About Complaints

Statutory Authority Chapter 105.957, RSMo. This is intended only as a summary to aid understanding of the complaint process with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Please consult the law itself.



Filing a Complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission

The Missouri Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction includes investigating complaints of reporting and filing (disclosure) violations for campaign finance, personal financial disclosure, and lobbying. In addition, the Missouri Ethics Commission investigates complaints about:

  • Codes of conduct adopted by a department, division, state agency, and state institutions of higher learning
  • Conflict of interest laws
  • Order, ordinance, or resolution of any political subdivision relating to the official conduct of officials or employees, including constitutional provisions or state statutes

To file a complaint, complete the Official Complaint form. The form should contain all known facts, must be filed by a natural person, notarized, and mailed or delivered in person to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

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Complaints Not Investigated by the Missouri Ethics Commission

The Missouri Ethics Commission may refuse to investigate any conduct that is the subject of civil or criminal litigation. The Missouri Ethics Commission cannot investigate complaints that:

  • Refer to conduct occurring prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations for criminal conduct
  • Are related to conduct occurring more than two years prior to the complaint date and are not criminal violations
  • Alleges misconduct by a candidate for public office, other than failure to file timely and accurately, a Personal Financial Disclosure statement or campaign finance disclosure reports, from 60 days prior to the primary until after the general election
  • Provides any allegation against a candidate or a candidate committee, within 15 days prior to the primary or general election which the candidate is running for office
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Complaint Proceedings

Within five days of receipt of a complaint, the Missouri Ethics Commission sends a copy of the complaint and the complainant’s name to the person/entity that the complaint is brought against (respondent). The statute requires that any Missouri Ethics Commission’s investigation and hearing held related to a complaint remains closed. The final disposition of the complaint is made public.

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Frivolous Complaints

The Missouri Ethics Commission must dismiss any complaint which it finds to be frivolous in nature, which is lacking basis in fact or law. Any person submitting a frivolous complaint shall be held liable for actual and compensatory damages to the alleged violator. A finding by the Missouri Ethics Commission that a complaint is frivolous becomes public record.

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