Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance
Tennessee Ethics Commission

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Complaints

Individuals seeking to file a complaint with the Commission need to fill out and submit a Sworn Complaint Form.

Please read the following instructions before filing a complaint with the Commission.  Complaints that do not comply with the General Requirements cannot be accepted.  Complaints that are not violations of the laws that are within the jurisdiction of the Commission cannot be considered.  See Purpose of Form.

 

Instructions to Sworn Complaint form

Purpose of Form:  The Sworn Complaint form is used to report a violation of the laws that are within the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Ethics Commission.  Those laws are as follows:

  • T.C.A. §§2-10-122 through 129;
  • The Tennessee Ethics Commission Act of 2006, Title 3, Chapter 6, Parts 1&2;
  • T.C.A. Title 3, Chapter 6, Part 3;
  • The Conflict of Interest Disclosure Law, §8-50-501, et.al; and
  • T.C.A. §3-6-105(b): “…complaints alleging acts by a member of the general assembly that constitute misuse of office for personal financial gain…”

 

Who May File a Complaint:   Under T.C.A. §3-6-201(a)(1) and (a)(2) any citizen may file a complaint with the Ethics Commission.  However, note that complaints cannot be accepted from any individual acting in their official capacity as a political party chairman, a state or county executive director of a political party, or as an employee or agent of a political party.

General Requirements for Complaints:  The Ethics Commission itself may initiate a complaint in accordance with the requirements set forth in T.C.A. §3-6-201(d).  Complaints from private citizens cannot be accepted unless they comply with all of the following requirements:

  • The complaint must be submitted on the Ethics Commission’s official Sworn Complaint form;
  • The complainant must provide identifying information.  Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.
  • The allegations must present potential violations of 1 or more of the laws that are within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction.  Complaints that do not present sufficient allegations of such violations will be dismissed without investigation.
  • The allegations must be sworn to before a notary.  Complaints will not be accepted unless they include the notarized affidavit.

 

Part I - Identifying Information: 

  • The person making the complaint (the “complainant”) must provide their complete name and address. 
    Anonymous complaints are not accepted. 
  • Provide complete identifying information about each alleged violator.  The Ethics Commission is required by T.C.A.§3-6-201(f) to notify accused individuals that a complaint has been filed against them, and thus the Sworn Complaint form will not be accepted unless it provides full identifying information about each alleged violator.

Part II – Statement of Jurisdiction:  Summarize the nature of the alleged violations, and include any legal citations (if known) that give the Ethics Commission jurisdiction to receive the complaint (see the laws listed above under “Purpose of Form”).

Part III – Statement of Facts: 

  • Explain all circumstances which constitute an alleged violation;
  • Include the name(s) and contact information of any known or potential witnesses;
  • Include the name(s) and contact information of any individual who may be able to provide additional information regarding the violations;
  • Include the dates the alleged violations occurred on (or the time period within which the alleged violations occurred);
  • Reference or explain any documents that you list in Part IV of this Sworn Complaint form;
  • Attach additional sheets as needed.  Sign and number each additional sheet provided.

 

Part IV – Supporting Documentation:

  • List all documents and other materials that are potentially relevant to the alleged violations. 
  • Note any documents/materials that are being submitted together with this Sworn Complaint from.

 

Part V – Affidavit:  The facts and allegations contained in the complaint must be sworn to and signed before a notary public.  Complaints that are not signed and sworn to will be dismissed without investigation.