New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Rights Law - CVR § 73. Code of fair procedure for investigating agencies

1. As used in this section the following terms shall mean and include:

(a) “Agency”.  A standing or select committee of either house of the legislature or a joint committee of both houses;  a duly authorized subcommittee of any such legislative committee;  the commissioner of investigation acting pursuant to section eleven [FN1] of the executive law ;  a commissioner appointed by the governor acting pursuant to section six of the executive law ;  the attorney general acting pursuant to subdivision eight of section sixty-three of the executive law ;  any temporary state commission or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof which has the power to require testimony or the production of evidence by subpoena or other compulsory process in an investigation being conducted by it;  and any standing or select committee, or subcommittee thereof, of the constitutional convention to be held in the year nineteen hundred sixty-seven.

(b) “Hearing”.  Any hearing in the course of an investigatory proceeding (other than a preliminary conference or interview at which no testimony is taken under oath) conducted before an agency at which testimony or the production of other evidence may be compelled by subpoena or other compulsory process.

(c) “Public hearing”.  Any hearing open to the public, or any hearing, or such part thereof, as to which testimony or other evidence is made available or disseminated to the public by the agency.

(d) “Private hearing”.  Any hearing other than a public hearing.

2. No person may be required to appear at a hearing or to testify at a hearing unless there has been personally served upon him prior to the time when he is required to appear, a copy of this section, and a general statement of the subject of the investigation.  A copy of the resolution, statute, order or other provision of law authorizing the investigation shall be furnished by the agency upon request therefor by the person summoned.

3. A witness summoned to a hearing shall have the right to be accompanied by counsel, who shall be permitted to advise the witness of his rights, subject to reasonable limitations to prevent obstruction of or interference with the orderly conduct of the hearing.  Counsel for any witness who testifies at a public hearing may submit proposed questions to be asked of the witness relevant to the matters upon which the witness has been questioned and the agency shall ask the witness such of the questions as it may deem appropriate to its inquiry.

4. A complete and accurate record shall be kept of each public hearing and a witness shall be entitled to receive a copy of his testimony at such hearing at his own expense.  Where testimony which a witness has given at a private hearing becomes relevant in a criminal proceeding in which the witness is a defendant, or in any subsequent hearing in which the witness is summoned to testify, the witness shall be entitled to a copy of such testimony, at his own expense, provided the same is available, and provided further that the furnishing of such copy will not prejudice the public safety or security.

5. A witness who testifies at any hearing shall have the right at the conclusion of his examination to file a brief sworn statement relevant to his testimony for incorporation in the record of the investigatory proceeding.

6. Any person whose name is mentioned or who is specifically identified and who believes that testimony or other evidence given at a public hearing or comment made by any member of the agency or its counsel at such a hearing tends to defame him or otherwise adversely affect his reputation shall have the right, either to appear personally before the agency and testify in his own behalf as to matters relevant to the testimony or other evidence complained of, or in the alternative at the option of the agency, to file a statement of facts under oath relating solely to matters relevant to the testimony or other evidence complained of, which statement shall be incorporated in the record of the investigatory proceeding.

7. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent an agency from granting to witnesses appearing before it, or to persons who claim to be adversely affected by testimony or other evidence adduced before it, such further rights and privileges as it may determine.

8. Except in the course of a subsequent hearing which is open to the public, no testimony or other evidence adduced at a private hearing or preliminary conference or interview conducted before a single-member agency in the course of its investigation shall be disseminated or made available to the public by said agency, its counsel or employees without the approval of the head of the agency.  Except in the course of a subsequent hearing open to the public, no testimony or other evidence adduced at a private hearing or preliminary conference or interview before a committee or other multi-member investigating agency shall be disseminated or made available to the public by any member of the agency, its counsel or employees, except with the approval of a majority of the members of such agency.  Any person who violates the provisions of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

9. No temporary state commission having more than two members shall have the power to take testimony at a public or private hearing unless at least two of its members are present at such hearing.

10. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to effect, diminish or impair the right, under any other provision of law, rule or custom, of any member or group of members of a committee or other multi-member investigating agency to file a statement or statements of minority views to accompany and be released with or subsequent to the report of the committee or agency.

1 Repealed.  See, now, Unconsolidated Laws § 7501 et seq.

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