(a) In every Class I and Class II city having a paid police department, there shall be a "Policemen's Civil Service Commission."
(b) The commission shall consist of three commissioners, as follows:
(1) One shall be appointed by the mayor of the city;
(2) One shall be appointed by the local fraternal order of police; and
(3) One shall be appointed by the local chamber of commerce, or if there is none, by a local business association.
(c) The commissioners shall be qualified voters of the city for which they are appointed.
(1) At least two of the commissioners shall be individuals in full sympathy with the purposes of the civil service provisions of this article.
(2) Not more than two of the commissioners, at any one time, may be registered to vote as members of the same political party.
(d) In the event there is no local chamber of commerce or local business association at the time any appointment is to be made by it, the appointment shall be made by the other two commissioners by mutual agreement.
(e) Members shall serve terms of four years, staggered in accordance with prior enactments of this section.
(f) (1) If any commissioner of the civil service commission ceases to be a member of the commission by virtue of death, final removal or other cause, a new commissioner shall be appointed to fill the unexpired term of the commissioner within ten days after the excommissioner has ceased to be a member of the commission.
(2) The 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.
(g) Each year the three members of the commission shall, together, elect one of their number to act as president of the commission, who serves as president for one year.
(h) 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.
(1) Once the mayor has removed any commissioner, the mayor shall within ten days 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 of the city is located a petition setting forth in full the reason for the removal and praying for the confirmation by the circuit court of the action of the mayor in so removing the commissioner.
(2) A copy of the petition shall be served upon the commissioner removed simultaneously with its filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court and has precedence on the docket of the court and shall be heard by the court as soon as practicable upon the request of the removed commissioner or commissioners.
(i) (1) All rights vested in the circuit court by this section may be exercised by the judge thereof in vacation.
(2) If no term of the circuit court is being held at the time of the filing of the petition, and the judge cannot be reached in the county in which 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 or commissioners removed remains removed until a hearing is had upon the petition of the mayor.
(3) The court or the judge thereof in vacation shall hear and decide the issues presented by the petition.
(j) (1) The mayor or commissioner or commissioners, as the case may be, against whom the decision of the court or the 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.
(2) If the mayor fails to file a petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court within ten days after the removal of the commissioner or commissioners, the 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.
(k) Any resident of the city has the right at any time to file charges against and seek the removal of any member of the policemen's civil service commission of the city.
(1) The 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 of the city is located, and a copy of the petition shall be served upon the commissioner or commissioners sought to be removed.
(2) The petition shall be matured for hearing and heard by the 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 has the right to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals for a review of the action of the circuit court, as in other civil cases.
(l) A commissioner may not hold another office under the
United States, this state, or any municipality, county or other
political subdivision thereof, nor may a commissioner serve on a
political committee or take an active part in the management of a
political campaign, except that a commissioner may serve as a
notary public or on another local, regional or state board or
commission in a part-time capacity.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.