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Introduced Version House Bill 2703 History

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H. B. 2703

 

         (By Delegates Hamilton, Lane, D. Campbell,

           L. Phillips, Crosier, Andes, M. Poling, Ireland,

                  Ellem, Sigler and D. Poling)


         [Introduced January 21, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §7-14-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §8-14-7 of said code; and to amend and reenact §8-15-12 of said code, all relating to qualifications of members of the Policemen’s Civil Service Commission, the Firemen’s Civil Service Commission and the Civil Service Commissions of the counties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §7-14-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §8-14-7 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that §8-15-12 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 14. CIVIL SERVICE FOR DEPUTY SHERIFFS.

§7-14-3. Civil Service Commission.

    There shall be a Civil Service Commission in each county and the state. Each such civil service commission shall consist of three commissioners, one of whom shall be appointed by the bar association of such county, one of whom shall be appointed by the deputy sheriff's association of such county, and one of whom shall be appointed by the county commission of such county. In the event the bar association or deputy sheriff's association fails to make an appointment within the time prescribed in this section therefor, then such appointment shall be made by the county commission. The individuals appointed commissioners shall not be a member of the immediate family of any person appointing him or her and shall not have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the State of West Virginia. For the purpose of this section, "immediate family" means the relationships of mother, father, sister, brother, child or spouse. The persons appointed commissioners shall be qualified voters of the county for which they are appointed, and at least two of the commissioners shall be persons in full sympathy with the purposes of this article. Not more than two of the commissioners, at any one time, shall be members of the same political party. The commissioners in each county shall be appointed as follows: Within sixty days from the effective date of this article, the authorities having the power to appoint members to the Civil Service Commission shall appoint the three commissioners, the first to be appointed by the bar association of the county shall serve for six years from the date of appointment, the second to be appointed by the deputy sheriff's association of the county shall serve for four years from the date of appointment, and the third to be appointed by the county commission of the county shall serve for a term of two years from the date of appointment. All subsequent appointments shall be made for terms of four years. In the event that any commissioner of the civil service commission ceases to be a member thereof by virtue of death, final removal or other cause, a new commissioner shall be appointed to fill the unexpired term of that commissioner within ten days after said ex-commissioner ceased to be a member of the commission. Such appointment shall be made by the authority who appointed the commissioner who is no longer a member of the commission. Each year the three members of the commission shall, together, elect one of their number to act as president of the commission for a term of one year. The county commission may at any time remove a commissioner for good cause, which shall be stated in writing and made a part of the records of the commission. Once the county commission has removed any commissioner, such county commission shall within ten days thereafter file in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county a petition setting forth in full the reason for the removal and praying for the confirmation of the circuit court of the action of the county commission in removing the said commissioner. A copy of the petition shall be served upon the commissioner so removed simultaneously with its filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court and has precedence on the docket of the circuit court and shall be heard by the court as soon as practicable upon the request of the removed commissioner. All rights hereby vested in the circuit court may be exercised by the judge thereof in vacation. In the event that no term of the circuit court is being held at the time of the filing of the petition, and the judge thereof cannot be reached in the county wherein the petition was filed, the petition shall be heard at the next succeeding term of the circuit court, whether regular or special, and the commissioner so removed shall remain removed until a hearing is had upon the petition of the county commission. The circuit court, or the judge thereof in vacation, shall hear and decide the issues presented by the petition. The county commission or commissioner, as the case may be, against whom the decisions of the circuit court or judge thereof in vacation is rendered has the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the decision of the circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation as in other civil cases. In the event that the county commission fails to file its petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court, as hereinbefore provided, within ten days after the removal of the commissioner, such commissioner immediately resumes his or her position as a member of the civil service commission.

    Any resident of the county has the right at any time to file charges against and seek the removal of any member of the civil service commission. The charges shall be filed in the form of a petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county. A copy of the petition shall be served upon the commissioner sought to be removed. The petition shall be matured for hearing and heard as a civil action by the circuit court of the county for which the commissioner serves as a member of the civil service commission or by the judge thereof in vacation. The party against whom the decision of the circuit court or judge thereof in vacation is rendered has the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the decision of the circuit court or judge thereof in vacation as in other civil cases.

    No commissioner may hold any other office (other than the office of notary public) under the United States, this state or any municipality, county or other political subdivision thereof; nor may any commissioner serve on any political party committee or take any active part in the management of any political campaign.

CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.

ARTICLE 14. LAW AND ORDER; POLICE FORCE OR DEPARTMENTS; POWERS, AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND POLICEMEN; POLICE MATRONS; SPECIAL SCHOOL ZONE AND PARKING LOT OR PARKING BUILDING POLICE OFFICERS; CIVIL SERVICE FOR CERTAIN POLICE DEPARTMENTS.

§8-14-7. Policemen's civil service commission generally.

    In every Class I and Class II city having a paid police department, there shall be a "Policemen's Civil Service Commission." The commission shall consist of three commissioners, one of whom shall be appointed by the mayor of the city; one of whom shall be appointed by the local fraternal order of police; and the third shall be appointed by the local chamber of commerce, or if there be none, by a local businessmen's association. The individuals appointed commissioners shall not be a member of the immediate family of any person appointing him or her and shall not have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the State of West Virginia. For the purpose of this section, "immediate family" means the relationships of mother, father, sister, brother, child or spouse. The individuals appointed commissioners shall be qualified voters of the city for which they are appointed; and at least two of said commissioners shall be individuals in full sympathy with the purposes of the civil service provisions of this article. Not more than two of the said commissioners, at any one time, shall be adherents of the same political party. Of the three original appointments in each city, the first commissioner shall be appointed by the mayor and shall serve for six years from the date of his or her appointment; the second commissioner shall be appointed by the local fraternal order of police and shall serve for four years from the date of his or her appointment; and the third commissioner shall be appointed by the local chamber of commerce or local businessmen's association and shall serve for two years from the date of his or her appointment. In the event there is no local chamber of commerce or local businessmen's association at the time any appointment is to be made by it, such appointment shall be made by the other two commissioners by mutual agreement. After the original appointments, all appointments shall be made for periods of four years each by the appointing authority hereinbefore designated. In the event that any commissioner of said civil service commission shall cease to be a member thereof by virtue of death, final removal or other cause, a new commissioner shall be appointed to fill the unexpired term of said commissioner within ten days after said excommissioner shall have ceased to be a member of said commission. Such appointment shall be made by the officer or body who in the first instance appointed the commissioner who is no longer a member of the commission, except that in the case of a vacancy in an appointment made by the Governor, which vacancy occurs after the effective date of this article, the appointment for the unexpired term shall be made by the mayor. Each year the three members of the commission shall, together, elect one of their number to act as president of the commission, who shall serve as president for one year. The mayor may, at any time, remove any commissioner or commissioners for good cause, which shall be stated in writing and made a part of the records of the commission: Provided, That once the mayor has removed any commissioner, the Mayor shall within ten days thereafter file in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the city or the major portion of the territory thereof is located a petition setting forth in full the reason for said removal and praying for the confirmation by said circuit court of the action of the Mayor in so removing the said commissioner. A copy of said petition shall be served upon the commissioner so removed simultaneously with its filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court and shall have precedence on the docket of said court and shall be heard by said court as soon as practicable upon the request of the removed commissioner or commissioners. All rights herein vested in said circuit court may be exercised by the judge thereof in vacation. In the event that no term of the circuit court is being held at the time of the filing of said petition, and the judge thereof cannot be reached in the county wherein the petition was filed, said petition shall be heard at the next succeeding term of said circuit court, whether regular or special, and the commissioner or commissioners so removed shall remain removed until a hearing is had upon the said petition of the Mayor. The court or the judge thereof in vacation shall hear and decide the issues presented by said petition. The Mayor or commissioner or commissioners, as the case may be, against whom the decision of the court or the judge thereof in vacation shall be rendered, shall have the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the decision of the circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation as in other civil cases. In the event that the mayor shall fail to file his or her petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court, as hereinbefore provided, within ten days after the removal of said commissioner or commissioners, such commissioner or commissioners shall immediately resume his or her or their position or positions as a member or members of the policemen's Civil Service Commission.

    Any resident of the city shall have the right at any time to file charges against and seek the removal of any member of the policemen's civil service commission of such city. Such charges shall be filed in the form of a petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the city or the Major portion of the territory thereof is located, and a copy of said petition shall be served upon the commissioner or commissioners sought to be removed. Said petition shall be matured for hearing and heard by said circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation in the same manner as civil proceedings in the circuit courts of this state are heard, and the party against whom the circuit court's decision is rendered shall have the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the action of the circuit court, as in other civil cases.

    No commissioner shall hold any other office (other than the office of notary public) under the United States, this state, or any municipality, county or other political subdivision thereof; nor shall any commissioner serve on any political committee or take any active part in the management of any political campaign.

ARTICLE 15. FIRE FIGHTING; FIRE COMPANIES AND DEPARTMENTS; CIVIL SERVICE FOR PAID FIRE DEPARTMENTS.

§8-15-12. Firemen's Civil Service Commission generally.

    In every municipality having a paid fire department, there shall be a "Firemen's Civil Service Commission." The commission shall consist of three commissioners, one of whom shall be appointed by the Mayor of the municipality; one of whom shall be appointed by the local international association of fire fighters in the event that said local exists in the municipality, or in case no such local exists in the municipality, then by the local central body of the West Virginia Federation of Labor AFL-CIO in the event that said central body exists in the municipality, or in case that no such central body exists in the municipality, then by the West Virginia Federation of Labor AFL-CIO; and the third shall be appointed by the local chamber of commerce, or if there be none, by a local businessmen's association. The individuals appointed commissioners shall not be a member of the immediate family of any person appointing him or her and shall not have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and shall reside in the State of West Virginia. For the purpose of this section, "immediate family" means the relationships of mother, father, sister, brother, child or spouse. The individuals appointed commissioners shall be qualified voters of the municipality for which they are appointed; and at least two of said commissioners shall be individuals in full sympathy with the purposes of the civil service provisions of this article. Not more than two of the said commissioners, at any one time, shall be adherents of the same political party. Of the three original appointments in each municipality, the first commissioner shall be appointed by the mayor and shall serve for six years from the date of his or her appointment; the second commissioner shall be appointed by the local trades board, or in the absence of such board, by the international association of fire fighters, and shall serve for four years from the date of his or her appointment; and the third commissioner shall be appointed by the local chamber of commerce or local businessmen's association and shall serve for two years from the date of his or her appointment. In the event there is no local chamber of commerce or local businessmen's association at the time any appointment is to be made by it, such appointment shall be made by the other two commissioners by mutual agreement. After the original appointments, all appointments shall be made for periods of four years each by the appointing authority hereinbefore designated. In the event that any commissioner of said Civil Service Commission shall cease to be a member thereof by virtue of death, final removal or other cause, a new commissioner shall be appointed to fill the unexpired term of said commissioner within ten days after said ex-commissioner shall have ceased to be a member of said commission. Such appointment shall be made by the officer or body who in the first instance appointed the commissioner who is no longer a member of the commission. Each year the three members of the commission shall, together, elect one of their number to act as president of the commission, who shall serve as president for one year. The Mayor may, at any time, remove any commissioner or commissioners for good cause, which shall be stated in writing and made a part of the records of the commission: Provided, That once the mayor has removed any commissioner, the mayor shall within ten days thereafter file in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the municipality or the major portion of the territory thereof is located a petition setting forth in full the reason for said removal and praying for the confirmation by said circuit court of the action of the Mayor in so removing the said commissioner. A copy of said petition shall be served upon the commissioner so removed simultaneously with its filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court and shall have precedence on the docket of said court and shall be heard by said court as soon as practicable upon the request of the removed commissioner or commissioners. All rights herein vested in said circuit court may be exercised by the judge thereof in vacation. In the event that no term of the circuit court is being held at the time of the filing of said petition, and the judge thereof cannot be reached in the county wherein the petition was filed, said petition shall be heard at the next succeeding term of said circuit court, whether regular or special, and the commissioner or commissioners so removed shall remain removed until a hearing is had upon the petition of the mayor. The court or the judge thereof in vacation shall hear and decide the issues presented by said petition. The Mayor or commissioner or commissioners, as the case may be, against whom the decision of the court or the judge thereof in vacation shall be rendered, shall have the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the decision of the circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation as in other civil cases. In the event that the mayor shall fail to file his or her petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court, as hereinbefore provided, within ten days after the removal of said commissioner or commissioners, such commissioner or commissioners shall immediately resume his or her or their position or positions as a member or members of the firemen's civil service commission.

    Any resident of the municipality shall have the right at any time to file charges against and seek the removal of any member of the firemen's Civil Service Commission of such municipality. Such charges shall be filed in the form of a petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the municipality or the major portion of the territory thereof is located, and a copy of said petition shall be served upon the commissioner or commissioners sought to be removed. Said petition shall be matured for hearing and heard by said circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation in the same manner as civil proceedings in the circuit courts of this state are heard, and the party against whom the circuit court's decision is rendered shall have the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the action of the circuit court, as in other civil cases.

    No commissioner shall hold any other office (other than the office of notary public) under the United States, this state or any municipality, county or other political subdivision thereof; nor shall any commissioner serve on any political committee or take any active part in the management of any political campaign.

 

 

 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit individuals appointed commissioners of the Policemen’s Civil Service Commission, the Firemen’s Civil Service Commission and the civil service commissions of the counties from being a member of the immediate family of any person appointing him or her to that commission. The bill also prohibits individuals who have been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude from serving as a commissioner. The bill also requires those commissioners to reside in the State of West Virginia

 

    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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