SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY
Public officials are elected or appointed to positions of public trust. In the event of any breach of this trust, the Public Integrity Unit investigates and, if appropriate, prosecutes criminal misconduct by any elected or appointed public official.
The term "public official" is defined in the broadest possible manner and includes state, county and city officials. Subordinates and employees of public officials, whose duties directly impact the public’s business, are also subject to investigation and prosecution by the Public Integrity Unit.
The Public Integrity Unit is also responsible for the investigation and prosecution of school officials, such as members of local school boards, district superintendents, principals, teachers and office administrators who engage in criminal misconduct relating to the discharge of their duties. This includes inappropriate or illegal use of public funds.
Election & Campaign Violations
Because the integrity of the election process is crucial to a free and democratic society, the District Attorney’s Office is vigilant in enforcing all laws that regulate the election process. In this regard, the Public Integrity Unit is charged with investigating and prosecuting allegations of voter fraud, illegal voter registration practices, illegal campaign practices, illegal campaign contributions and falsification of candidacy papers.
Brown Act Violations
The Brown Act governs meetings conducted by local legislative bodies such as boards of supervisors, city councils and school boards. As these legislative bodies are charged with conducting the people’s business, the Brown Act requires that the business be conducted in open meetings, allowing public access and a free exchange of opinions. The law recognizes that a balance must be struck between the public’s right to open meetings and the legislative body’s need for confidentiality in certain circumstances. Although the Brown Act allows for closed sessions in specific, narrowly drawn exceptions, there is a presumption in favor of public access.
The Public Integrity Unit has the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting allegations of Brown Act violations.
For more information regarding the duties of public officials, visit the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) by clicking on this link www.fppc.ca.gov