PART 1                 GENERAL PROVISIONS                    ISSUING AGENCY:  State ethics commission (the commission), 800 Bradbury Dr. SE, Ste. 217, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    SCOPE:  The rules of Chapter 8 provide for and govern the organization and administration of the state ethics commission.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  Paragraph 2 of Subsection A of Section 10-16G-5, State Ethics Commission Act, Section 10-16G-1 NMSA 1978.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    DURATION:  Permanent.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    EFFECTIVE DATE:  January 1, 2020, unless a later date is cited at the end of a section, in which case the later date is the effective date.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    OBJECTIVE:  The rules of Chapter 8 are promulgated to ensure that the state ethics commission is administered so that it works effectively, efficiently and fairly to achieve its constitutional and statutory mission. That mission is to ensure compliance with all applicable public ethics laws by all public officials, employees, candidates, contractors, lobbyists and others subject to the commission’s jurisdiction throughout their employment or dealings with New Mexico state government; and to ensure that the public ethics laws are clear, comprehensive and effective. The rules adopted in Chapter 8 shall be interpreted and applied to achieve the purposes and objectives for which the commission has been established.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    DEFINITIONS:

                A.            “Advisory opinions” are opinions written by the commission responding to questions presented by persons authorized under Paragraph 1 of Subsection A of Section 10-16G-8 NMSA 1978 about how ethics laws apply to specific fact situations.

                B.            “Interagency agreement” means an agreement between the commission and another state or federal agency, including memoranda of understanding, joint powers agreements, and services agreements.

                C.            “Joint powers agreement” as used in this part, has the same meaning as it does in the Joint Powers Agreements Act, Section 1-11-1 NMSA 1978.

                D.            Other words and phrases used in this part have the same meaning as found in NMAC.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE DIRECTOR: Without limiting the duties and powers conferred by statute, the director shall have the power to:

                A.            review complaints filed with the commission for jurisdiction;

                B.            refer complaints over which the commission has jurisdiction to the general counsel for investigation and possible filing of a complaint;

                C.            refer complaints, or parts thereof, to other state or federal agencies with jurisdiction over such complaints, pursuant to the terms of any joint powers agreements or other interagency agreements with any such agency;

                D.            enter into contracts on behalf of the commission, including, with the commission’s approval, joint powers agreements;

                E.            with the approval of the commission and at the direction of the commission’s chair, petition courts for the issuance and enforcement of subpoenas in relation to:

                                (1)           the general counsel’s investigations to determine probable cause in connection with a complaint filed with the commission;

                                (2)           the adjudication of complaints filed with the commission; and

                                (3)           an investigation related to the commission’s determination whether to file a civil court action to enforce any available civil remedy corresponding to any statute or constitutional amendment over which the commission has jurisdiction;

                F.            with the approval of the commission, file a civil court action to enforce any available civil remedy corresponding to any statute or constitutional amendment over which the commission has jurisdiction;

                G.            select and hire staff, including a general counsel;

                H.            select and contract with hearing officers and other contractors;

                I.             recommend to the commission adoption of draft rules, forms or legislative changes;

                J.             prepare annual budgets and appropriation requests for commission approval;

                K.            authorize the general counsel to administer oaths and take depositions;

                L.            during a period of vacancy or extended absence in the office of the general counsel, assign any duties assigned to the general counsel by statute or rule to a qualified attorney who is either on the commission’s staff or on contract with the commission;

                M.           draft advisory opinions for the commission’s approval;

                N.            notify parties and the public of commission actions, including dismissals or referrals of complaints;

                O.            provide for the confidentiality of all records designated as confidential by law;

                P.            with commission approval, delay notification of a complaint to protect the integrity of a criminal investigation;

                Q.            perform such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the commission;

                R.            issue standing orders to the extent authorized by the commission; and

                S.             delegate the responsibilities as set forth in this section to appropriate commission staff members.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                    REFERENCE TO OTHER DOCUMENTS:  When a rule issued by the commission refers to another rule, regulation or statute, or other document, the reference, unless stated specifically to the contrary, is continuous and intended to refer to all amendments of the rule, regulation, statute or document.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                 INTERPRETATION OF TERMS: Unless the context otherwise requires:

                A.            Singular/plural.  Words used in the singular include the plural; words used in the plural include the singular.

                B.            Gender.  Words used in the neuter gender include the masculine and feminine.  The personal pronoun in either gender may be used in these rules to refer to any person, firm or corporation.

                C.            Permissive/mandatory. May is permissive; shall and must are mandatory.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                 USE OF PRESCRIBED FORMS:  The director may prescribe forms to carry out specified requirements of these rules or the state ethics commission act.  Prescribed forms, or their substantial equivalent, must be used when available, unless these rules state otherwise or the director waives this requirement in writing. The director shall accept filings made on legible copies of prescribed forms.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                 ADDRESS FOR FILING DOCUMENTS:

                A.            By mail: Director, State Ethics Commission, 800 Bradbury Dr. SE, Ste. 217, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

                B.            In person: State Ethics Commission, 800 Bradbury Dr. SE, Ste. 217, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

                C.            By email: ethics.commission@state.nm.us.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                 COMPUTATION OF TIME:  In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, the day from which the period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last calendar day of the time period shall be included in the computation, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or a day on which the state observes a legal holiday or emergency closure.  In case of any such closure, the period of time runs to the close of business on the next regular workday.  If the period is less than 11 days, a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday or emergency closure day is excluded from the computation.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]                 SEVERABILITY:  If any provision of Chapter 8 of these rules, or the application or enforcement thereof, is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of Chapter 8 of these rules which can be given effect without the invalidated provisions or applications, and to this end the several provisions of Chapter 8 of these rules are hereby declared severable.

[ NMAC-N, 1/1/2020]


History of 1.8.1 NMAC:  [RESERVED]