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Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower Complaints complaint definition government

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Definition of Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower Complaints

Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower complaints are defined as the reporting of an "improper regional center or vendor/contractor activity."

An "improper regional center activity" means an activity by a regional center, or an employee, officer, or board member of a regional center, in the conduct of regional center business, that is a violation of a state or federal law or regulation; violation of contract provisions; fraud or fiscal malfeasance; misuse of government property; or constitutes gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency. An "improper vendor/contractor activity" means an activity by a vendor/contractor, or an employee, officer, or board member of a vendor/contractor, in the provision of DDS funded services, that is a violation of a state or federal law or regulation; violation of contract provisions; fraud or fiscal malfeasance; misuse of government property; or constitutes gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency.

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has a variety of complaint and appeal processes available to vendors/contractors, agencies, facilities, parents, and consumers. These include Consumer Rights Complaints; Early Start Complaints, Due Process Requests, and Mediation Conference Requests; Lanterman Act Fair Hearing Requests; Title 17 Complaints; Citizen Complaints and Comments (see Appeals, Complaints & Comments for a complete list). Each of these complaint and appeal processes has separate and distinct procedures for resolution. This process directive relates only to the Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower complaints as described above.

Confidentiality

DDS will do everything possible to maintain the confidentiality of a complainant making a whistleblower complaint if the complainant requests confidentiality. However, in the rare circumstances where DDS is unable to maintain confidentiality due to its statutory responsibilities (including ensuring the health and safety of consumers and regional center contract compliance), the Department will attempt to inform the complainant of its need to disclose certain information prior to releasing identifying information. Additionally, the identity of the complainant may be revealed to appropriate law enforcement agencies conducting a criminal investigation.

About Filing a Complaint

We will need a clear and concise statement of the improper activity and any evidence you have to support the allegation.

If you do not provide a name or other information (witnesses or documents) that clearly identifies the person you are alleging has acted improperly, and the regional center or vendor/contractor where that person works, we may not have sufficient information to investigate. Copies of documents, rather than originals, should be submitted, as they cannot be returned.

Although complaints may be filed anonymously, if insufficient information is provided and we have no means to contact you, we may not be able to investigate your allegations.

How to File Whistleblower Complaint

A complaint may be filed by contacting:

Community Services Division 1600 9th Street, Room 340 (MS 3-9) Sacramento, CA 95814 Voice: (916) 651-6309 Fax: (916) 654-3641

    Last Updated: 3/5/2015
complaint definition government

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Once you’ve decided to take your grievance about an attorney to the State Bar, you need to file an attorney complaint form.

The State Bar's Office of Chief Trial Counsel handles complaints from clients, members of the public, and other attorneys over unethical professional conduct.

Complaint forms Attorney complaint form Formulario de queja en Español (Attorney complaint form in Spanish) Complaint form for unauthorized practice of law by non-attorneys Formulario de queja contra proveedor no licenciado (Complaint form for unauthorized practice of law by non-attorneys in Spanish)

You will be notified by mail after the bar has received your complaint, and an experienced State Bar lawyer will review it. If the complaint does not involve an ethical violation or provide information supporting such a violation, the file will be closed and you will be notified by mail. (You can, at this point, request in writing that the file be reviewed by the State Bar’s Audit and Review Department).

If the file is not closed, a State Bar complaint analyst (supervised by a State Bar attorney) will write to the lawyer named in the complaint to collect their side of the story. Additional documents may be needed to determine whether the matter should be investigated further.

If there isn’t enough evidence to prove a serious ethical violation, the State Bar may issue a warning to the lawyer. The State Bar could issue an Agreement in Lieu of Discipline, in which the lawyer agrees to take corrective action. Such an agreement is not considered discipline.

If the State Bar attorney who reviews the complaint sees evidence of a serious violation, a full investigation will be launched.

If the State Bar decides to file charges against the attorney, it will go to the independent State Bar Court. A judge can dismiss the case, issue a private or public reproval or recommend that the lawyer be suspended or disbarred. The California Supreme Court has the final say in all attorney discipline cases.

What happens if my attorney is disciplined because they stole my money?

This chart explains what happens after you file a complaint

If you lost money or property because a lawyer did something dishonest, you may be able to recover it by filing an application with the Client Security Fund. But first you need to file a complaint against the attorney. Read more about the Client Security Fund .

Related Links Having a fee dispute with your attorney? Recovering money through the Client Security Fund Having a problem with your lawyer? What happens after you file a complaint

About Government

If you have questions or complaints about government, your first step should be to contact the agency or officials most directly involved. Here is a general guide to help you direct your inquiries and complaints to the appropriate place.

Government Agencies / Officials City

To contact a city agency, refer to City Government listings in your telephone book or check the city's website. If you have information that may indicate improper governmental activities in a city agency or by a city employee or public official, we suggest that you submit your complaint to the district attorney or grand jury in the county where the action has occurred. The state Attorney General is authorized to undertake the role of a prosecuting officer only in specific cases when the county district attorney is disqualified from the case or when they clearly, without justification, fail to act.

County

To contact a county agency, refer to County Government listings in your telephone book or check the county's website. If you have information that may indicate improper governmental activities in a city county agency or by a city county employee or public official, we suggest that you submit your complaint to the district attorney or grand jury in the county where the action has occurred. The state Attorney General is authorized to undertake the role of a prosecuting officer only in specific cases when the county district attorney is disqualified from the case or when they clearly, without justification, fail to act.

State

The Attorney General's Office is frequently unable to represent or assist individuals regarding non-criminal complaints against state agencies because this office is required by law to represent those agencies in disputes arising out of their actions. For assistance in resolving a problem with a state agency, we suggest that you contact the director of the state agency , your elected representatives in the California Legislature , or a private attorney. A complaint alleging criminal conduct by a state public official may be directed to the Attorney General's Criminal Law Division. The complaint must be in writing and must contain detailed information so that an informal decision can be made on what further action may be warranted.

Federal

Disputes with federal agencies fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government. For assistance, you can contact your elected member in the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives . For allegations of fraud involving federal government programs, you may want to contact the U.S. General Accounting Office . For complaints to be acted on, allegations must be clear and specific.

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Courts Judges

Complaints against a judge or court commissioner should be directed to the Commission on Judicial Performance . The 11-member Commission on Judicial Performance may censure, remove, retire or admonish judges for willful misconduct in office, persistent failure or inability to perform the duties of office, habitual intemperance, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that may be detrimental to the judicial office itself, or a disability of a permanent character that seriously interferes with the performance of duties. (Cal. Const., art. VI, §§ 8, 18). Details for filing a complaint are available on the commission's website or contact:

Commission on Judicial Performance 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14400 San Francisco, California 94102-3660 Phone:(415) 557-1200

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Law Enforcement Police

If you have a complaint against a police officer or sheriff's deputy, you should first contact the local law enforcement agency. Each law enforcement agency in the state is required by Penal Code section 832.5 to establish a procedure to investigate citizens' complaints. You can obtain a written description of the procedures from the law enforcement agency. If unable to resolve your complaint with the law enforcement agency, contact the district attorney's office or the grand jury in the county that has jurisdiction. If your complaint involves alleged criminal misconduct and the local agencies do not act upon it, you may write to the Attorney General's Office. To be acted upon, your complaint must contain specifics on the alleged criminal misconduct. Law Enforcement Complaint Form. [Formulario en Español]

California Highway Patrol

If you have a complaint involving the California Highway Patrol, you should address the matter to the local CHP office. The California Highway Patrol provides instructions for filing complaints about CHP officers and employees.

District Attorneys

California law gives discretionary authority to a locally elected prosecutor in filing criminal actions. In deciding whether to file charges, a district attorney must evaluate the likelihood that a jury, after weighing all the conflicting evidence, would find the defendant guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." It may not be uncommon for members of the public to differ with the district attorney's determination, but the decision rests with the local prosecutor. The Attorney General's intervention is appropriate only where there is a demonstrated conflict of interest that would disqualify the district attorney from a particular case; or there is an obvious abuse of prosecutorial discretion. The fact that an incident has created strong feelings within the community or the prosecutor's decision may be controversial or unpopular does not provide a basis for intervention by the Attorney General.

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Other Government Topics Records

California law outlines the public's right to government records, procedures for requesting access and the government agency's rights to withhold certain types of records. Disputes over public access to records may be taken to court under the California Public Records Act. The Attorney General issues a regular publication summarizing the California Public Records Act. You can find the publication and more information on the Attorney General's Open Government web page.

Meetings

If you have concerns about possible violations of the state's open meeting laws, you should consult two helpful publications available on the Attorney General's Open Government web page. The "Handy Guide to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act" applies to state government agencies and "The Brown Act, Open Meetings for Local Legislative Bodies" applies to local governments. Open meeting laws typically are enforced by private lawsuit, although a particularly flagrant violation may be subject to misdemeanor action brought by the District Attorney or injunctive, mandatory or declaratory relief action brought by the Attorney General.

Conflicts

For a summary of California conflicts-of-interest laws and the remedies available, go to the Attorney General's Open Government web page. Complaints about conflicts of interest by state or local government officials in violation of the California Political Reform Act should be directed to the Fair Political Practices Commission . For criminal violations, local district attorneys and the Attorney General have concurrent jurisdiction. Ethics Training Courses

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