SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE
The Committee’s work shall be performed in three phases.
Phase I: Committee Investigation. The Committee, which is established pursuant to
House Rule 11.2 at the direction of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, will
conduct its investigation of whether a Member of the House of Representatives
(“Member”) has engaged in conduct which impairs the ability of the Member to perform
the duties of his or her office, or substantially impairs public confidence in the
Legislature. Okla. Const. Art. 5, § 30.
Phase II: Committee Recommendation to Give Notice and an Opportunity to be
Heard. The Committee will consider the information gathered by the Committee, to
determine whether sufficient evidence has been presented which, if uncontested, would
suggest a Member has engaged in conduct that impairs the ability of the Member to
perform the duties of his or her office, or substantially impairs public confidence in the
Legislature. The Committee shall vote on whether, based on the evidence gathered, a
formal hearing relating to the allegations is warranted.
Phase III: Formal Committee Hearing. If the Committee determines a formal hearing
relating to the allegations is warranted, the Member shall be given notice of the evidence
against him or her, and shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Upon conclusion of the
evidence, the Committee shall vote whether to recommend disciplinary action against the
Member, and thereafter refer the matter to the House of Representatives for its
I. Rules of General Application to the Committee.
A. The Committee shall be governed by a Chair. The Vice-Chair shall act in
the absence of the Chair.
B. The Chair shall designate the time and place of Committee meetings.
1. It is the intent of this Rule C that from and after the time the
Committee is formed, until the Report of the Committee is released to the Clerk of the
House for publication in the House Journal, all proceedings in closed sessions of the
Committee shall be confidential to the same extent as proceedings before a grand jury.
2. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, all Committee
meetings, proceedings, deliberations, and votes shall occur in closed session, and all
Committee members, stenographers, witnesses, and witnesses’ counsel shall treat all
Committee meetings, proceedings, deliberations, and votes, or other work of the
Committee as confidential.
3. No person is permitted to be present during closed meetings of the
Committee except the Committee members, Committee counsel, a stenographer, an
interpreter, if any, the witness, if any, under examination, and one attorney representing
such witness. The Committee Chair shall administer the following oath to all Committee
members, legal counsel for witnesses, interpreters, and stenographers who attend any
closed Committee meeting:
DO YOU SWEAR (AFFIRM), THAT YOU WILL KEEP
CONFIDENTIAL THE CLOSED PROCEEDINGS OF THE
COMMITTEE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS COMMITTEE’S
4. Prior to testifying as a witness in a closed session of the
Committee, the Committee Chair shall administer to the witness the following oath:
DO YOU SWEAR (AFFIRM), UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY,
THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU ARE TO GIVE IS THE TRUTH, THE
WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, AND THAT
YOU WILL KEEP YOUR TESTIMONY SECRET, EXCEPT TO
DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR ATTORNEY, THE COMMITTEE, OR
5. Except for matters taken up by the Committee in open session or as
otherwise provided in these Rules, all records relating to the investigation of the
Committee, including but not limited to all documents, transcripts, tape or video
recordings, and electronically stored information (“Committee records”), shall be
confidential and shall not be open to public inspection. Committee records shall not be
subject to discovery. Transcripts of Committee proceedings relating to the investigation
and disposition thereof shall not be available to any person or entity other than
Committee members, Committee staff, and Committee counsel, except as otherwise
provided by these Rules.
6. Provided, however, notwithstanding anything in these Rules that
may appear to the contrary, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be entitled
to review Committee records, and to be fully informed on the work and progress of the
Committee, by Committee members, counsel or staff.
7. The following communications (“attorney-client privileged
communications”), whether oral or written, including all documents, transcripts, tape or
video recordings, and electronically stored information, shall remain confidential and
such confidentiality may not be waived except by the act of the Committee Chair
intentionally waiving such communication; provided, however, the Committee may
waive the attorney-client privilege to the extent the communication is revealed through
the release of the Committee Report: All confidential communications made for the
purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the House or the
Committee between (a) any member of the House of Representatives or a representative
of a member of the House of Representatives and Committee counsel or a representative
of Committee counsel; (b) between Committee counsel and a representative of
Committee counsel. The waiver of any attorney-client privileged communication
provided for herein shall not affect the continued confidentiality of any other attorney-client
8. Upon release of the Committee Report to the Clerk of the House,
the restrictions on confidentiality required by these Rules shall be lifted; provided,
however, the following shall remain confidential except as otherwise provided in these
Rules: (a) all attorney-client privileged communications; (b) all communications, written
or oral, that are subject to any other privilege authorized by law, unless waived; (c) all
Committee records and all other communications, whether written or oral, relating to the
deliberation and vote of the Committee except such information as is provided in the
Committee Report; and (d) any Committee record or other communication a majority of a
quorum of the Committee finds, for compelling reasons, in the Committee’s sole
discretion, should remain confidential. All persons taking an oath, including Committee
members, shall continue to be subject to the oath they have given with respect to the
matters described in this Rule I(C)(8).
D. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, neither the Member under
investigation, nor his or her counsel, shall communicate with any Committee member in
connection with any issue before the Committee. The Member or his or her counsel shall
communicate with the Committee through counsel for the Committee.
E. The Committee, through the Chair, shall have the power to:
1. compel the attendance of witnesses;
2. compel the testimony of witnesses under oath;
3. require the production of documents, records and other evidence;
4. take such other steps and exercise such other powers as are
necessary to ensure the orderly and efficient conduct of the work
of the Committee.
F. Subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, or to
compel the production of documents or other evidence, shall be attested to according to
the Rules of the House of Representatives. Subpoenas shall be served, and return made to
the Chair in the manner prescribed by Oklahoma civil law. Service of documents related
to the proceedings, other than subpoenas, shall be by regular, prepaid mail. Persons
served with a subpoena shall treat the subpoena as confidential.
G. Within such time as is indicated on the subpoena, a person commanded to
appear as a witness or to produce documents may serve a written objection on the Chair
and Committee counsel, and if the subpoena was issued at the request of the Member
under investigation, a copy of the objection shall also be provided to the Member or his
or her counsel, if any. If objection is made, the Chair shall determine the merits of the
H. At any meeting of the Committee at which a witness is presented, each
Committee member shall have the opportunity to question the witness and examine the
evidence. The Chair may direct Committee counsel to question witnesses.
I. No testimony given by a witness shall be used as evidence in any criminal
proceeding against the witness in any court, except in a prosecution for perjury
committed in giving such testimony. But an official paper or record produced by a
witness is not within the privilege.
J. All witnesses who are interviewed, examined under oath by Committee
counsel, or who appear before and are examined by the Committee, a Committee
member, or the Member or the Member’s counsel, shall have the right to have legal
counsel present at all times.
K. All proceedings during a Committee meeting may be stenographically
recorded or transcribed, or both, at the direction of the Chair or upon a vote of a majority
of Committee members present.
L. Objections and rulings upon evidence.
1. Strict adherence to the rules of evidence, 12 O.S. §§ 2101 et seq.,
shall not be required. The Committee shall permit the introduction of evidence that is
competent, relevant and material. The Committee may exclude incompetent, irrelevant,
immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence. Counsel for a witness shall be allowed to be
present during questioning of the witness and shall be allowed to advise the witness but
shall make no objections or arguments or otherwise address the Committee or its legal
advisor. The Chair shall have the power to remove such counsel if necessary. Violation of
this subsection shall be punishable as contempt.
2. The Committee, at the discretion of the Chair, may receive
evidence in written form, including affidavits, transcripts, and other writings under oath,
without bringing the witnesses before the Committee. Documentary evidence may be
received in the form of copies or excerpts. Upon request, Committee members or the
Member shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original.
3. The Chair, in his or her sole discretion, shall rule upon all
objections and upon the admissibility of evidence arising in the course of deposing
witnesses or presenting testimony or documents to the Committee.
M. The Committee may take notice of all judicially cognizable facts.
II. Phase I. Committee Investigation.
A. The Committee may meet from time to time at the direction of the Chair,
to hear witnesses, review documents, gather information, or for such other purposes as
the Chair shall determine, in his or her sole discretion. Provided, however, during Phase
I, a quorum of Committee members shall not be required for the Committee to meet or
conduct its investigation.
B. During Phase I, legal counsel for the Committee may gather and examine
documents, cause oaths to be administered, interview witnesses, and/or examine
witnesses under oath, outside the presence of the Committee or any Committee member
and regardless of whether a Committee meeting has been scheduled. Provided, however,
any Committee member shall have the right to attend the examination of any witness
under oath, but a Committee member shall not be required to be present or to participate
in the examination under oath of any witness. All witnesses, witnesses’ counsel,
stenographers, and others contacted by Committee counsel shall be subject to the same
requirement of confidentiality as if the witness, witness’s counsel, stenographer, or others
had attended or given evidence in a closed Committee meeting.
C. Any transcripts of sworn statements of witnesses and relevant
documentary evidence obtained by Committee counsel, other than transcripts of
proceedings made pursuant to part I(K) of these Rules, shall promptly be provided by
counsel to the Chair. Counsel shall from time to time report to the Committee or its Chair
on the progress of the investigation.
III. Phase II: Committee Recommendation of Notice and Opportunity to be
A. At such time as a majority of a quorum of the Committee has met and
determined the Committee has gathered sufficient information to form an opinion, the
Committee may meet to determine whether sufficient evidence exists which, if
uncontested, would suggest a Member has engaged in conduct that impairs the ability of
the Member to perform the duties of his or her office, or substantially impairs public
confidence in the Legislature.
B. If a majority of a quorum of the Committee shall vote that based on the
evidence gathered, a formal hearing relating to the allegations is warranted, counsel for
the Committee shall prepare a written report (“the Notice”) of the Committee, setting
forth the evidence on which the Committee has relied.
C. Upon final approval of the Notice by a majority of a quorum of the
Committee, the Notice shall be signed by the Chair of the Committee and served on the
D. The Notice shall be confidential.
E. The Member shall have fourteen days from the date of the Notice to
provide a written response to the Committee. The Member’s response may include the
1. A statement by the Member, made under oath, and signed by the
2. A request for a hearing before the Committee. Any such request
for hearing shall include:
a. The name and address of all witnesses the Member wishes
to present to the Committee, a synopsis of the substance of the expected testimony of the
proposed witness, and an indication of whether the Member desires a subpoena to issue
to each such witness. The Member should also indicate whether the Member intends to
testify before the Committee.
b. Copies of any documents the Member wishes to present to
the Committee, or for which the Member desires a subpoena to issue.
F. Upon receipt of the Member’s written response, if the Member has
requested the issuance of subpoenas for witnesses or documents, the Chair shall
determine whether the witnesses or documents sought to be subpoenaed are likely to
provide competent, relevant and material evidence, and if so, shall issue subpoenas
requested by the Member.
IV. Phase III: Formal Committee Hearing.
A. After receipt of a written response by the Member, or after fourteen days
from the Notice if no response is received, the Committee may meet and conduct a
hearing relating to the matters contained in the Notice. At all times during the hearing, a
quorum of the Committee shall be present. The Chair in his or her sole discretion shall
determine and shall be entitled to limit the length of the hearing and the evidence to be
presented, including the witnesses who may appear and their number, and documentary
evidence to be presented.
B. At the hearing, if the Member has so indicated in his or her written
response, the Member may testify under oath, and/or present witnesses or documentary
evidence according to the Rules of the Committee. Either the Member or the Member’s
counsel may examine each witness. Committee members and Committee counsel shall
also be entitled to examine all witnesses so presented.
C. Counsel for the Member shall be allowed to be present during questioning
of witnesses, but neither the Member’s counsel nor the Member shall make objections or
arguments or otherwise address the Committee or its counsel. The Chair shall have the
power to remove such counsel if necessary. Violation of this subsection shall be
punishable as contempt.
D. Additional witnesses or evidence may be submitted to the Committee at
the direction of the Chair. The Member and the Member’s counsel shall be entitled to be
present for the presentation of any such additional evidence.
E. At the conclusion of the evidence, or at such other time as the Committee
Chair shall determine, the Committee shall go into closed session to deliberate and vote
whether to recommend disciplinary action to the full House. A recommendation for
disciplinary action shall require a majority vote of a quorum of the Committee.
F. Upon conclusion of the Committee proceedings, the Committee shall
submit a Report to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, for publication in the
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