Know a politician in Utah’s executive branch who did something wrong? Here’s how to submit a complaint.

In the ten years since its creation, Utah’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission has investigated a total of two complaints.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The governor’s mansion at 603 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.

Since its creation a decade ago, Utah’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission has investigated two complaints. The reason for the small number of complaints, both critics and stakeholders have said, is legislative safeguards put in place, and barriers to submitting a complaint.

So you think an elected member of Utah’s executive branch is guilty of an ethical violation? Here’s what it takes to launch a complaint:

To file a complaint with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, you must first make sure your complaint meets a few requirements:

  • It must be against a sitting executive, and cannot be submitted within the 60 days before a primary or general election if that executive is running for the office and has an opponent. So, for one-third of 2024, submitting complaints will likely be off-limits.

  • The alleged violation must have happened within the last two years.

  • The conduct, if true, must be grounds for impeachment under the Utah Constitution.

  • A person can’t bring a complaint against an executive branch elected official for an act by someone under their authority, unless the executive branch elected official encouraged, condoned or ordered the act; before the individual engaged in the act, knew or should have known that the individual was likely to engage in the act; and failed to take appropriate action to prevent, stop or respond to the act.

  • The commission can’t have previously reviewed the complaint, unless a complainant brings new evidence.

  • You, or a co-complainant, must have “personal” knowledge — not just actual knowledge — “of the facts and circumstances supporting the alleged violation.”

Once you make sure a complaint checks all of those boxes, here’s what you need to actually submit the complaint:

  • You can’t submit a complaint alone — someone has to sign on with you.

  • When writing out the complaint, don’t forget to include any of the following:

  • The complaint can be submitted to the commission’s email address — ethics@utah.gov. As The Tribune reported, the commission doesn’t have a physical address, so make sure you have access to an internet connection.

  • Keep the complaint to yourself — if the existence of an ethics complaint is publicly disclosed during the period that the commission is reviewing the complaint, the commission will dismiss the complaint without prejudice. That doesn’t apply, however, to the executive official you’re complaining against.

All of that information can be found in longer, more detailed form in Utah Code 63A-14.

And if your complaint isn’t one the commission would investigate, or you don’t have the means to go through the complaint process, you can always submit a tip to The Tribune.