(b) Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee shall (i) have the responsibility and authority to investigate scandalous and/or defamatory remarks made orally or in publications by members of this Society, (ii) supervise compliance with the guidelines for all candidates for National Offices enumerated herein, and (iii) monitor the conduct of members at Committee meetings, Trustee meetings, annual Congresses and such other time when requested by the President General.
(1) Membership. The Ethics Committee shall consist of six (6) members: three (3) Former Presidents General and three (3) members. The members of this Committee shall not participate in political campaigns at the National Society level.
(2) Chairman. The President General shall appoint a former President General who serves on the Ethics Committee as chairman for a one (1) year term. The President General may appoint one or more members of the committee to serve as a vice-chairman.
(3) Term of Service. The chairman shall be appointed annually. The President General shall appoint one former President General and one member each year for a three (3) year term.
(4) Ethics Violations and Procedures. In the event an ethics violation is charged by one compatriot against another, that charge or complaint shall be referred by the President General to the Chancellor General and the Legal Advisory Committee for determination that the charge or complaint meets the definition of an ethics violation. Any such complaint deemed to meet the definition of an ethics violation shall be referred to the Ethics Committee for a hearing and determination of facts. The investigation may be instituted by a written complaint or by information brought to the attention of the Chairman or a member of the committee. The committee shall hold hearings and take testimony as provided in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee may take such action as it deems necessary including, but not limited to, private or public admonishment by the committee; or may recommend disciplinary action to the President General and the Executive Committee. In the event of a recommendation for disciplinary action by the President General and the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee shall review the findings of the Ethics Committee and either take appropriate action or no action as the case requires. The President General, in his sole discretion, shall have the sole power to make the findings public.
(5) Disciplinary Powers. Examples of suitable disciplinary action may include cancellation of an appointment to a Committee and/or Committee Chairmanship and withdrawal of the right to run for the position and title of a General Officer at the next National Congress. Nothing in the preceding sentence, or in any other provision of these Bylaws, shall limit the Ethics Committee’s ability to craft or impose additional disciplinary action.