When should I submit a complaint?
A complaint should be submitted upon the belief that a reportable offense has been committed. If you believe that an emergency response is needed, immediately call 911.
What is a reportable offense?
The following constitute examples of reportable offenses: violations of laws, regulations, and rules governing the conduct of County officers and employees; practices in County government that are wasteful and inefficient; or the misuse of County government funds.
What should I include in my complaint?
Please provide as much information as possible. Please be as specific as possible. Consider the following when completing the complaint:
- Who – person(s), or department(s) involved, name(s), position(s), address etc. (if available)
- When – date(s) or time period when the incident(s) occurred
- What – a detailed description of the incident(s), all information that would assist in the investigative process
- Where – the location(s) of the incident
It is also helpful to include your name and contact information.
While not necessary, we may need additional information to properly investigate your complaint.
You will also be able to communicate anonymously by obtaining a Report Number and four-digit PIN from the operator who receives your complaint.
Remember, a complaint with limited information cannot always be investigated.
Do I need to give you my name or any identifying information or may I remain anonymous?
It is not necessary to give your name or contact information, but not doing so may impede further investigation if more specific information is needed.
Please note that if you choose to give your contact information, the Whistleblower Program, upon receipt of your complaint, will take all necessary steps to protect your anonymity to the extent this is possible.
When you file your complaint over the phone or online you will be offered a report number and four-digit PIN. You will then able to provide additional information, request a status update, submit documents and files, and communicate anonymously with the County's Whistleblower program.
Will I find out the results of my complaint?
Yes--if you choose to provide contact information, with your permission and upon your request, the program staff may contact you regarding the disposition. Even if you submit your complaint anonymously, the disposition of your complaint, when it is closed, will be available by using the report number you received and the four-digit PIN you established when you submitted your report. (This applies to complaints submitted after April 2019.)
Also, bi-annual reports that are submitted to the Board of Supervisors typically include limited information related to the complaints that are closed during the reporting period. These reports, as they become available, will be posted on the Semi-Annual Reports Page of this website and are available using the Search function on the County's website.
Should I file my complaint somewhere else?
There may be better places to lodge your complaint--depending on its nature and depending on specialized resources elsewhere that may be dedicated for investigative purposes. In addition, the 24/7 Whistleblower Program does not have jurisdiction over non-County matters, issues under litigation, over which litigation is threatened, or those decided in prior litigation, or investigations deemed confidential by State Law (e.g., Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act). If you are unsure of where to file your complaint, please file your complaint with the Whistleblower Program. If possible, we will provide you with the appropriate referral or resource.