Complainant is notified of receipt.
The complaint is reviewed for jurisdiction, completeness, and evidence of a violation. At any point along this step of the process the case number can be assigned and the complainant will be notified.
Supervising Investigator (SI) or Investigator reviews complaint for completeness and whether TBPELS has jurisdiction by gathering information and interacts with appropriate parties to determine what the violation(s) is (are) and if necessary generates an internal memo with a summary of the complaint and recommended action, be it dismissal or possible sanctions against the individual, firm, or entity and route for proper handling.
The complaint and recommendation is then reviewed independently by the SI, the Staff Attorney (SA), the Director of Compliance & Enforcement (DC&E), the Deputy Executive Director (DED) and the Executive Director (ED) if necessary.
If the ED recommends dismissal, then a letter of notification is sent to the Complainant and 30 days may be offered to allow Complainant to provide any additional information that might allow for re-review. If no additional information is asked for, or provided in the 30 days, then letters of dismissal are sent to both the Complainant and the Respondent. If additional information is provided, the investigator reviews and provides recommendations and again distributes to the SI, SA, DC&E, DED, and ED for re-review.
If the case is recommended for further action, then a letter is sent to the Respondent stating the existence of the complaint, source of the complaint, the potential violation(s), citing of the Law and/or Rules violated, and a request for a rebuttal of the complaint. Typically, three weeks is allowed for a response.
Upon receipt of the rebuttal, the investigator reviews the provided information; determines if the case should be recommended for dismissal or identify violations and propose sanctions.
The SI, SA, and the DC&E review the recommendation and if a sanction is recommended, the Director determines a potential administrative penalty with justification for the DED, and the ED to review. The ED has final authority of dismissal or sanction with recommended administrative penalty.
If recommended to be dismissed, then a letter of notification is sent to the Complainant and Respondent notifying them that the complaint is being dismissed and the case is closed.
If Respondent is asked to Cease and Desist, is sanctioned and/or reprimanded, then a letter of notification is made and a Consent Order is offered for signature.
For more complex, extended case investigations the Complainant will be notified/contacted at least quarterly of current status of the complaint.
If the Respondent signs and returns the Consent Order it is then reviewed and approved/denied by the Board at the next quarterly Board meeting.
If the Respondent refuses to sign the Consent Order, he must request an informal conference or it will be referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for a formal resolution. The Respondent would be scheduled for a meeting before the Informal Conference Committee, which is composed of one Board member, the Executive Director, and the Staff Attorney or Attorney General Representative. The committee can recommend further investigation, dismissal, a sanction in the form of an Agreed Board Order, or that the case be referred to SOAH.
If the Respondent signs and returns the Agreed Board Order it is then reviewed and approved/denied by the Board at the next quarterly Board meeting.
Respondent is notified of Board action and informed of sanction and/or administrative penalty and allowed 30 days to submit any administrative penalty.
Complainant is notified by letter of final resolution of the case.
How to File a Complaint