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Chapter 407: Duties and Responsibilities

Section 407.01 Inspector General

  1. The Inspector General shall serve as the County’s chief ethics officer, shall receive complaints of ethics violations, and shall conduct investigations in accordance with Section 204.01 of the Code.  In the event the Inspector General has a conflict of interest or other circumstances arise that would preclude him or her from performing any power or duty vested in the Inspector General, including but not limited to investigating alleged violations of this Title, the Inspector General shall recuse himself or herself from the conflicted matter and shall notify the Director of Law of such recusal.  Upon receiving a notice of recusal from the Inspector General, the Director of Law shall appoint an independent person or entity to perform the powers or duties of the Inspector General with regard to the particular matter until either the matter is closed or the conflict of interest is resolved.
  2. All documents submitted or prepared in the course of an investigation under this Title shall be considered part of the Inspector General’s confidential investigatory files, which shall be exempt from disclosure until the matter is concluded and the investigation is closed by the Inspector General and any other investigatory agencies with jurisdiction over the matter.  The Inspector General shall take reasonable measures to protect the anonymity of complainants and witnesses to the extent permitted by law.
  3. All elected officials, employees, contractors, lobbyists, and board members shall cooperate fully and truthfully with any investigation or inquiries initiated by the Inspector General regarding an alleged or potential violation of this Title to the extent that the constitutional rights of those accused are not violated. Elected officials, employees, board members, lobbyists, and contractors shall locate, compile, and produce any information requested by the investigating authority, unless such information is exempt from disclosure under this Code or applicable law.
  4. If the Inspector General determines that an elected official, employee, or board member has violated a provision of this Title or the Charter, the Inspector General may take one or more of the following actions:

    1. The Inspector General may issue a Letter of Notification, which advises the individual that he or she is in non-compliance, and may advise the respondent of any steps to be taken to bring the respondent into compliance and/or avoid future violations.

    2. The Inspector General may issue a Letter of Admonition expressing disapproval of the individual’s violation of a provision of this Title.  The Inspector General shall send a simultaneous copy of all letters of admonition to the Department of Human Resources and to the respondent’s appointing authority.
    3. The Inspector General may issue a Letter of Censure condemning the individual for knowingly violating one or more provisions of this Title.  The Inspector General shall send a simultaneous copy of all letters of censure to the Department of Human Resources and to the respondent’s appointing authority.
    4. The Inspector General may require the individual to complete a County ethics training program.

    5. The Inspector General may make a recommendation to an individual’s appointing authority, including but not limited to, a recommendation for suspension, forfeiture of office, or removal from office.

  5. If the Inspector General determines there are reasonable grounds to believe a contractor or lobbyist has violated a provision of this Title, the Inspector General may take one or more of the following actions:

    1. The Inspector General may issue a Letter of Notification, which advises the contractor or lobbyist that it is in non-compliance, and may advise the respondent of any steps to be taken to bring the respondent into compliance and/or avoid future violations.

    2. The Inspector General may remove a lobbyist from the registry and prohibit them from engaging in lobbying activities for a period of time determined by the Inspector General.

    3. The Inspector General may initiate the process to debar a contractor in accordance with Section 505 of the Code.

    4. The Inspector General may require the contractor or lobbyist to complete a County ethics training program.

  6. The Inspector General may reject the registration application of any contractor currently debarred, suspended, or subject to potential debarment under Chapter 505 of this Code.  In the event a contractor’s registration application is rejected, the Inspector General shall notify the contractor that its registration application has been rejected, shall refund any assessed registration fees, and shall issue a “Notice of Potential Debarment” if required under Chapter 505.

  7. If the Inspector General determines there are reasonable grounds to believe any person has violated any federal, state, or local law, the Inspector General shall refer said violations to the appropriate civil, criminal, or administrative agencies charged with enforcing such law.

  8. The Inspector General shall be responsible for administering ethics training for all contractors and lobbyists who are required to receive ethics training under this Title.  The Inspector General shall receive and keep records of ethics certifications from all such contractors and lobbyists.

  9. The Inspector General shall receive and maintain all financial disclosure statements required to be filed directly with the Inspector General.  The Inspector General shall acquire and maintain copies of any Financial Disclosure statements filed directly with the Ohio Ethics Commission by elected officials.
  10. The Inspector General shall provide any individual under investigation for giving, soliciting, or accepting a gift in violation of Section 403.06, 404.02, or 405.02 of this Code an opportunity to submit evidence to rebut any presumption of influence the Inspector General has found.  The Inspector General shall take any such evidence into consideration prior to taking final action.
  11. The Inspector General shall publish a list of all registered contractors and lobbyists on the County’s website.

  12. The Inspector General shall issue an advisory opinion within fourteen (14) days upon receiving a written request regarding the compatibility of an employee’s prospective secondary employment or the compatibility of a prospective board member appointment.

  13. In consultation with the Department of Law, the Inspector General shall prepare a comprehensive County Ethics Policy Manual, which shall include the requirements of this Title, Ohio Revised Code Chapter 102, Ohio Revised Code Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43, and such other materials deemed appropriate for distribution.  The County Ethics Policy Manual shall be made publicly available online.

  14. The Inspector General shall furnish, electronically or in writing, a copy of the County Ethics Policy Manual to all contractors and lobbyists on or before the date of their first ethics training.

(Ordinance Nos. O2016-0002, Enacted 4/26/2016, Effective 5/27/2016; O2012-0004, Enacted 5/22/2012, Effective 5/25/2012; O2011-0052, Enacted 10/25/2011, Effective 10/25/2011; O2011-0023, Enacted 4/26/2011, Effective 4/26/2011; O2011-0008, Enacted 4/5/2011, Effective 4/8/2011; O2011-0004, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Section 407.02 Personnel Review Commission

  1. The Agency of the Inspector General and Department of Human Resources shall work in cooperation with the Personnel Review Commission to ensure county-wide compliance with this Title. The Personnel Review Commission shall provide an annual report to County Council detailing employee ethics training, receipt of ethics laws, and posting of whistleblower policies.
  2. The Personnel Review Commission shall hear and adjudicate appeals of all claims of retaliation brought under Chapter 406 of this Code.

(Ordinance Nos.  O2016-0002, Enacted 4/26/2016, Effective 5/27/2016; O2012-0004, Enacted 5/22/2012, Effective 5/25/2012; O2011-0008, Enacted 4/5/2011, Effective 4/8/2011; O2011-0004, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011) 

Section 407.03 Department of Human Resources

  1. The Department of Human Resources shall administer ethics training as necessary, and distribute a copy of the County’s ethics policy to all elected officials, employees, and board members who are required to receive ethics training under this Title. The Department of Human Resources shall receive and maintain records of ethics certifications from all such elected officials, employees, and board members.
  2. The Department of Human Resources shall be responsible for investigating claims of discrimination brought against any employee, elected official, or board member.
  3. The Department of Human Resources shall furnish a copy of the County Ethics Policy Manual prepared by the Department of Law to all elected officials, employees, and board members on or before the date of their first ethics training.
  4. The Department of Human Resources shall post the County’s whistleblower policies, in accordance with Chapter 406 of this Code, in a manner consistent with its current disclosure and posting of other human resource materials.
  5. The Department of Human Resources shall enforce ethics compliance and shall do each of the following, as necessary:
    1. Provide copies of Ohio and County laws relating to ethics in accordance with this Code and general law;
    2. Conduct ethics training programs and classes for County employees;
    3. Post the County’s Whistleblower Policy at County offices;
    4. Take other actions necessary to perform its responsibilities for ethics compliance and training except for actions specifically assigned to another unit of County government.

(Ordinance Nos. O2016-0002, Enacted 4/26/2016, Effective 5/27/2016; O2012-0004, Enacted 5/22/2012, Effective 5/25/2012; O2011-0008, Enacted 4/5/2011, Effective 4/8/2011; O2011-0004, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Sections 407.04-407.37 Repealed on 4/26/2016 by Ordinance No. O2016-0002