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CSSB 186(STA): "An Act relating to the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act; establishing the crime of disclosing confidential ethics information; and providing for an effective date."

00                       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 186(STA)                                                                   
01 "An Act relating to the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act; establishing the crime of                                   
02 disclosing confidential ethics information; and providing for an effective date."                                       
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  AS 11.56 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                 
05            Sec. 11.56.823.  Disclosing confidential ethics information.  (a)  A person                                
06       commits the crime of disclosing confidential ethics information if the person                                     
07       knowingly violates a confidentiality requirement of AS 39.52.340(a).                                              
08            (b)  Disclosing confidential ethics information is a class A misdemeanor.                                    
09    * Sec. 2.  AS 39.52.110(b) is amended to read:                                                                     
10            (b)  Unethical conduct is prohibited, but there is no [SUBSTANTIAL]                                          
11       impropriety if, as to a specific matter, a public officer's                                                       
12                 (1)  personal or financial interest in the matter is [INSIGNIFICANT,                                    
13       OR] of a type that is possessed generally by the public or a large class of persons to                            
14       which the public officer belongs; [OR]                                                                            
01                 (2)  action or influence would have insignificant or conjectural effect                                 
02       on the matter;                                                                                                
03                 (3)  financial interest in a matter is held in a blind trust or the                                 
04       public officer does not have management control over the financial interest; or                               
05                 (4)  personal or financial interest in a matter is in regard to a                                   
06       business and the public officer                                                                               
07                      (A)  does not own a controlling interest in the business;                                      
08                      (B)  does not own more than one percent of the stock in the                                    
09            business and the stock owned has a value of less than $10,000;                                           
10                      (C)  owns an equity interest in the business worth less than                                   
11            $10,000;                                                                                                 
12                      (D)  is not a member of the board of directors or another                                      
13            governing body of the business;                                                                          
14                      (E)  is not an elected officer of the business;                                                
15                      (F)  does not provide personal or professional services to the                                 
16            business;                                                                                                
17                      (G)  does not have a contract with the business; and                                           
18                      (H)  is not an employee of the business.                                                       
19    * Sec. 3.  AS 39.52.130(f) is amended to read:                                                                     
20            (f)  A public officer who knows or reasonably ought to know that an                                      
21       immediate [A] family member or a business associate has received a gift because of                        
22       the family member's or business associate's connection with the public office held by                         
23       the public officer shall report the receipt of the gift by the family member or business                      
24       associate to the public officer's designated supervisor if the gift would have to be                          
25       reported under this section if it had been received by the public officer or if receipt of                        
26       the gift by a public officer would be prohibited under this section.                                              
27    * Sec. 4.  AS 39.52.140 is amended to read:                                                                        
28            Sec. 39.52.140.  Improper use or disclosure of information.  (a)  A current                                
29       or former public officer may not disclose or use information gained in the course of, or                          
30       by reason of, the officer's official duties or position that could in any way result in the                   
31       receipt of any benefit for the officer, [OR] an immediate family member, or a                             
01       business associate if the information has not also been disseminated to the public.                           
02            (b)  A current or former public officer may not disclose or use, without                                     
03       appropriate authorization, information acquired in the course of official duties or by                        
04       reason of the officer's position that is confidential by law.                                                 
05    * Sec. 5.  AS 39.52.150(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
06            (a)  A public officer, [OR] an immediate family member, or a business                                    
07       associate may not attempt to acquire, receive, apply for, be a party to, or have a                            
08       personal or financial interest in a state grant, contract, lease, or loan if the public                           
09       officer may take or withhold official action that affects the award, execution, or                                
10       administration of the state grant, contract, lease, or loan.                                                      
11    * Sec. 6.  AS 39.52.150(c) is amended to read:                                                                     
12            (c)  The prohibition in (a) of this section does not apply to a state loan if                                
13                 (1)  the public officer does not take or withhold official action that                                  
14       affects the award, execution, or administration of the loan held by the officer, [OR] an                          
15       immediate family member, or a business associate;                                                             
16                 (2)  the loan is generally available to members of the public; and                                      
17                 (3)  the loan is subject to fixed eligibility standards.                                                
18    * Sec. 7.  AS 39.52.150(d) is amended to read:                                                                     
19            (d)  A public officer shall report in writing to the designated supervisor a                                 
20       personal or financial interest held by the officer, [OR] an immediate family member,                              
21       or a business associate [,] in a state grant, contract, lease, or loan that is awarded,                       
22       executed, or administered by the agency the officer serves.                                                       
23    * Sec. 8.  AS 39.52.210(b) is amended to read:                                                                     
24            (b)  A public employee's designated supervisor shall make a written                                          
25       determination whether an employee's involvement violates AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190                                 
26       and shall provide a copy of the written determination to the public employee and to the                           
27       attorney general.  If the supervisor determines that a violation could exist or will                              
28       occur, the supervisor shall [,]                                                                                   
29                 (1)  reassign duties to cure the employee's potential violation, if                                     
30       feasible; or                                                                                                      
31                 (2)  direct                                                                                             
01                      (A)  the divestiture or removal by the employee of the                                         
02            [PERSONAL OR] financial interest that gives [INTERESTS THAT GIVE]                                        
03            rise to the potential violation; or                                                                      
04                      (B)  the placement by the employee of the financial interest                                   
05            that gives rise to the potential violation into a blind trust or other                                   
06            investment where the employee does not have management control over                                      
07            the financial interest.                                                                                  
08    * Sec. 9.  AS 39.52.230 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
09            (b)  If an allegation of a violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190 by the                                      
10       governor, lieutenant governor, or attorney general comes to the attention of the                                  
11       designated supervisor for the governor, lieutenant governor, or attorney general, other                           
12       than by the declaration of a potential violation by the governor, lieutenant governor, or                         
13       attorney general under AS 39.52.210(a)(2) or by the filing of an ethics complaint                                 
14       under AS 39.52.310(b), then,                                                                                      
15                 (1)  in the case of an allegation against the governor or the lieutenant                                
16       governor, the attorney general shall refer the allegation to the personnel board, which                           
17       shall appoint an independent counsel to investigate the allegation; the independent                               
18       counsel shall have power to issue and enforce subpoenas under AS 39.52.380 and                                    
19       39.52.390; the independent counsel shall prepare a written report of the investigation;                           
20       the written report must include findings of fact and a conclusion as to whether, in the                           
21       opinion of the independent counsel, the facts constitute conduct in violation of                                  
22       AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190; the report of the independent counsel shall be submitted to                             
23       the attorney general; the attorney general shall review the report and make an                                    
24       independent determination as to whether the independent counsel's findings of fact, if                            
25       true, would constitute conduct in violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190; if the attorney                          
26       general concludes that the facts as found by the independent counsel would constitute                             
27       a violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190, then the attorney general shall treat the                                
28       independent counsel's report as a complaint and shall refer the report to the personnel                           
29       board under AS 39.52.310(c); if the attorney general concludes that the facts as found                            
30       by the independent counsel would not constitute a violation of AS 39.52.110 -                                     
31       39.52.190, the investigation shall be closed and no further enforcement action shall be                           
01       taken; nothing in this paragraph precludes the filing of a complaint concerning the                               
02       same allegation under AS 39.52.310(b);                                                                            
03                 (2)  in the case of an allegation against the attorney general, the                                     
04       governor shall refer the allegation to the personnel board, which shall appoint an                                
05       independent counsel to investigate the allegation; the independent counsel shall have                             
06       power to issue and enforce subpoenas under AS 39.52.380 and 39.52.390; the                                        
07       independent counsel shall prepare a written report of the investigation; the written                              
08       report must include findings of fact and a conclusion as to whether, in the opinion of                            
09       the independent counsel, the facts constitute conduct in violation of AS 39.52.110 -                              
10       39.52.190; the report of the independent counsel shall be submitted to the governor;                              
11       the governor shall review the report and make an independent determination as to                                  
12       whether the independent counsel's findings of fact, if true, would constitute conduct in                          
13       violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190; if the governor desires legal advice in making                             
14       this determination, the personnel board, at the governor's request, shall appoint an                              
15       additional independent counsel to advise the governor on legal issues; if the governor                            
16       concludes that the facts as found by the independent counsel would constitute a                                   
17       violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190, then the governor shall refer the report to the                            
18       personnel board for appropriate action in accordance with the procedures set out in                               
19       AS 39.52.310(c); if the governor concludes that the facts as found by the independent                             
20       counsel would not constitute a violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190, the                                         
21       investigation shall be closed and no further enforcement action shall be taken; nothing                           
22       in this paragraph precludes the filing of a complaint concerning the same allegation                              
23       under AS 39.52.310(b).                                                                                            
24    * Sec. 10.  AS 39.52.240(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
25            (a)  Upon the written request of a designated supervisor or a board or                                       
26       commission, the attorney general shall issue opinions interpreting this chapter.  The                             
27       requester must supply any additional information requested by the attorney general in                             
28       order to issue the opinion. Within 60 days after receiving a complete request, the                                
29       attorney general shall issue an advisory opinion on the question.  This section does                          
30       not apply to allegations investigated under AS 39.52.230(b).                                                  
31    * Sec. 11.  AS 39.52.310(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
01            (a)  The attorney general may initiate a complaint, or elect to treat as a                                   
02       complaint, any matter disclosed under AS 39.52.210, 39.52.220, 39.52.230(b),                                  
03       39.52.250, or 39.52.260. The attorney general may not, during a campaign period,                                  
04       initiate a complaint concerning the conduct of the governor or lieutenant governor                                
05       who is a candidate for election to state office.                                                                  
06    * Sec. 12.  AS 39.52.335(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
07            (c)  If a complaint is dismissed under AS 39.52.320 or resolved under                                        
08       AS 39.52.330, the attorney general shall promptly prepare a summary of the matter                                 
09       and provide a copy of the summary to the personnel board, the subject of the                                  
10       complaint, and the complainant. The summary is confidential unless the                                        
11                 [(1)]  dismissal or resolution agreed to under AS 39.52.320 or                                          
12       39.52.330 is public [; OR                                                                                         
13                 (2)  SUPERIOR COURT MAKES THE MATTER PUBLIC UNDER                                                       
14       (h) OF THIS SECTION].                                                                                             
15    * Sec. 13.  AS 39.52.335(f) is amended to read:                                                                    
16            (f)  After review of the summary, the personnel board may issue a report on the                              
17       disposition of the complaint to the attorney general, the subject of the complaint,                           
18       and the complainant.  The report is confidential [. IF THE MATTER IS                                          
19       CONFIDENTIAL AND THE BOARD DETERMINES THAT PUBLICATION OF                                                         
20       THE NAME OF THE SUBJECT IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, THE REPORT                                                     
21       MAY INCLUDE A RECOMMENDATION THAT THE MATTER BE MADE                                                              
22       PUBLIC].                                                                                                          
23    * Sec. 14.  AS 39.52.340(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
24            (a)  Except as provided in AS 39.52.335, before the initiation of formal                                     
25       proceedings under AS 39.52.350, the complaint and all other documents and                                         
26       information regarding an investigation conducted under this chapter or obtained by the                            
27       attorney general or independent counsel during the investigation are confidential and                         
28       not subject to inspection by the public.  In the case of a complaint concerning the                               
29       governor, lieutenant governor, or attorney general, all meetings of the personnel board                           
30       concerning the complaint and investigation before the determination of probable cause                             
31       are closed to the public.  If, in the course of an investigation or probable cause                                
01       determination, the attorney general finds evidence of probable criminal activity, the                             
02       attorney general shall transmit a statement and factual findings limited to that activity                         
03       to the appropriate law enforcement agency.  If the attorney general finds evidence of a                           
04       probable violation of AS 15.13, the attorney general shall transmit a statement to that                           
05       effect and factual findings limited to the probable violation to the Alaska Public                                
06       Offices Commission.  The attorney general, complainant, subject of the complaint,                             
07       and all persons contacted during the course of an investigation shall maintain                                    
08       confidentiality regarding the existence of the investigation or proceeding.  A person                         
09       may not disclose to any other person the filing of or intention to file a complaint                           
10       under AS 39.52.310 except to a person assisting in the filing of the complaint.  A                            
11       person may not disclose information regarding the intention of another to file a                              
12       complaint under AS 39.52.310.  This subsection does not prevent a person from                                 
13       obtaining directly from a state agency a public record of that agency that has also                           
14       been made available in connection with an investigation or a formal proceeding                                
15       under AS 39.52.310 - 39.52.390.                                                                               
16    * Sec. 15.  AS 39.52.380(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
17            (a)  As provided in AS 39.52.230(b), 39.52.310(g) [AS 39.52.310(g)],                                     
18       39.52.360(b), and 39.52.370(b), the attorney general, independent counsel retained                                
19       under AS 39.52.230(b) or 39.52.310(c) [AS 39.52.310(c)], a hearing officer, the                               
20       subject of an accusation, and the personnel board may summon witnesses and require                                
21       the production of records, books, and papers by the issuance of subpoenas.                                        
22    * Sec. 16.  AS 39.52.410(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
23            (a)  If the personnel board determines that a public employee has violated this                              
24       chapter, it                                                                                                       
25                 (1)  shall order the employee to stop engaging in any official action                                   
26       related to the violation;                                                                                         
27                 (2)  may order divestiture, establishment of a blind trust for a period of                          
28       time or under conditions determined appropriate, restitution, or forfeiture; and                              
29                 (3)  may recommend that the employee's agency take disciplinary                                         
30       action, including dismissal.                                                                                      
31    * Sec. 17.  AS 39.52.960(9) is amended to read:                                                                    
01                 (9)  "financial interest" means                                                                         
02                      (A)  an interest held by a public officer, or an immediate family                              
03            member, which includes an involvement or ownership of an interest in a                                       
04            business, including a property ownership, or a professional or private                                       
05            relationship, that is a source of income, or from which, or as a result of which,                            
06            a person has received or expects to receive a financial benefit;                                             
07                      (B)  holding a position in a business, such as an officer, director,                               
08            trustee, partner, employee, or the like, or holding a position of management; or                         
09                      (C)  an interest held by a public officer with a business                                      
10            associate;                                                                                               
11    * Sec. 18.  AS 39.52.960(11) is amended to read:                                                                   
12                 (11)  "immediate family member" means                                                                   
13                      (A)  the spouse of the person;                                                                     
14                      (B)  another person living in the same household                                               
15            [COHABITING] with the person in a sexual [CONJUGAL] relationship that is                                 
16            not a legal marriage;                                                                                        
17                      (C)  a child, including a stepchild and an adoptive child, of the                                  
18            person;                                                                                                      
19                      (D)  a parent or [,] sibling [, GRANDPARENT, AUNT, OR                                          
20            UNCLE] of the person; [AND]                                                                                  
21                      (E)  a child, parent, or sibling of the person's spouse; and                           
22                      (F)  a child, parent, or sibling of another person living in the                               
23            same household with the person in a sexual relationship that is not a legal                              
24            marriage;                                                                                                
25    * Sec. 19.  AS 39.52.960 is amended by adding  new paragraphs to read:                                             
26                 (23)  "business associate" means any person with whom a public officer                                  
27       jointly shares the management, control, or majority ownership of a business for the                               
28       conduct of trade, commerce, the practice of a profession, or any other occupation                                 
29       engaged in for the purpose of providing income or potential income to the public                                  
30       officer, regardless of how the business is organized;                                                             
31                 (24)  "household" means a social unit of those persons living together                                  
01       in the same dwelling.                                                                                             
02    * Sec. 20.  AS 39.52.335(h) is repealed.                                                                           
03    * Sec. 21.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2006.