Council of Trustees Handbook

17 of this Commonwealth. All witnesses summoned for such hearings shall receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. § 5903 (relating to compensation and expenses of witnesses). At the conclusion of a hearing concerning an alleged violation and in a timely manner, the commission shall deliberate on the evidence and determine whether there has been a violation of this chapter. At least four members of the commission present at a meeting must find a violation by clear and convincing proof. The names of the members finding a violation and the names of those dissenting and abstaining shall be listed in the order. The determination of the commission, in the form of a final order and findings of fact, shall be a matter of public record. (h) Availability of final orders, files and records.--Orders which become final in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be available as public documents, but the files and records of the commission relating to the case shall remain confidential. (i) Appeal.--Any person aggrieved by an opinion or order which becomes final in accordance with the provisions of this chapter who has direct interest in such opinion or order shall have the right to appeal therefrom in accordance with law and general rules. (j) Retaliation prohibited.--No public official or public employee shall discharge any official or employee or change his official rank, grade or compensation or deny him a promotion or threaten to do so for filing a complaint with or providing information to the commission or testifying in any commission proceeding. No member of the commission and no employee of the commission shall discharge any employee of the commission or change his official rank, grade or compensation or threaten to do so for providing any information about the internal operations of the commission, not required by law to be kept secret, to any legislator or legislative staff member or testifying in any legislative proceeding. (k) Confidentiality.--As a general rule, no person shall disclose or acknowledge, to any other person, any information relating to a complaint, preliminary inquiry, investigation, hearing or petition for reconsideration which is before the commission. However, a person may disclose or acknowledge to another person matters held confidential in accordance with this subsection when the matters pertain to any of the following: (1) final orders of the commission as provided in subsection (h); (2) hearings conducted in public pursuant to subsection (g); (3) for the purpose of seeking advice of legal counsel; (4) filing an appeal from a commission order;