GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2007-238
HOUSE BILL 1197
AN ACT amending the charter of the city of statesville to modify the powers and duties of the civil service board AND AMENDING THE ACT ESTABLISHING THE BUNCOMBE COUNTY SHERIFF'S PERSONNEL ADVISORY BOARD.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Article V of the Charter of the City of Statesville, being Chapter 289 of the 1977 Session Laws, as amended by Chapter 799 of the 1981 Session Laws, reads as rewritten:
"CIVIL SERVICE BOARD.
"Sec. 5.1. Members; Term of Office. The Civil Service Board of the City, hereinafter referred to as the 'Board', shall consist of five members. Terms shall begin on the first day of July and expire on the last day of June.
The present members of the Board shall continue to serve until their present terms expire. That person appointed to fill the first term expiring shall be appointed to a three-year term. Of those appointed to the next three terms expiring, one shall serve a one-year term, one shall serve a two-year term, and one shall serve a three-year term. That person appointed to fill the last present term expiring shall serve a three-year term. These staggered terms are to ensure that a majority of the terms shall not expire during the same year. After the expiration of the term of these appointments, all appointments shall be for a three-year term.
"Sec. 5.2. Appointment of Members; Vacancies; Reappointments. All members of the Board shall be appointed by the senior Resident Judge of the Superior Court of the Judicial District of which Iredell County is a part. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled by appointment in the same manner, and any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term. No member of the Board, after having served a full two or three-year term, shall be eligible for reappointment to the next succeeding term.
"Sec. 5.3. Qualifications; Removal From Office. Any person, other than a member of the City Council, an elective officer, a member or employee of the police or fire department, or an employee of the City, who is a qualified voter in the municipal elections in the City, shall be eligible for membership on the Board; provided that at least two members shall be of a political party different from that of the majority of the Board. Each member of the Board shall take an oath (or affirmation) for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office. The members of the Board shall be subject to removal from office by the senior Resident Superior Court Judge for any cause which, in his discretion, makes such removal in the best interests of the public.
"Sec. 5.4. Election of Officers; Duties; Records Open to Public. The Board shall elect from its membership a chairman and a secretary for a term of one year. The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board. The secretary shall keep the minutes of the proceedings of the Board and shall be the custodian of all papers and records pertaining to the business of the Board, and shall perform such other duties as the Board may direct. All of the records of the Board shall be open to public inspection, during normal business hours at their place of keeping, except where otherwise prohibited by law.
"Sec. 5.5. Powers and Duties.
The Board shall
establish and fix requirements of applicants for employment in the police
department and the fire department of the City, not contrary to State law.
These requirements shall be printed and made available for public inspection
and for the use of the employees of and applicants for employment in such
departments. The board shall institute an affirmative action program in
locating, testing and employing qualified blacks for entry level positions in
police and fire departments, maintain accurate records and report regularly to
city council on progress made in complying with federal court order.The
Board shall hear grievances as to promotions, demotions, suspensions, and
terminations of members of the fire and police departments.
"Sec. 5.5.1. Equal Opportunity. The Board shall maintain a program to insure that all employment decisions made by any person under this section shall be made without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, or handicapping condition.
"Sec. 5.6. Compensation. The members of the Board shall receive as compensation for each meeting the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00).
"Sec. 5.7. Rooms and Clerical Help. The City shall
provide suitable rooms for the Board and shall provide all necessary clerical
and stenographic help and all stationery, forms, and other supplies needed by
the Board, and shall allow such reasonable use of the facilities of the City
the holding of examinations, and such other use as may be necessary for the
proper conduct of its affairs. "Sec. 5.8. Examination of Applicants. All applicants
for sworn positions in the police department and qualified firefighters in the
fire department of the City shall be subject to an examination by the Board,
which examination shall be competitive and open to all persons, subject to a
reasonable limitation as to age, health, moral character and general
reputation. The examination shall relate to those matters which will fairly
test the relative ability of the person examined to discharge in a proper
fashion the duties of the position which he seeks to be appointed to, and shall
include tests of physical, mental, and moral qualifications, but no applicant
shall be examined concerning his political opinions or affiliations. Due regard
shall be given by the Board in its examination of applicants for positions in
the police department and fire department to the experience or training of any
applicant which may qualify him for the duties which he would be called upon to
discharge as a member of either department. "Sec. 5.9. Notice of Examinations. Notice of the time
and place of every examination shall be given by the Board by advertisement in
some newspaper published in the City. "Sec. 5.10. Eligibility List; Appointments. The Board
shall prepare and keep an eligibility list of persons successfully passing its
examinations for the positions of patrolmen and firefighters. Each person shall
be graded according to his respective showing upon such examinations, and the
Board shall make appointments to vacancies, which occur in the departments, on
a basis of the grades made by the various applicants upon the examinations so
given. All examinations given by the Board shall be made under the rules and
regulations established by the Board. All names which remain on the eligibility list for a
period of two years shall be stricken therefrom; provided, however, any person
who becomes eligible for appointment to either the police department or fire
department, and is given proper notification that a vacancy exists, shall have
seven days to accept or reject the appointment and if he rejects same, his name
shall be removed immediately from the eligibility list. "Sec. 5.11. Appointment of Policemen and Firemen;
Responsible to Mayor and Council. The Chiefs and members of the Police and Fire
Departments shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Board. The Chiefs and members of the Police and Fire Departments
shall be under the direction and control of, and shall be directly responsible
to, the Mayor and City Council or, upon proper delegation, to the City Manager.
"Sec. 5.12. Promotions. All promotions shall be by
competitive examination within the departments and shall be made by the
respective chiefs, with the approval of the Board.
Acting Chiefs. Notwithstanding any
other section to the contrary, if The City Manager shall hire and may
terminate the Chiefs of the fire and police departments. If a vacancy
occurs in the position of Chief and a new Chief is not immediately appointed,
an acting Chief shall be appointed by the City Manager from within the
department. The acting Chief shall have all the powers, duties and
responsibilities as does the Chief. The acting Chief may be removed from office
at any time by the City Manager, in which case he or she shall be
restored to his former position.
"Sec. 5.14. Suspension of Fire and Police Chiefs.
mayor and city council or, upon proper delegation, the city manager shall have
the authority to suspend, demote or terminate from employment the chief of
either the police or fire department, but no such suspension, demotion or
termination shall become final until concurred in by the civil service board.The
City Manager shall be responsible for the hiring, firing, and discipline of the
police and fire Chiefs.
"Sec. 5.14.1. Hiring Members of Police and Fire Departments; Promotions. The Chiefs of the police and fire departments shall hire the members of their respective departments. All promotions shall be by competitive examination within the departments and shall be made by the respective Chiefs.
"Sec. 5.15. Suspensions; Demotions; Terminations. The Chief of the police or fire department may suspend, demote, or terminate from employment any member of their respective departments for the infraction of any departmental rules and regulations. The Chief may also suspend a departmental employee during the investigation, hearing, or trial of said employee on any criminal charge, when suspension would be in the best interest of the department; where the suspension is terminated by full reinstatement of the employee, back pay shall be recoverable. Suspensions for an infraction of departmental rules and regulations of more than 15 days at any one time, or one which would make the total number of days suspended exceed 25 during any six-month period; demotions in rank and terminations may be appealed to the Board, upon written request filed with the respective Chief within three days of notification of the disciplinary action taken. The rules and regulations of each department may provide for appeals in the case of all suspensions for infractions of departmental rules and regulations; the Board shall have the power to hear such appeals. Upon notification of an appeal, the Board may make such investigation as it may direct and shall hold a hearing at which the accused shall be given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence in his own behalf. The Board shall have power to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony.
The board shall have the authority to suspend, demote in
rank, or terminate from employment any employee who has appealed. The board
shall have the authority to sustain the disciplinary action imposed by
the chief or vacate the same or impose such disciplinary action as it may
determine; provided that no such suspension, demotion or termination action
shall become final until concurred in it is concurred by the
city council. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary herein, a Any
probationary employee of either department may be summarily discharged by the
Chief of that department with no right to appeal to the Board.
Decisions regarding disciplinary actions made by the Chiefs, where no right to appeal exists, and all decisions of the Board under this section, shall be final and not subject to judicial review.
This section shall not apply to terminations due to a reduction in personnel.
"Sec. 5.16. Political Activity. No member or employee of the police department or the fire department shall contribute to or take part in any manner, directly or indirectly, in any election or function involving the election of a candidate for municipal office, other than casting his secret ballot.
No employee of the police department or the fire department shall seek a political office while employed as a member of either department, and shall not be granted a leave of absence prior to offering for election. Such employee shall automatically be dropped from the payroll of the City on the date the filing fee is paid to the Election Board."
SECTION 2.(a) Effective with the appointments made under Section 2(b) of this act, Section 1 of Chapter 297 of the 1973 Session Laws reads as rewritten:
"Section 1. Creation.
There is hereby created a Personnel Advisory Board for the Sheriff's Department
of Buncombe County which shall be composed of
three five members
to be appointed by the senior regular resident Superior Court judge of the 28th
SECTION 2.(b) Effective with the appointments made under this subsection, Section 2 of Chapter 297 of the 1973 Session Laws reads as rewritten:
"Sec. 2. Terms, and Qualifications and Removal.
The senior regular resident judge of Superior Court shall,
before July 1, 1973, appoint the three members on or before September 1,
2007, appoint the five members of his selection who shall constitute the
Personnel Advisory Board. The terms of office of the three persons serving
on the date of the new appointments expire on that date. The initial term
of office of one member two members of the Board shall be
for one year; the initial term of office of one member two
members shall be for two years; and the initial term of office of
one member shall be for three years. The resident judge shall determine and
announce the terms of the respective members of the Board.
At the expiration of the term of each member of said Board the resident judge shall appoint a successor for a term of three years. Any vacancy in the Personnel Advisory Board shall be filled in the manner herein provided for the appointment of members, and the person so appointed shall serve for the unexpired term of the member whose place he fills. Members of the Board shall hold office until their successors are appointed and qualified.
All persons appointed to the Personnel Advisory Board shall
be interested in promoting a merit system of personnel administration and none
practice or have practiced law in the criminal courts of Buncombe
County or hold or have held political office or an office in a political party
during the previous three years. be a current elected officeholder.
The members of the Board shall serve without pay or remuneration but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in the course of their duties.
The Board shall annually elect one of its members as chairman.
A member of the Board may be removed by the senior resident judge only for cause, after being given a copy of the charges against him and an opportunity to be heard publicly on such charges."
SECTION 2.(c) Section 3 of Chapter 297 of the 1973 Session Laws reads as rewritten:
"Sec. 3. Duties of Personnel Advisory Board. The duties of the Personnel Board shall be as follows:
to To represent
the public interest in the improvement of personnel administration;
to To advise
the Sheriff of Buncombe County concerning personnel administration, including
minimum standards of employment established by the Criminal Justice and
Training and Standards Council, and the methods used to publicize vacancies;
to To make
any investigations which it may consider desirable concerning the
administration of personnel in the Department;
to To advise
the Sheriff on such personnel rules as he shall establish; and
to To hear
appeals, receive evidence, determine facts and make recommendations to the
Sheriff in case of employee appeals of suspension, demotion and dismissal
and/or dismissal, and to determine and establish a rotating board for hiring
SECTION 2.(d) Sections 5 and 6 of Chapter 297 of the 1973 Session Laws read as rewritten:
"Sec. 5. Political Activity Restricted. Every
employee has a civic responsibility to support good government by every
available means and in every appropriate manner. Each employee may join or
affiliate with civic organizations of a partisan or political nature, may
attend political meetings, and may advocate and support the principles or
policies of civic or political organizations in accordance with the
Constitution and laws of the State of North Carolina and in accordance with the
Constitution and laws of the United States of America. However, no employee of
shall shall, as a duty of his office or employment, or
as a condition for employment, promotion, or tenure of office: (1) engage
in any political activity while on duty, (2) be required as a duty of his
office or employment, or as a condition for employment, promotion, or tenure of
office, to contribute to contribute funds for political or partisan
purposes, (3) solicit, or act as custodian of, funds for political or partisan
purposes, (4) coerce or compel contributions for political or partisan purposes
by any other employee of the County, or (5) use any supplies or equipment of
the County for political purposes. Any violation of this section shall be
deemed improper conduct and shall subject such employee to dismissal or other
disciplinary action by the Sheriff.
Sec. 6. Exemptions. All employees in the Sheriff's
Department shall be subject to this act except the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy
the Assistant Chief Deputy Sheriff and the Administrative Deputy
Sheriff. and the majors and captains of the Buncombe County Sheriff's
SECTION 3. This act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 18th day of July, 2007.
s/ Marc Basnight
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Joe Hackney
Speaker of the House of Representatives