(A)   All complaints alleging any violation of the provisions of this subchapter shall be submitted to the Board of Ethics, or the administrative official designated by the Board of Ethics. All complaints shall be in writing, signed by the complainant, and shall meet any other requirements established by the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics shall acknowledge receipt of a complaint to the complainant within ten working days from the date of receipt. The Board shall forward within ten working days to each officer or employee of the city or city agency who is the subject of the complaint a copy of the complaint and a general statement of the applicable provisions of this subchapter.
   (B)   Within 30 days of the receipt of a proper complaint, the Board of Ethics shall conduct a preliminary inquiry concerning the allegations contained in the complaint. The Board shall afford a person who is the subject of the complaint an opportunity to respond to the allegations in the complaint. The person shall have the right to be represented by counsel, to appear and be heard under oath, and to offer evidence in response to the allegations.
   (C)   All proceedings and records relating to a preliminary inquiry being conducted by the Board of Ethics shall be confidential until a final determination is made by the Board, except:
      (1)   The Board may turn over to the commonwealth's attorney or county attorney evidence which may be used in criminal proceedings; and
      (2)   If the complainant or alleged violator publicly disclose the existence of a preliminary inquiry, the Board may publicly confirm the existence of the inquiry, and, at its discretion, make public any documents which were issued to either party.
   (D)   The Board shall make a determination based on its preliminary inquiry whether the complaint is within its jurisdiction and, if so, whether it alleges a minimal factual basis to constitute a violation of this subchapter. If the Board concludes that the complaint is outside of its jurisdiction, frivolous or without factual basis, the Board shall immediately terminate the inquiry, reduce the conclusion to writing, and transmit a copy of its decision to the complainant and to all officers or employees against whom the complaint was filed.
   (E)   If the Board of Ethics concludes, based upon its preliminary inquiry, that the complaint is within its jurisdiction and contains allegations sufficient to establish a minimal factual basis to constitute a violation, the Board shall notify the officer or employee who is the subject of the complaint and may:
      (1)   Due to mitigating circumstances such as, lack of significant economic advantage or gain by the officer or employee, lack of economic loss to the city and its taxpayers, or lack of significant impact on public confidence in city government issue, in writing, a confidential reprimand to the officer or employee concerning the alleged violation and provide a copy of the confidential reprimand to the executive authority and governing body of the city or city agency; and/or
      (2)   Initiate a hearing to determine whether there has been a violation.
   (F)   Any person who knowingly files with the Board a false complaint alleging a violation of any provision of this subchapter by an officer or employee of the city or any city agency shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(2000 Code, § 2-184)