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.