Ethics Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives

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The Ethics Committee is a standing committee of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Per House Rule 63A, the committee is made up of eight members, one from each congressional district and one from each Mississippi Supreme Court district.[1]

Per Rule 60(4) of the House Rules, committees of the Mississippi House of Representatives are appointed by the Speaker of the House.[2] After the adoption of House Rules, committees are appointed according to legislators' preferences as well as seniority, abilities and geographic location.[3] Representatives are to submit a list of at least 10 committee preferences by 5 p.m. on the third calendar day of the legislative session following an election. A legislator who has served in the House less than four years in his or her lifetime is guaranteed two of his or her top seven preferences unless appointed to the Appropriations or Ways and Means Commitees; one who has served for four or more years in his or her lifetime is guaranteed three of his or her first seven choices unless appointed to the Appropriations or Ways and Means Committees.[2] Representatives are barred from serving on both the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees, and may serve on at least four standing committees.[4] The first person appointed to a committee is to serve as the chair, with the second serving as vice chair. A representative appointed to serve as chair or vice chair of a committee is barred from serving in either position on another committee.[5] The Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore serve on the Rules and Management Committees ex officio.[6]

DocumentIcon.jpg See rules: House Rules

Function

The committee shall receive complaints from any citizen against members, officers and employees of the House alleging improper or unethical conduct....

A majority of the committee may, on its own, initiate a preliminary investigation of any suspected violation of the Code of Ethics, other House Rule, written policy of the House adopted by the Management Committee, statute, or Constitution by a member, officer or employee of the House.

In the event that the committee shall elect to proceed with a formal investigation of the conduct of any member, officer or employee of the House, the committee may, in its discretion, employ independent counsel who shall not be employed by the House for any other purpose or in any other capacity during such investigation.

Such person shall be entitled to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, face his accuser, and be represented by counsel.

The chairman may continue any hearing for reasonable cause, and upon the vote of a majority of the committee or upon the request of any person subject to investigation, the chairman shall issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence relating to any matter under formal investigation by the committee....

The committee, whether or not at the request of a member, officer or employee concerned about an ethical problem relating to himself alone or in conjunction with others, may render advisory opinions with regard to questions pertaining to legislative ethics or decorum. Such advisory opinions, with such deletions and changes as shall be necessary to protect the identity of the person involved or seeking them, may be published and distributed to all the members of the House....

The committee may adopt rules of procedure for the orderly conduct of its affairs, investigations, hearings and meetings, which rules are not inconsistent with this rule.

The committee shall continue to exist and have authority and power to function after the sine die adjournment of the Legislature, and shall so continue until the expiration of the then current term of office of the members of the committee.[7][8]

Members

2014-2015

The following table describes committee membership at the beginning of the 2014 legislative session.

Ethics Members, 2014
Democratic members (4)Republican members (4)
Percy Watson, ChairManly Barton, Vice-Chair
Angela CockerhamCarolyn Crawford
Gregory Holloway, Sr.Mac Huddleston
Sara ThomasRita Martinson

2012-2013

Democratic Party Democrats (4)

Republican Party Republicans (4)

2010-2011

External links

References