Filing an Ethics Complaint

Details such as appointment and approval of Ethics Commissioners, meeting requirements, and so on are well defined in the Ordinance - if a citizen would like to see the ordinance assigned and approved, physical copies may be obtained at City Hall. Outside of a required annual meeting in February, you should be aware that the Commission is only required to meet to consider complaints when they are lodged, so meetings may not take place regularly.

The paragraphs below are provided as guidance if you wish to file a complaint. The information below references sections of the Ordinance.

Ethics Commission Complaint Policy

(Readers are encouraged to consult the Ethics Ordinance)
  • I. The Complaint Policy shall apply to matters involving the City of Tybee Island City Officials.
  • II. The Complaint Policy shall apply to all complaints brought before the Ethics Commission.
  • III. The Complaint must be in writing, signed, and sworn to before a notary. In the event a Complaint is filed by more
  • than one citizen, there must be a single contact person listed and the Complaint must list their contact information -
  • name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. The Complaint must fully describe the circumstances,
  • and state the question to be answered.
  • IV. Upon dismissal, the City Official and Complainant will be notified in writing.

Ethics Complaint Procedure

I. Complainant delivers the complaint to the Clerk of Council. It should indicate if the accused is a city employee.
The Clerk of Council is to:
  • (1) refer all city employee complaints directly to the City Manager. OR
  • (2) review the complaint for a signature notarization., and contact information - printed name, mailing address, phone number, email address. (In the event a complaint is filed by more than one citizen, there must be a single contact person listed.) If the complaint is not signed, notarized , or contact information is not included then the complaint will be returned to the complainant for compliance.
  • (3) date, stamp and initial the complaint.
  • (4) give a receipt letter (check list) to the complainant.
  • (5) deliver the complaint to the presiding Commission officer within 5 business days.
II. Complaint Reviewed
  • A. City Manager receives employee complaints
  • (1) Reviews the complaint in accordance with the employee complaint policy
    • B. Ethics Commission receives all other complaints
  • (1) Deficient claims returned to complainant within 7 business days with letter explaining deficiencies
  • (2) Complainant may re-submit complaint with deficiencies corrected within 7 business days
  • (3) Complainant may withdraw complaint
  • (4) Documented sufficient complaint handled by the Ethics Commission
III. Ethics Commission Review
  • A. Copy of complaint delivered to accused via registered mail within 7 business days of determination that complaint is not technically deficient
  • B. Accused may reply in writing to the complaint within such time as directed by the Ethics Commission, not to exceed 30 days.
    • (1) If the accused agrees that a violation has occurred, no further investigation will take place
      • a) Letter of explanation sent to complainant
    • (2) For an agreed violation the case will be reported to the City Council for disposition.
  • C. Ethics Commission investigatory review to be held within 30 days from date of response by accused.
    • (1) Unsubstantiated claims dismissed
    • (2) Substantiated claims proceed to a hearing
IV. Ethics Commission formal public hearing not to exceed 30 days from conclusion of investigatory review.
  • A. Certified written notice given to each party
  • B. Each party has the opportunity to present their case
V. Commission deliberates and issues a determination.
  • A. Violators are reported to City Council with recommendation for disposition
  • B. Non-violators dismissed
VI. City Council - determination and implementation of any action.