(b) In accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the commission, in consultation with the West Virginia state bar, shall propose rules for legislative approval establishing a code of conduct for state administrative law judges, which shall incorporate the following major provisions:
(1) A state administrative law judge shall uphold the integrity and independence of the administrative judiciary;
(2) A state administrative law judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities;
(3) A state administrative law judge shall perform the duties of the office impartially and diligently;
(4) A state administrative law judge shall regulate the judge's extra-judicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial duties;
(5) A state administrative law judge shall refrain from political activity inappropriate to the office; and
(6) Appropriate civil penalties and sanctions for violations.
In proposing the rules, the commission shall consider the model codes of judicial conduct for state administrative law judges as drafted by the National Association of Administrative Law Judges and the American Bar Association.
(c) The legislative rules shall provide that an individual agency may develop a code of conduct for its own administrative law judges, which shall supersede the general code of conduct established under this section, if the commission determines that it is in substantial compliance with the objectives of the code proposed by the commission. Upon granting a waiver to an agency, the commission shall retain a copy of the agency's code to be made available to the public.
(d) The commission shall propose the legislative rules by the first day of October, two thousand four, so that it may be considered by the Legislature at the regular session in the year two thousand five, and the commission may not promulgate an emergency rule on this matter in the interim.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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