KRS Section(s) - KRS 6.691 and 6.696
Procedures for Adjudicatory Hearings
Are adjudicatory proceedings open to the public?
Yes, unless the members vote to go into executive session in accordance with KRS 61.810 (exceptions to open meetings).
What procedures are established for Commission adjudicatory hearings?
- The Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure and the Kentucky Rules of Evidence apply to all hearings.
- All testimony is required to be under oath.
- All parties have the right to call and examine witnesses, to introduce exhibits, to cross-examine witnesses, to submit evidence, and to be represented by counsel and any other due process rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a witness appearing before the courts of this state. Before testifying, all witnesses shall be given a copy of the regulations governing the proceedings.
- All witnesses are entitled to be represented by counsel.
- Any person whose name is mentioned during adjudicatory proceedings and who may be adversely affected by the proceedings is permitted to appear personally before the Commission, with or without an attorney, to give a statement in opposition to the adverse mention or file a written statement of that opposition for incorporation into the record of the proceeding. (KRS 6.691)
What is the timetable for the Commission's deliberations?
Within thirty (30) days after the adjudicatory proceeding, the Commission meets in executive session to review the evidence before it.
Within thirty (30) days after completion of deliberations, the Commission is required to publish a written report of its findings and conclusions. (KRS 6.691)
What action is the Commission permitted to take when it determines there has been a violation of the Code?
Not withstanding the administrative penalties provided for in KRS 6.797, 6.807, and 6.821, upon finding that there has been clear and convincing proof of a violation, the Commission is permitted to:
- Issue an order requiring the violator to cease the violation;
- Issue an order requiring the violator to file any report, statement, or other information as required by the Code;
- Publicly and in writing, reprimand the violator for potential violations of the law and provide a copy of the reprimand to the presiding officer of the house in which the alleged violator serves;
- In writing, recommend to the house in which the violator serves that the violator be sanctioned as recommended by the Commission, which may include a recommendation for censure or expulsion;
- Issue an order requiring the violator to pay a civil penalty of not more than $2,000; or
- Revoke the registration of any legislative agent or employer for a period not to exceed five (5) years. (KRS 6.691) During the period of the revocation, the agent or employer or any other entity which constitutes nothing more than the legislative agent or employer operating under a different name or identity shall not be permitted to register as a legislative agent or employer.
What action is the Commission permitted to take for prosecution of criminal violations of this Code?
The Commission may refer evidence of criminal violations of this Code to the Attorney General, Commonwealth's Attorney, or county attorney of appropriate jurisdiction for prosecution. The Attorney General is directed to have responsibility for all prosecutions under the law and may request from the Commission all evidence collected in its investigation. (KRS 6.691)
Use of Commission Findings or Determinations in Court
May findings or determinations by the Commission be used in court?
No. Findings of fact or final determinations by the Commission that a violation of this Code has been committed shall not be admissible in criminal proceedings in Kentucky courts. However, evidence collected by the Commission may be used in a criminal proceeding if otherwise relevant. (KRS 6.691)
What procedures are established for final actions of the Commission to be appealed?
- Any person found guilty by the Commission of a violation of this Code may appeal the action to the Franklin Circuit Court.
- The appeal must be initiated by filing a petition with the court within thirty (30) days after the date of the Commission's final action.
- The Commission is required to transmit to the court all evidence considered at the public hearing.
- The court is directed to hear the appeal upon the record as certified by the Commission. (KRS 6.691)
Effect of Felony Conviction on State Retirement Benefits
Does a felony conviction affect a legislator's state retirement benefits?
Yes. A legislator or former legislator convicted in any state or federal court of a felony relating to his/her legislative duties is required to forfeit benefits earned after September 16, 1993, in the state administered retirement plan to which contributions were made as a result of his/her legislative service, except for the return of his/her accumulated contributions with interest. (KRS 6.696)
Pending any appeal of the conviction, the payment of benefits ordered to be forfeited are required to be stayed. (KRS 6.696)