Article 6.

Violations and Enforcement of Lobbying Laws.

120C-600. Powers and duties of the Secretary of State.

(a) The Secretary of State shall perform systematic reviews of reports required to be filed under Articles 4 and 8 of this Chapter on a regular basis to assure complete and timely disclosure of reportable expenditures. The Secretary of State shall refer to the Commission any complaints of violations of this Chapter other than those related solely to Articles 2, 4, or 8 of this Chapter.

(b) The Secretary of State may petition the Superior Court of Wake County for the approval to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum as necessary to conduct investigations of violations of Articles 2, 4, or 8 of this Chapter. The court shall authorize subpoenas under this subsection when the court determines they are necessary for the enforcement of Articles 2, 4, or 8 of this Chapter. Subpoenas issued under this subsection shall be enforceable by the court through contempt powers. Venue shall be with the Superior Court of Wake County for any nonresident person, or that person's agent, who makes a reportable expenditure under this Chapter, and personal jurisdiction may be asserted under G.S. 1-75.4.

(c) Complaints of violations of Articles 2, 4, and 8 of this Chapter, all other records accumulated in conjunction with the investigation of these complaints, and any records accumulated in the performance of a systematic review shall be considered confidential records and may be released only by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Any information obtained by the Secretary of State from any law enforcement agency, administrative agency, or regulatory organization on a confidential or otherwise restricted basis in the course of an investigation or systematic review shall be confidential and exempt from G.S. 132-6 to the same extent that it is confidential in the possession of the providing agency or organization.

(d) The Secretary of State shall publish annual statistics on complaints received and systematic reviews conducted under this section, including the number of systematic reviews, the number of complaints, the number of apparent violations of this Chapter referred to a district attorney, the number of complaints dismissed, and the number and age of complaints pending. Subject to the provisions of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes, the levy of all civil fines, including the amount of the fine and the identity of the person or governmental unit against whom it was levied, shall be a public record as defined in G.S. 132-1(a). (2005-456, s. 1; 2006-201, s. 18; 2006-259, s. 43.5(a); 2008-213, s. 34; 2010-169, s. 19(a); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

 

120C-601. Additional powers and duties of the Commission.

(a) The Commission may investigate complaints of violations of this Chapter and shall refer complaints related solely to Articles 2, 4, or 8 of this Chapter to the Secretary of State.

(b) The Commission may petition the Superior Court of Wake County for the approval to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum as necessary to conduct investigations of violations of this Chapter. The court shall authorize subpoenas under this subsection when the court determines they are necessary for the enforcement of this Chapter. Subpoenas issued under this subsection shall be enforceable by the court through contempt powers. Venue shall be with the Superior Court of Wake County for any nonresident person, or that person's agent, who makes a reportable expenditure under this Chapter, and personal jurisdiction may be asserted under G.S. 1-75.4.

(c) Complaints of violations of this Chapter and all other records accumulated in conjunction with the investigation of these complaints shall be considered confidential records and may be released only by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Any information obtained by the Commission from any law enforcement agency, administrative agency, or regulatory organization on a confidential or otherwise restricted basis in the course of an investigation shall be confidential and exempt from G.S. 132-6 to the same extent that it is confidential in the possession of the providing agency or organization.

(d) The Commission shall publish annual statistics on complaints, including the number of complaints, the number of apparent violations of this Chapter referred to a district attorney, the number of dismissals, and the number and age of complaints pending. (2006-201, s. 18; 2006-259, s. 43.5(a); 2008-213, s. 35; 2010-169, s. 19(b); 2016-125, 4th Ex. Sess., s. 4; 2017-6, ss. 2, 3, 6; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

 

120C-602. Punishment for violation.

(a) Whoever willfully violates any provision of Article 2 or Article 3 of this Chapter shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, except as provided in those Articles. In addition, no lobbyist who is convicted of a violation of the provisions of this Chapter shall in any way act as a lobbyist for a period of two years from the date of conviction.

(b) In addition to the criminal penalties set forth in this section, the Secretary of State may levy civil fines for a violation of any provision of Articles 2, 4, or 8 of this Chapter up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation. In addition to the criminal penalties set forth in this section, the Commission may levy civil fines for a violation of any provision of this Chapter except Article 2, 4, or 8 of this Chapter up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation. (1933, c. 11, s. 8; 1975, c. 820, s. 1; 1991, c. 740, s. 1.1; 1993, c. 539, s. 914; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2005-456, s. 1; 2006-201, s. 18; 2006-259, s. 43.5(a); 2016-125, 4th Ex. Sess., s. 4; 2017-6, ss. 2, 3, 6; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

 

120C-603. Enforcement by district attorney and Attorney General.

(a) The Commission or the Secretary of State, as appropriate, may investigate complaints of violations of this Chapter and shall report apparent violations of this Chapter to the district attorney of the prosecutorial district as defined in G.S. 7A-60 of which Wake County is a part, who shall prosecute any person or governmental unit who violates any provisions of this Chapter.

(b) Complaints of violations of this Chapter involving the Commission or any member employee of the Commission shall be referred to the Attorney General for investigation. The Attorney General shall, upon receipt of a complaint, make an appropriate investigation thereof, and the Attorney General shall forward a copy of the investigation to the district attorney of the prosecutorial district as defined in G.S. 7A-60 of which Wake County is a part, who shall prosecute any person or governmental unit who violates any provisions of this Chapter. (1975, c. 820, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 112; 2005-456, s. 1; 2006-201, s. 18; 2006-259, s. 43.5(b); 2008-213, s. 36; 2016-125, 4th Ex. Sess., s. 4; 2017-6, ss. 2, 3, 6; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

 

120C-604. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-605. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-606. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-607. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-608. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-609. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-610. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-611. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-612. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-613. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-614. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-615. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-616. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-617. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-618. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-619. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-620. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-621. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-622. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-623. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-624. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-625. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-626. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-627. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-628. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-629. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-630. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-631. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-632. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-633. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-634. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-635. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-636. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-637. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-638. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-639. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-640. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-641. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-642. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-643. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-644. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-645. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-646. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-647. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-648. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-649. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-650. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-651. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-652. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-653. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-654. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-655. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-656. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-657. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-658. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-659. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-660. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-661. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-662. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-663. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-664. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-665. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-666. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-667. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-668. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-669. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-670. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-671. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-672. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-673. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-674. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-675. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-676. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-677. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-678. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-679. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-680. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-681. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-682. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-683. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-684. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-685. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-686. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-687. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-688. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-689. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-690. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-691. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-692. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-693. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-694. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-695. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-696. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-697. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-698. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

120C-699. Reserved for future codification purposes.