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(a) The board shall adopt rules that permit the board to receive and investigate a confidential complaint against a person who may have violated this chapter or Chapter 1071. The board shall maintain the confidentiality of the complaint during the investigation.
(b) The board by rule shall specify:
(1) the manner by which a person may contact the board for assistance in filing a complaint;
(2) the place at which a complaint must be filed;
(3) the proper form of a complaint; and
(4) the information that must be included in a complaint.
(c) The board's procedures must permit a member of the public who desires to file a complaint to:
(1) speak to an investigator on the staff of the board if the person desires to do so; or
(2) easily and conveniently access the board's complaint process without being required to speak to an investigator on the staff of the board if the person does not desire to speak to an investigator.
(d) The board shall consider any written grievance against a person filed with the board as a complaint.
(e) A complaint must include information sufficient for the board to determine whether it has the authority to resolve the complaint. A complaint that contains sufficient information for the board to commence an investigation is not required to include all of the information necessary for the board to determine the validity of the complaint.
(f) On receipt of a complaint, the board shall determine whether the board has the authority to resolve the complaint. If the board does not have the authority to resolve the complaint, the board shall dismiss the complaint. If the board has the authority to resolve the complaint, the board shall initiate a disciplinary proceeding against the person who is the subject of the complaint.
(g) The board by rule shall prescribe a method for prioritizing complaints for purposes of complaint investigation. In establishing priorities:
(1) a complaint that alleges an action that could potentially harm the public takes precedence over a complaint that does not allege an action that could potentially harm the public; and
(2) with regard to complaints that do not allege an action that could potentially harm the public, a complaint filed by a member of the public takes precedence over a complaint filed by the staff of the board.
(h) The board's staff is responsible for conducting all phases of complaint investigation, including gathering evidence necessary to determine the validity of the complaint.
(i) The board may employ or contract with advisors, consultants, engineers, or other persons to provide technical assistance in investigations and disciplinary proceedings. Except for an action involving fraud, conspiracy, or malice, a person whose services are obtained by the board under this subsection is immune from civil liability and may not be subjected to a suit for damages for any investigation, report, recommendation, statement, evaluation, finding made, or other action taken in the course of performing the person's official duties.
(j) The board's staff shall regularly report to the board on each complaint dismissed by board staff, including:
(1) the name of the complainant;
(2) the name of the person who is the subject of the complaint;
(3) the basis of the complaint; and
(4) the reason for the dismissal of the complaint.
(k) Except as provided by Subsection (l), a complaint filed with the board is public information.
(l) For any complaint determined to be frivolous or without merit, the complaint and other enforcement case information related to that complaint are confidential. The information may be used only by the board or by its employees or agents directly involved in the enforcement process for that complaint. The information is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other disclosure.
(m) In this section, “frivolous complaint” means a complaint that the executive director and investigator, with board approval, determined:
(1) was made for the purpose of harassment; and
(2) does not demonstrate harm to any person.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Occupations Code - OCC § 1001.252. General Rules Regarding Complaint Investigation and Disposition - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/occupations-code/occ-sect-1001-252/
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