Investigative Procedures1             APPROVED July 22. 1998

Commencement of Proceedings
Charges against the professional standards of any member (the "Respondent") may be brought by any member (the "Complainant") only by presenting such charges to the President, unless the Respondent is the President, in which case such charges shall be presented to the Immediate Past President, who shall thereupon have the same duties as the President under these Procedures.

  • Charges must be in writing affirmed as true upon information and belief of the Complainant.

  • Charges must set forth particular facts tending to show grounds upon which the Respondent could be sanctioned pursuant to Bylaws Article III, Section 6. The President may, but need not, contact the Complainant orally or in writing for the purpose of clarifying the charges, shall maintain a written record of any such contact and shall afford the Complainant a reasonable opportunity to present revised charges affirmed as true upon information and belief of the Complainant.

  • Except as specifically set forth in these Procedures the content and substance of the charges, the fact that charges have been presented and the identity of the Complainant shall at all times be maintained in confidence. Breach of such confidentiality shall be a ground for sanctioning the person or persons directly responsible for such breach.

  • Except with the consent of the Complainant to a longer period, the charges together with the written record of any contact with the Complainant shall be forwarded by the President to the Chair of the Professional Standards Committee (the "Chair") within thirty days after receipt of the original charges. If the Respondent is the Chair, the charges and any record shall be forwarded to the Vice-Chair of the Professional Standards Committee, who shall thereupon have the same duties as the Chair under these Procedures.

Prima Facie Determination
The Professional Standards Committee shall determine whether, taking the charges as true, there would be one or more grounds on which to sanction the Respondent. Such determination shall be made as follows:

  • The Chair shall immediately distribute the charges and the record of the President's contact with the Complainant, if any, to each of the members of the Professional Standards Committee. Such distribution shall be by mail or similar private delivery service, with all documents enclosed in a sealed, opaque envelope or container addressed to each member of the Professional Standards Committee individually and prominently marked "Confidential".

  • After consultation with legal counsel, the Chair may, but need not, contact the Respondent in writing for the purpose of responding to the charges, shall maintain a full record of any such contact and shall provide such record to each member of the Professional Standards Committee.

  • Within sixty days after receipt by the Chair of the Professional Standards Committee of the charges and any record, the Professional Standards Committee shall determine by majority vote whether or not it appears that the charges alone, taken as true, set forth one or more grounds on which to sanction the Respondent.

    • If it appears that there is not one or more grounds on which to sanction the Respondent, the Chair shall so inform the President, the Complainant and the Respondent in writing and the matter shall be deemed concluded.

    • If it appears that there is one or more grounds on which to sanction the Respondent, the Chair shall immediately appoint a member of the Professional Standards Committee to act as the Reporter and inform the President of the Reporter's identity.

  • If it appears to a majority of the Professional Standards Committee from any reports of contact with the Complainant that one or more grounds may exist, other than as appears from the charges alone, on which to sanction the Respondent, a majority of the Professional Standards Committee may, but need not, determine to proceed on their own initiative, in which event they shall present written charges to the President affirmed by each of them as true upon information and belief and the Chair shall immediately appoint the Reporter and inform the President of the Reporter's identity.

Investigation

  • The Reporter shall investigate the charges impartially. The Reporter shall seek objectively to ascertain whether there exist one or more valid grounds on which to sanction the Respondent and whether there exist any valid excusing or mitigating facts or circumstances.

  • The Reporter shall consult with legal counsel and may, but need not, appoint one or more members of the Professional Standards Committee to assist in the investigation.

  • The Reporter may employ any lawful means of investigation he or she deems necessary or appropriate, including but not limited to retaining and/or consulting with independent investigators and/or experts, obtaining and examining documents and initiating written or oral contacts with (including but not limited to obtaining sworn statements from) the Complainant and/or the Respondent and/or any other person who may possess information pertinent to the investigation.

  • Within ninety days after the appointment of the Reporter, the Professional Standards Committee shall determine, in any manner permissible under the Bylaws that the Chair may duly prescribe, whether the results of the investigation as presented by the Reporter in writing establish probable cause to believe that there exist one or more grounds upon which the Respondent ought to be sanctioned pursuant to Bylaws Article III, Section 6, giving due regard to any excusing or mitigating facts or circumstances.

  • If it appears to a simple majority of the Professional Standards Committee that such probable cause is not established, the Chair shall so inform the President, the Complainant and the Respondent in writing and the matter shall be deemed concluded.

  • If it appears to a majority of the Professional Standards Committee that such probable cause is established, the Chair shall immediately send a true, correct and complete copy of the charges and the Reporter's written results of the investigation to the Respondent, together with a copy of these Procedures, at his or her last recorded address by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or similar private delivery service, with proof of receipt, enclosed in a sealed, opaque envelope or container addressed to the Respondent individually and prominently marked "Confidential" together with notice of the date not less than thirty days hence, time and place of the Professional Standards Committee meeting at which the vote shall be taken to recommend sanctions to the Board of Governors.

Determination
At a meeting of the Professional Standards Committee at which legal counsel and not less than two-thirds of the entire Professional Standards Committee is present in person, the Respondent shall have the reasonable opportunity, at the Respondent's sole expense, to present testimony of witnesses, other evidence and arguments, in each instance relevant and material to the charges and any proposed sanctions, and the Professional Standards Committee shall thereupon determine whether to recommend sanctions to the Board of Governors.

  • The Respondent may appear in person, with or without legal counsel or other representation, or may appear solely through his or her legal counsel or other representative.

  • The Professional Standards Committee, in its sole discretion, may require the testimony of any witness to be given under oath and may require authentication to its satisfaction of any document submitted in evidence.

  • The Professional Standards Committee shall make its determination in accordance with any applicable governing instruments of the Society impartially on the basis of all of the information before it, having due regard for the best interests of the Society and its membership as a whole as well as for the fact and appearance of fairness and equity, but shall not be bound by strict rules of law or evidence.

  • At the meeting or at any adjournment thereof not exceeding fifteen days, the Professional Standards Committee shall vote outside the presence of the Respondent and his or her legal counsel or other representative, if any, whether and, if so, what sanctions to recommend to the Board of Governors.

  • The determination whether or not to recommend that the Respondent be sanctioned shall be made by the affirmative vote of not less than four-fifths of the members of the Professional Standards Committee present in person at the meeting.

    • If the motion to recommend sanctions fails, the Chair shall so inform the President, the Complainant, the Respondent and any legal counsel or other representative of the Respondent who has appeared in the proceeding and the matter shall be deemed concluded without sanction.If the motion to recommend sanctions passes, the Chair shall immediately forward to the President, the Complainant, the Respondent and any legal counsel or other representative of the Respondent who has appeared in the proceeding the recommendation of the Professional Standards Committee comprising a copy of

      1. the motion,

      2. the charges,

      3. the Reporter's written results of the investigation together with a written report of the evidence and arguments, if any, presented by the Respondent, and

      4. the specifications, if any, of the sanctions to be imposed.

  • The specifications of the particular sanctions to be imposed, the duration of the sanctions and any conditions to be complied with by the Respondent for the duration of the sanctions and/or as a condition precedent to termination of sanctions may be made by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Professional Standards Committee present in person at the meeting.

  • The President shall convey the recommendation of the Professional Standards Committee to the Board of Governors.

Conflict of Interest
If, at any time, it appears that a member of the Professional Standards Committee may have reason to be interested in the outcome of any proceeding hereunder, or may have an actual or potential conflict of interest, such person shall promptly inform the Professional Standards Committee thereof, and such person may recuse himself or herself from participation in such proceeding or the Professional Standards Committee may in its sole discretion direct that such person shall not participate in such proceeding. In either event, the phrases "Professional Standards Committee" and "entire Professional Standards Committee" as used herein shall be deemed to mean any and/or all of the members of the Professional Standards Committee, as the context may require, other than any member not participating in the proceeding because of this provision.

 

1) Appropriate Bylaws changes will be made to implement the Investigative Procedures that are adopted.