If you wish to file a complaint with the Ethics Commission, please download and complete our Complaint Form. To learn more about filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission read the list of frequently asked questions below.
Filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission
1. What is a complaint?
A complaint is a written document submitted to the Ethics Commission containing allegations that a City Official has violated one or more of the City’s governmental ethics laws. The person filing the complaint with the Ethics Commission is called the “complainant.” The person in the complaint who is alleged to have violated the City’s governmental ethics laws is called the “respondent.” All complaints must be notarized prior to submission.
2. How do I file a complaint?
The Commission’s sworn complaint form can be filled out and printed from the Commission’s website, or sent to you via mail/e-mail. The sworn complaint must be mailed or dropped off at the City Clerks Offices; it cannot be submitted electronically. Please e-mail the Commission at [email protected] if you would like a sworn complaint form mailed to you or call the City Clerk (518) 279-7134 or contact the Personnel office if a city employee.
3. May I verbally lodge a complaint at an Ethics Commission meeting?
No. The Commission’s procedures, as set forth in City Code section 43-22(a), only allow for written sworn complaints to be filed though they may be turned in during the public section of general meeting, but there will be no discussion on the matter.
4. May I file an anonymous complaint?
The Commission’s procedures allow Commission staff to process a complaint that does not include the name of the complainant but all claims filed must contain your name and contact information. Under New York States Labor Law §740 and City Code §43-3.1, Employees are afforded whistleblower protection and protection from retaliatory actions. You must check the appropriate box on the complaint form to notify the commission that you are filing as an employee of the City of Troy.
5. If I file a complaint, is my identity kept confidential?
Although certain Commission records pertaining to each complaint are available to the public following a dismissal, the identity of the complainant will be kept confidential if you specify you are an employee or officer of the city or you specify in writing a detailed reason why you must remain anonymous.
6. What happens after I file a complaint?
In accordance with Ethics Commission procedures, the Commission will conduct a preliminary review of the complaint to determine whether the allegations fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission. The preliminary review is generally completed within thirty days of receiving the complaint. If the Commission determines that the allegations are not within the Commission’s jurisdiction, the complaint will be dismissed and letters will be sent to the complainant and respondent explaining the reasons for the dismissal.
If the Commission determines that the allegations are within the Commission’s jurisdiction, the Commission will authorize an inquiry or investigation. Neither the complainant nor the respondent is notified when an inquiry or investigation is authorized. Following the conclusion of the inquiry or investigation, the results of that inquiry or investigation are presented to the Commission, which will then determine whether the matter should be dismissed, referred to another agency, a settlement negotiated, advisory opinion or disciplinary recommendation to respondents immediate reporting authority, or submitted for a probable cause hearing. If the Commission decides to dismiss the matter, both the complainant and respondent will be notified.