Rule 13-08 Complaints and Investigations; Board Determinations.

(a) The following procedures shall apply for complaints and investigations regarding potential violations of Charter § 1052(a)(15):

(1) Initiation of proceeding. A proceeding pursuant to Charter § 1052(a)(15)(e) may be commenced when: (1) the Board receives a written complaint sworn to or affirmed, alleging the commission or omission of acts in violation of the Charter or this chapter, or (2) the Board, on its own initiative, undertakes an investigation of a possible violation of the Charter or this chapter.

(2) Service of complaints. A complaint shall be filed by mailing it to, or by personally serving it on, the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

(3) Contents of complaint. A complaint shall specify times, places, and names of witnesses to the acts charged as violations of the Charter or this Chapter to the extent known. A complaint shall be based on personal knowledge, if possible. If a complaint is based on information and belief, the complainant shall state the source of that information and belief. Copies of all documentary evidence available to the complainant shall be attached to the complaint.

(4) Initial complaint processing. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Board will review the complaint for substantial compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3), and if the complaint complies with those requirements, the Board shall within 10 days after receipt mail to each respondent notification that the complaint has been filed, and enclose a copy of the complaint. If a complaint does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (3), or the Board deems it to be facially lacking in merit, the Board shall dismiss the complaint and shall so notify the complainant.

(5) Opportunity to respond to complaint. Within 20 days from mailing by the Board of a copy of the complaint to a respondent, or within such lesser time as may be specified by the Board for complaints received less than 40 days before the election, the respondent may submit an answer sworn to or affirmed, which may set forth reasons why the Board should dismiss the complaint. If, based upon its review of the complaint and any answer filed, the Board determines the complaint to be lacking in merit, the Board shall dismiss the complaint.

(6) Investigation. Following receipt of a complaint, or at any time, if acting on its own initiative, the Board may conduct an investigation into possible violations of the Charter or this Chapter. In its investigation, the Board may use its investigative powers pursuant to Charter § 1052(a)(5). An investigation may include, but is not limited to, field investigations, desk and field audits, the issuance of subpoenas, the taking of sworn testimony, the issuance of document requests and interrogatories, and other methods of information gathering.

(b) The following procedures shall apply to determinations regarding potential violations of Charter § 1052(a)(15):

(1) Determination that complaint lacks merit. Following an investigation, the Board may determine that a complaint is lacking in merit or that violations of the Charter and this chapter have not been substantiated and dismiss the complaint or terminate the investigation.

(2) Notice and opportunity to contest.

(i) If the Board has reason to believe that a violation of Charter § 1052(a)(15) or this chapter has occurred, the Board shall notify the individual or entity in writing of the alleged violation and proposed civil penalty. Such notice shall:

(A) Set forth in detail the legal basis for the Board's reason to believe there is a violation of Charter § 1052(a)(15) or this chapter;

(B) Notify the individual or entity of the opportunity to submit information and documentation for the Board's consideration within a reasonable time period to be specified in such notice;

(C) If sent prior to the election, notify the individual or entity of the opportunity to appear before the Board or its designee at a hearing to contest the alleged violation and proposed civil penalty; and

(D) If sent after the election, notify the individual or entity of the opportunity to appear before the Board or its designee at a hearing, or to appear before a hearing officer, to contest the alleged violation and proposed civil penalty. Adjudications conducted after an election shall meet the requirements set forth in Charter § 1046 unless such procedures are waived by the individual or entity.

(ii) Unless the individual or entity is specifically notified to the contrary by the Board, the opportunity to submit information and documentation described in the notice shall be the only such opportunity, and any information and documentation that is not timely received by the Board may, at the Board's sole discretion, be disregarded.

(iii) Following this opportunity to submit information and documentation, consideration of any information and documentation submitted, and consideration of any appearance before the Board or its designee, the Board may determine the amount of civil penalties for any violations it determines to have occurred, and shall provide notice setting forth in detail the legal basis of the Board's determination. If these amounts, as determined by the Board, are not paid by the payment deadline set forth in the notice, they may be sought through appropriate enforcement action.