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Internal Investigations & Decision-Making: Essential Elements. Education Compliance Group, Inc. P.O. Box 221 Lafayette, CO  80026 (888) 604-6141 www.educationcompliancegroup.com. Investigation readiness.

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internal investigations decision making essential elements
Internal Investigations & Decision-Making:Essential Elements
  • Education Compliance Group, Inc.
  • P.O. Box 221
  • Lafayette, CO  80026
  • (888) 604-6141
  • www.educationcompliancegroup.com
investigation readiness
Investigation readiness
  • Are your processes and documentation in good shape if your department – or a member of your department – is the subject of investigation?

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

when should you investigate
When should you investigate?
  • Make a decision to do something.
  • Federal or state law, or your own policy, may require investigation.
    • Civil rights laws
    • Health and safety laws
    • Drug-free workplace
    • Background checks
  • Bus stop issues
  • Allegations of conduct violations, behavior issues
  • Contract bidding disputes
  • Wage & hours issues
  • Money matters
  • Policy or prior exceptions demonstrate weakness
  • Calls from a gov’t agency

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

are you ready
Are you ready?
  • Critical thinking
    • What is the point?
    • Who needs to be involved?
    • What documents must be gathered?
  • Critical questioning
    • Determine key questions to be asked
    • Don’t assume anything
    • Focus: What did witness see, hear, touch, smell, feel
    • Facts: What does the witness “know” v. what the witness thinks he knows

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

are you ready contd
Are you ready, contd.?
  • Critical listening
    • Plan to listen
    • Don’t interrupt
    • Focus on facts
  • Do you have enough facts?
    • OCR standard
    • Employee matters
  • Where does mediation fit in?
  • What are you going to investigate?

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

who will be the investigator
Who will be the investigator?
  • HR
  • Outside consultant
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Your role?
  • Issues related to coordination between schooldistrict and contractor

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

other things to think about before beginning
Other things to think about before beginning
  • Does the concern involve a “biggie”?
  • What is the relationship to criminal law?
    • Standard of proof
  • Use of bus surveillance videos
    • Policy issues
    • State of the law
  • Preserving documents
  • Keep an open mind

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

placing an employee on leave
Placing an Employee on Leave
  • Administrative Leave With Pay
  • Administrative Leave Without Pay

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

placing an employee on leave1
Placing an Employee on Leave

Factors to Consider:

  • Would their presence negatively impact the investigation?
  • Nature of charges requires the employee to not be in the workplace
  • The employee is emotionally and/or physically unable to be at work
  • Enhance ability to protect and preserve evidence

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

have a documented process
Have a documented process
  • Keep an investigation file
    • Log of investigator’s actions and calls, by date
    • All communications to and from witnesses
    • All interview notes, and draft and final witness statements
    • All complaints
    • All documents that establish or refute the issues
    • Relevant physical evidence
    • Investigator’s report, if any
    • Documents reflecting notification of results and remedial actions

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

establish an interview plan modify update as needed
Establish an interview plan.Modify & update as needed.
  • Scope
    • Who should be interviewed?
  • Timeline and order of events
    • Be conscious of availability of witnesses
  • Documents
    • Determine and collect all applicable documents prior to interviews

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

establish an interview plan contd
Establish an interview plan, contd.
  • Taking and keeping records
  • Monitoring
  • Briefing educators and others
  • Retaliation concerns
  • Security issues
  • Communication with others
  • Minimizing risk of harm in the interim
  • Confidentiality
  • Follow-up

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

actions during investigation
Actions during investigation
  • Using methods to separate people involved
  • Concerns about violence/physical harassment
  • Security of internal information
  • Document preservation
  • Changing reporting structures
  • Contacting school district/ company attorney
  • Communication with other employees

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

interviewing students
Interviewing Students
  • Who should speak with students?
  • How many student witnesses are enough?
  • Recording student statements

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

interviews
Interviews
  • Plan questions – who, what, when, where, how
    • Exactly what happened?
    • When did it happen?
    • Where did it happen?
    • Who was involved, or otherwise present?
    • Who else may have relevant information?
    • How did it happen?
    • In what order?
  • Why did it happen?
  • Who is to blame?
  • Could it have been avoided?
  • Was this an isolated event , or a pattern?
  • What impact has it had?
  • With whom has it been discussed?
  • Are there documents or things?

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

and also
And also. . .
  • Instill confidence in the system. Make the point that this will not be a haphazard process, but will proceed in an organized way, according to plan
  • Consider two approaches:
    • Proceed chronologically in a way that tracks the conduct of the accused and the victim (where applicable) relative to the time period before, during, and after the alleged act of misconduct.
    • Alternatively, focus on “key events” that may pinpoint the alleged misconduct.

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 888.604.6141

special considerations
Special considerations
  • Interviews of students
  • Interviews of employees
  • Interviewing the accused
  • Interviewing the complainant
  • Formatting questions
  • Collection and maintenance of documents and artifacts

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141

analysis and conclusion
Analysis and conclusion
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Making factual findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
  • Communication of analysis and findings
  • Risks

Education Compliance Group, Inc. www.educationcompliancegroup.com 303.604.6141

education compliance group inc
Education Compliance Group, Inc.

PO Box 221

Lafayette, CO 80026

888.604.6141

www.educationcompliancegroup.com

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