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 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 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 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 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 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 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: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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