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Introduced Version Senate Bill 530 History

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Senate Bill No. 530

(By Senators Jenkins, Bailey, Kessler, Plymale and Unger)

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[Introduced March 14, 2005; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §7-14-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §8-14-19 of said code, all relating to the political activities of deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers; amending the list of prohibited political activities by deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers; providing certain exceptions; prohibiting deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers from being candidates for or holding public office in the county or municipality where employed; prohibiting deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers from soliciting political contributions or donations from members or employees of the county or municipality; setting forth certain permissible activities; and providing penalties for appointed or elected officials who violate the provisions of this bill.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-14-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §8-14-19 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.
§7-14-15. Political activities of members prohibited; exceptions.
(a) A deputy sheriff may not:
(1) Solicit any assessment, subscription or contribution for any political party, committee or candidate from any person who is a member or employee of the county sheriff's department by which they are employed;
(2) Use any official authority or influence, including, but not limited to, the wearing by a deputy sheriff of his or her uniform, for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate or the passage or defeat of any ballot issue: Provided, That this subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit any deputy sheriff from casting his or her vote at any election while wearing his or her uniform;
(3) Coerce or command anyone to pay, lend or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency or person for the nomination, election or defeat of a ballot issue; or
(4) Be a candidate for or hold any other public office in the county in which he or she is employed: Provided, That any deputy sheriff that is subject to the provisions of 15 U. S. C. §1501, et seq., may not be a candidate for elective office.
(b) Other types of partisan or nonpartisan political activities not inconsistent with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section are permissible political activities for deputy sheriffs.
(c) No person shall be appointed or promoted to or demoted or dismissed from any position held by a deputy sheriff or in any way favored or discriminated against because of his or her engagement in any political activities authorized by the provisions of this section. Any elected or appointed official who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by the penalties contained in section twenty-six, article fifteen, chapter eight of this code.
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.

§8-14-19. Political activities of members prohibited; exceptions.
(a) A municipal police officer may not:
(1) Solicit any assessment, subscription or contribution for any political party, committee or candidate from any person who is a member or employee of the municipality by which they are employed;
(2) Use any official authority or influence, including, but not limited to, the wearing by a municipal police officer of his or her uniform, for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate or the passage or defeat of any ballot issue: Provided, That this subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit any municipal police officer from casting his or her vote at any election while wearing his or her uniform;
(3) Coerce or command anyone to pay, lend or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency or person for the nomination, election or defeat of a ballot issue; or
(4) Be a candidate for or hold any other public office in the municipality in which he or she is employed: Provided, That any municipal police officer that is subject to the provisions of 15 U. S. C. §1501, et seq., may not be a candidate for elective office.
(b) Other types of partisan or nonpartisan political activities not inconsistent with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section are permissible political activities for municipal police officers.
(c) No person shall be appointed or promoted to or demoted or dismissed from any position held by a municipal police officer or in any way favored or discriminated against because of his or her engagement in any political activities authorized by the provisions of this section. Any elected or appointed official who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by the penalties contained in section twenty-six, article fifteen of this chapter.

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(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to amend the law relating to the political activities of deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers by changing the list of prohibited political activities by deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers and providing certain exceptions. Under the bill, deputy sheriffs and municipal police officers are prohibited from being candidates for or holding public office in the county or municipality where employed and prohibited from soliciting political contributions or donations from members or employees of the county or municipality. The bill also provides penalties for appointed or elected officials who violate its provisions.

Strike-throughs and underlining have been omitted as these sections have been completely rewritten.)
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