Under Section 19A-9 of the Ethics Law, the Commission may investigate, on its own initiative, any matter the Commission believes may constitute a violation of the Ethics Law or of any of those related provisions of the Board of Appeals or Procurement laws that the Commission enforces, if the Commission finds in writing that an investigation is necessary to resolve the matter. The Commission may authorize its staff, the County Attorney, special counsel or another person retained by the Commission to conduct the investigation. The Commission must not actively participate in any investigations.

An investigator acts under the authority of the Commission and may require any person to:

  1. respond under oath to written questions within 30 days;
  2. produce verified copies of records within 30 days; and
  3. on 15 days notice, attend a deposition to answer the investigator's questions under oath.

The investigator must disclose to the person from whom information is sought the general nature and purpose of the inquiry. If the person refuses to cooperate with the investigation, the investigator may seek a court order compelling compliance.

All investigations are conducted confidentially. The investigator must give the Commission a confidential written report of the factual findings, sources of information and the identity of each person providing information. The Commission may file, on its own motion, a complaint based on a report received from an investigator, if the complaint is filed within the time limits established by law.