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Article VII. Ethics Review
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The Yurok Tribe shall establish and fund an Ethics Review Board.

(a) Composition and Terms. The Ethics Review Board shall be comprised of the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, two Council members randomly selected at the time a complaint is filed, two Yurok Tribal elders, a representative from the Office of the Tribal Attorney, and a Yurok Tribal Court judge. Each Ethics Review Board member’s service shall be limited to a specific complaint and only so long as that complaint is active, except that a Council member’s service on the Board shall automatically expire with that person’s service on the Council.

(b) Requirements. Members of the Ethics Review Board shall maintain high moral standards and understand and respect Tribal values. No Ethics Review Board member shall participate in any Board proceedings related to a complaint against that member.

(c) Powers. The Ethics Review Board shall have powers as detailed in this subsection.

(1) The Board shall initiate, receive, review and investigate ethics complaints filed with the Ethics Review Board.

(2) The Board shall issue to the Council recommendations on sanctions or impeachment for complaints that the Board finds substantiated and worthy of Council consideration and that, when making a recommendation for impeachment to Council, are consistent with Article X of the Constitution of the Yurok Tribe.

(3) With the exception of personnel matters and that information related to the Tribe’s legal rights, commercial interests, or privileges against compelled disclosure, the Board shall schedule and conduct public ethics hearings involving alleged violations of this chapter. Hearings shall be held within 21 days of service of notice of the allegations to the alleged violator.

(4) The Board shall not be bound by formal rules of evidence when conducting an ethics hearing, but must electronically record all such hearings.

(5) The Board may administer oaths to persons called to testify before the Board.

(6) The Board may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses or to produce any documents relevant to a matter before the Board.

(7) The Board shall establish rules and procedures to conduct its own governance. Such rules and procedures, and any amendments, must be approved by a majority vote of the Council prior to taking effect.

(8) The Board shall hold in contempt any person who willfully disobeys any lawful order, finding, or decision of the Board.

(9) The Board shall dismiss any ethics complaint that the Board determines to be without merit upon a preponderance of the evidence.

(10) The Board may utilize the assistance of the Office of the Tribal Attorney or independent legal counsel to provide legal advice during hearings and other matters before the Board.

(11) Members of the Board should not lobby any group or individual to file a complaint against an elected official and any complaint should be filed by the person or group who has the complaint.

(12) The Board may recommend amendments to this chapter to the Council by a majority vote of a quorum at any duly noticed meeting of the Board.

(13) The Board may respond to any inquiry from an elected official by issuing an advisory opinion as to whether an action contemplated by the elected official would violate this chapter, or by issuing an advisory opinion as to whether an action or situation exists that constitutes a potential violation of this chapter.

(d) Written Opinions. The Ethics Review Board shall issue an opinion or schedule a hearing concerning an alleged ethics violation within 15 days of receipt of the complaint. If a hearing is held, the Board shall issue an opinion within 25 days of the hearing. Opinions issued by the Board shall include a brief discussion of information pertinent to the alleged ethics violation, the investigation, and other information, findings, and conclusions. The opinion shall include any recommendations to the Council, such as suggested sanctions or penalties. [Ord. 72, renumbered, 2/11/2021; Ord. 32 § 6601, adopted, 9/5/2013. Formerly 1.15.390.]