Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

Introduced Version House Bill 2326 History

   |  Email


hb2326 intr
H. B. 2326


(By Delegates R. Thompson, Perdue and Kominar)
[Introduced
February 14, 2005 ; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-5U-1, §16-5U-2 and §16-5U-3, all relating to the creation of a forensic dental office to provide an authoritative resource to identify unknown individuals by means of dental records; providing for the appointment of a director by the Governor; selection of skilled teams to provide services in mass disasters and other occurrences; duties; facilities; salaries and fees; removal of director; and requiring hearing upon removal.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-5U-1
, §16-5U-2 and §16-5U-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5U. FORENSIC DENTAL OFFICE.

§16-5U-1. Forensic dental office established; appointment, duties, etc., of director; assistants and employees; promulgation of rules.

(a) A forensic dental office is hereby established. The office shall be operated by a director, who may designate and have oversight of district task forces and committees that shall respond to needs of a particular area when the director is notified of the need to identify unknown individuals by means of dental records. The director may employ forensic specialists, laboratory technicians, and other staff members, as needed to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in this article.
(b) All persons employed by the director are responsible to him or her and may be discharged for any reasonable cause. The director shall specify the qualifications required for each position in the forensic dental office, and each position is subject to rules prescribed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources.
(c) The director must be a dentist licensed to practice dentistry in the State of West Virginia, who has experience in forensic dentistry. The director will be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor may remove the director for misconduct that prevents or inhibits delivery of services for which the director was appointed or for nonprofessional conduct: Provided, That the removal may only be made after substantial evidence is produced in a hearing before the board. The Director of the Division of Health shall propose legislative rules for the procedure of removal.
(d) The director shall operate with independent authority for the purposes of:
(1) The performance of death investigations of unknown individuals;
(2) The establishment of the identity of the unknown persons alive and deceased by dental records; and
(3) The formulation of conclusions, opinions or testimony in judicial proceedings.
(e) The director, or his or her designee, must be available at all times for consultation as necessary for carrying out the functions of the forensic dental office.
(f) The director is authorized to prescribe specific forms for record books and official papers which are necessary to the functions and responsibilities of the forensic dental office.
(g) The salary of the director and the salaries of all assistants and employees of the forensic dental office shall be fixed by the Legislature from funds appropriated for that purpose. The director must take an oath and provide a bond as required by law. Within the discretion of the director of the Division of Health, the director of the forensic dental office and his or her assistants shall lecture or instruct in the field of legal dentistry and other related subjects to the West Virginia University or Marshall University School of Dentistry and Medicine, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, the West Virginia State Police, other law-enforcement agencies and other interested groups.
(h) The director must have readily available a skilled team with resources to respond as necessary for mass disasters and other similar occurrences. All local and state teams shall train periodically and receive continuing education to meet the demands of providing needed services contemplated by this article. The teams will be available for services outside the State of West Virginia if requested. The director may request assistance from other forensic dental teams, such as the military and other out-of-state teams, to enhance identifications.
(i) The director may appoint and reappoint members to a local, regional or state team for a specified term to accomplish the purposes of this article. Any person so appointed serves at the will and pleasure of the director. Any person appointed as a team member must be properly licensed by the appropriate licensing board having jurisdiction in the field of the team member so appointed. If there is no licensing board for a particular field of needed services for team members, the director is responsible for determining the qualifications of those persons.
§16-5U-2. Central office and laboratory.
The forensic dental office may establish and maintain a central office and a laboratory having adequate professional and technical personnel and medical and scientific facilities for the performance of the duties imposed by this article. In order to secure facilities sufficient to meet the duties imposed by the provisions of this code, the director of the forensic dental office may enter into agreements, subject to the approval of the Director of the Division of Health, with other state agencies or departments, with public or private colleges or universities, schools of medicine or hospitals for the use of laboratories, personnel, equipment and other fixtures, facilities or services.
In the alternative, the director is in charge of inventory of needed equipment and supplies for records and shall designate a storage facility for these items. The director may also work with local task forces to determine facilities that could be utilized during these identification processes.
§16-5U-3. Certain salaries and expenses paid by state.

The salaries of the director of the forensic dental office, the salaries of all assistants and employees employed in the central office and laboratory, the expenses of maintaining the central office and laboratory and the cost of services rendered by persons other than the director of the forensic dental board and the director's assistants, including expenses for continuing education and training, shall be paid by the State out of funds appropriated for that purpose: Provided, That team members may only be compensated for actual services performed in a real event identification, although a stipend and reimbursement for related expenses shall be allowed during training and continuing education for team members. Fees for actual services shall be contracted on an hourly rate between the director and team members and may be received from the individual estates of the unknown individuals or from those liable for the identification of the unknown individuals. The director of the forensic dental office is not liable to team members for payments of services unless otherwise negotiated and approved prior to rendering services.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a forensic dental office to provide an authoritative resource to identify unknown individuals by means of dental records. It provides for the appointment of a director by the Governor; selection of skilled teams to provide services in mass disasters and other occurrences; and otherwise defines duties, authorizes establishment of facilities, salaries and fees and removal of director.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature ***