidential
    1. If the existence of an ethics complaint is publicly disclosed by a person, other than the respondent or an agent of the respondent, during the period that the commission is reviewing the complaint, the commission will dismiss the complaint without prejudice.

For actual language of the rules themselves, see Utah Code Annotated 63A-14.