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).)