The State Ethics Commission has the authority to investigate complaints filed by third parties alleging a covered person's or legislative employee's violation of the State Government Ethics Act. “Covered persons” include legislators, “judicial officers” (justices, judges, district attorneys, and clerks of court), and “public servants” (certain elected, appointed, and employed State officials). The Commission may also initiate an investigation on its own motion.
Not all State employees or appointees are covered persons. Also, local elected and appointed officials are not covered persons and the Commission is not authorized to investigate complaints against local officials.
The State Ethics Commission and the Secretary of State may investigate complaints alleging violations of the Lobbying Law. Any complaint solely related to a lobbyist's or lobbyist principal's failure to register or report will be referred to the Secretary of State's Lobbying Compliance Division. The Commission will investigate complaints alleging the failure to report and register and/or the violation of any other provision of the Lobbying Law, including the gift ban and cooling off period.