(a) The commissioner of agriculture is hereby invested with the authority to, and shall upon the verified written complaint of any person or by his/her own initiative, investigate the actions of any livestock dealer, or any person who assumes to act in that capacity. Upon verification of the complaint that there is probable cause, the commissioner shall present the complaint and evidence to the board of review. The board of review shall consider all of the facts and recommend a course of action to the commissioner. The commissioner shall then issue an order.
(b) The order by the commissioner shall be served upon all persons affected thereby by registered mail. Within ten days of receipt of such order, any party adversely affected thereby may, in writing, request a hearing before the commissioner. Such hearing and any judicial review thereof shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable provisions of articles five and six, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, as if the same were set forth herein in extenso. The effect of any order shall be suspended during the course of any hearing or subsequent appeals.
(c) The board of review shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall include three persons who are residents of West Virginia and citizens of the United States. One member shall be a licensed livestock dealer, one member shall be a verified livestock producer, and one member shall represent the livestock public market industry. The members shall be appointed for terms of three years and may serve successive terms: Provided, That at the inception of the board, one member shall be appointed for a three year term, one member for a two year term and one member for a one year term. The first year term shall expire on the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and subsequently thereafter the terms shall expire on the first day of January of each year. There shall be no limit to the number of consecutive terms a member may serve on the board. Board members shall receive no compensation for their service on the board, but shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for expenses in accordance with the department of agriculture's travel regulations.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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