The State Ethics Commission investigates alleged violations of the gift ban, conflicts of interest, and other unethical conduct by certain State officials. The Commission does not regulate local (county or city) government officials.
I. People That Must Comply With the Ethics Act
The Commission may accept complaints about “Covered persons,”:
- Members of the North Carolina legislature,
- “Judicial officers” (justices, judges, district attorneys, and clerks of court), and
- “Public servants” (certain elected, appointed, and employed State officials).
- Legislative Employees
It is important to remember that:
- Not all State employees or government officials are subject to the Ethics Act, and
- Local officials are not subject to the Ethics Act.
So before filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission, please check here to make sure the person is someone we can investigate.
If they are not, please call or email us and we can refer you to someone who can.
II. The State Government Ethics Act
The Ethics Act establishes standards for:
- The filing of Statements of Economic Interest
- The acceptance of gifts by State officials
- Conflicts of Interest between a State official's actions and their private family or financial interests
- The use of an official's title or position in private advertising and public service announcements
- Restrictions against an official's hiring of a family member
- The use of confidential or nonpublic information for private benefit
III. Anyone Can File An Ethics Complaint, But You Must Provide Detailed Information
IV. And Remember, Your Complaint is Confidential
Complaints are confidential, unless the covered person or legislative employee authorizes its release, or for public servants, a hearing is held. Commission hearings are open to the public. If a covered person or legislative employee violates the State Government Ethics Act, he or she may be removed from his or her public position.