Chapter 46.--LEGISLATURE

      46-260.   Investigations by commission; administration of oaths and subpoena of witnesses, documents and records. (a) The commission may investigate, or cause to be investigated, any matter required to be reported upon by any person under the provisions of the state governmental ethics law, or any matter to which the state governmental ethics law applies, irrespective of whether a complaint has been filed in relation thereto.

      (b) (1)   After a preliminary investigation of any matter reported to the commission pursuant to subsection (a), and upon specific written findings of fact and conclusions of law by the commission that there is a reasonable suspicion that a violation of the state governmental ethics law has occurred, the commission or any officer designated by the commission may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other documents or records which the commission deems relevant or material to the investigation. The commission shall reimburse the reasonable costs of production of documents subject to subpoena. All subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum issued under this section shall be authorized by the affirmative vote of not less than 3/4 of the members of the commission. Any vote authorizing the issuance of a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum shall be taken at a meeting where the commissioners are in physical presence. Subpoenas duces tecum shall be limited to items reasonably relevant to such alleged violations. Upon the request of any person subpoenaed to appear and give testimony or to produce books, papers or documents, the commission shall provide a copy of the written findings of facts and conclusions of laws relating to the alleged violation committed by such person.

      (2)   In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, the district court of Shawnee county, upon application by the commission, or any officer designated by the commission, may issue to that person an order requiring the person to appear before the commission or any officer designated by the commission, there to produce documentary evidence if so ordered or to give evidence touching the matter under investigation or in question. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of court.

      History:   L. 1974, ch. 353, § 46; L. 1991, ch. 150, § 31; L. 1998, ch. 29, § 2; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

      "Compelled Cost Disclosure of Grass Roots Lobbying Expenses: Necessary Government Voyeurism or Chilled Political Speech?" Ron Smith, 6 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y, No. 1, 115 (1996).

Attorney General's Opinions:

      Application of statutes of limitation to functions of the commission; functions governmental in nature. 98-16.