143B-13. Appointment, qualifications, terms, and removal of members of commissions.

(a) Each member of a commission created by or under the authority of the Executive Organization Act of 1973 shall be a resident of the State of North Carolina, unless otherwise specifically authorized by law.

Unless more restrictive qualifications are provided in the Executive Organization Act of 1973, the Governor shall appoint each member on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field for which appointed, and with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership.

The balance of unexpired terms of existing commission members shall be served in accordance with their most recent appointment.

A vacancy occurring during a term of office is filled in the same manner as the original appointment is made and for the balance of the unexpired term, unless otherwise provided by law or by the Constitution of North Carolina.

(b) A commission membership becomes vacant on the happening of any of the following events before the expiration of the term: (i) the death of the incumbent, (ii) his incompetence as determined by final judgment or final order of a court of competent jurisdiction, (iii) his resignation, (iv) his removal from office, (v) his ceasing to be a resident of the State, (vi) his ceasing to discharge the duties of his office over a period of three consecutive months except when prevented by sickness, (vii) his conviction of a felony or of any offense involving a violation of his official duties, (viii) his refusal or neglect to take an oath within the time prescribed, (ix) the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction declaring void his appointment, and (x) his commitment as a substance abuser under Part 8 of Article 5 of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes; but in that event, the office shall not be considered vacant until the order of commitment has become final.

(c) No member of the State commission may use his position to influence any election or the political activity of any person, and any such member who violates this subsection may be removed from such office by the Governor, if such member was appointed by the Governor, or by the appointing authority, if such member was not appointed by the Governor. Nothing herein shall prohibit such member from publishing the fact of his membership in his own campaign for public office.

(d) In addition to the foregoing, any member of a commission may be removed from office by the Governor for misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance.

(e) Any appointment by the Governor to a commission, board, council or committee made subsequent to January 5, 1973, and prior to July 1, 1973, for a term that would extend for a period inconsistent with the staggered term provisions of the Executive Organization Act of 1973, may be reduced by the Governor to conform to those staggered term provisions.

(f) Whenever a statute requires that the Governor appoint at least one person from each congressional district to a board or commission, and due to congressional redistricting, two or more members of the board or commission shall reside in the same congressional district, then such members shall continue to serve as members of the board or commission for a period equal to the remainder of their unexpired terms, provided that upon the expiration of said term or terms the Governor shall fill such vacancy or vacancies in such a manner as to insure that as expeditiously as possible there is one member of the board or commission who is a resident of each congressional district in the State.

(f1) Whenever a statute requires that the Governor or any board, commission, council, person, or agency (whether or not that board, commission, council, or agency was established under this Chapter) appoint one or more persons from each congressional district to a board, commission, or council, and due to congressional redistricting, a person no longer resides in the district the member has been appointed to represent, such member or members shall, if otherwise qualified, continue to serve as members of the board or commission for the remainder of their unexpired terms, and shall be considered to meet the residency requirement.

(f2) Whenever a statute requires that the Governor or any board, commission, council, person, or agency (whether or not that board, commission, council, or agency was established under this Chapter) appoint one or more persons from each congressional district to a board, commission, or council, and the statute fails to provide for a procedure to fill the extra position due to the addition of an additional congressional district, then the appointing authority shall appoint a person for a term commencing on January 3rd of the year in which the addition of the additional congressional district becomes effective. Unless the statute provides for persons to serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority, the appointing authority shall set the length of the initial term of office. (1973, c. 476, s. 13; 1975, c. 879, s. 47; 1981, c. 520, s. 1; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1191, s. 5; 1985, c. 589, ss. 45, 46; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1038, s. 16.)