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Georgia State Code
Title      21
Chapter       5  
Section Navigation        1 ... 10         11 ... 34.1  
    35 ... 50         51 ... 73      
Section1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>>  
Title 21, Chapter 5, Section 6 (21-5-6)

(a) The commission is vested with the following powers:

(1) To meet at such times and places as it may deem necessary;

(2) To contract with other agencies, public or private, or persons as it deems necessary for the rendering and affording of such services, facilities, studies, and reports to the commission as will best assist it to carry out its duties and responsibilities;

(3) To cooperate with and secure the cooperation of every department, agency, or instrumentality in the state government or its political subdivisions in the furtherance of the purposes of this chapter;

(4) To employ an executive secretary and such additional staff as the commission deems necessary to carry out the powers delegated to the commission by this chapter;

(5) To issue subpoenas to compel any person to appear, give sworn testimony, or produce documentary or other evidence;

(6) To institute and prosecute actions in the superior courts, in its own name, seeking to enjoin or restrain any violation or threatened violation of this chapter;

(7) To adopt in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter; and

(8) To do any and all things necessary or convenient to enable it to perform wholly and adequately its duties and to exercise the power granted to it.

(b) The commission shall have the following duties:

(1) To prescribe forms to be used in complying with this chapter;

(2) To prepare and publish a manual setting forth recommended uniform methods of accounting and reporting for use by persons required by this chapter to file statements and reports;

(3) To accept and file any information voluntarily supplied that exceeds the requirements of this chapter;

(4) To develop a filing, coding, and cross-indexing system consonant with the purposes of this chapter;

(5) To adopt a retention standard for records of the commission in accordance with Article 5 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, the "Georgia Records Act";

(6) To prepare and publish such other reports and technical studies as in its judgment will tend to promote the purposes of this chapter;

(7) To provide for public dissemination of such summaries and reports; (8) To determine whether the required statements and reports have been filed and, if so, whether they conform to the requirements of this chapter;

(9) To make investigations, subject to the limitations contained in Code Section 21-5-7, with respect to the statements and reports filed under this chapter and with respect to alleged failure to file any statements or reports required under this chapter and upon receipt of the written complaint of any person, verified under oath to the best information, knowledge, and belief by the person making such complaint with respect to an alleged violation of any provision of this chapter, provided that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit or encumber the right of the commission to initiate on probable cause an investigation on its own cognizance as it deems necessary to fulfill its obligations under this chapter;

(10)(A) To conduct a preliminary investigation, subject to the limitations contained in Code Section 21-5-7, of the merits of a written complaint by any person who believes that a violation of this chapter has occurred, verified under oath to the best information, knowledge, and belief by the person making such complaint. If there are found no reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, the complaint shall be dismissed, subject to being reopened upon discovery of additional evidence or relevant material. If the commission determines that there are such reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, it shall give notice by summoning the persons believed to have committed the violation to a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in all respects in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." The commission may file a complaint charging violations of this chapter, and any person aggrieved by the final decision of the commission is entitled to judicial review in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50; provided, however, that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit or encumber the right of the commission to initiate on probable cause an investigation on its own cognizance as it deems necessary to fulfill its obligations under this chapter.

(B) In any such preliminary investigation referenced in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, until such time as the commission determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, it shall not be necessary to give the notice by summons nor to conduct a hearing in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act";

(11) To report suspected violations of law to the appropriate law enforcement authority;

(12) To investigate upon a written complaint any illegal use of state employees in a political campaign by any candidate;

(13) To issue, upon request, and publish advisory opinions on the requirements of this chapter, based on a real or hypothetical set of circumstances;

(14) To issue orders, after the completion of appropriate proceedings, directing compliance with this chapter or prohibiting the actual or threatened commission of any conduct constituting a violation, which order may include a provision requiring the violator:

(A) To cease and desist from committing further violations;

(B) To make public complete statements, in corrected form, containing the information required by this chapter;

(C)(i) To pay a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation contained in any report required by this chapter or for each failure to comply with any other provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated under this chapter.

(ii) A civil penalty shall not be assessed against any person except after notice and hearing as provided by Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." The amount of any civil penalty finally assessed shall be recoverable by a civil action brought in the name of the commission. All moneys recovered pursuant to this Code section shall be deposited in the state treasury.

(iii) The Attorney General of this state shall, upon complaint by the commission, or may, upon the Attorney General's own initiative if after examination of the complaint and evidence the Attorney General believes a violation has occurred, bring an action in the superior court in the name of the commission for a temporary restraining order or other injunctive relief or for civil penalties assessed against any person violating any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation duly issued by the commission.

(iv) Any action brought by the Attorney General to enforce civil penalties assessed against any person for violating the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation duly issued by the commission or any order issued by the commission ordering compliance or to cease and desist from further violations shall be brought in the superior court of the county of the residence of the party against whom relief is sought. Service of process shall lie in any jurisdiction within the state. In such actions, the superior court inquiry will be limited to whether notice was given by the commission to the violator in compliance with the Constitution and the rules of procedure of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." Upon satisfaction that notice was given and a hearing was held pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," the superior court shall enforce the orders of the commission and the civil penalties assessed under this chapter and the superior court shall not make independent inquiry as to whether the violations have occurred.

(v) In any action brought by the Attorney General to enforce any of the provisions of this chapter or of any rule or regulation issued by the commission, the judgment, if in favor of the commission, shall provide that the defendant pay to the commission the costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the commission in the prosecution of such action; (15) To make public its conclusion that a violation has occurred and the nature of such violation;

(16) To petition the superior court within the county where the hearing was or is being conducted for the enforcement of any order issued in connection with such hearing; and

(17) To report to the General Assembly and the Governor at the close of each fiscal year concerning the action taken during that time the names, salaries, and duties of all individuals employed and the funds disbursed and to make such further report on the matters within its jurisdiction as may appear desirable.

(c) The Secretary of State, through the Secretary of State's office, shall perform the ministerial functions which the commission may require. The office of the Secretary of State shall be designated as the place where members of the public may file papers or correspond with the commission and receive any form or instruction from the commission. The Secretary of State or the Secretary of State's designee shall serve as secretary to the commission.

Saturday May 23 17:48 EDT


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