RS 33:2476     

§2476. Municipal fire and police civil service boards

            A. A municipal fire and police civil service board is created in the municipal government. The board shall be composed of five members who shall serve without compensation. The board shall have a chairman, vice-chairman, and a secretary. The domicile of the board shall be in the municipality it serves.

            B.(1)(a) To be eligible for appointment or to serve as a member of a board, a person shall be a citizen of the United States of America, a resident of the municipality in which he is to serve for at least five years next preceding his appointment, and, at the time of his appointment, shall be a qualified voter of the municipality.

            (b) However, with respect to the two members elected from the municipal fire and the municipal police departments, such members shall be residents of the parish in which the municipality they are to serve is located for a period of at least five years preceding their appointment upon adoption of resolution so permitting residence location by the local governing authority.

            (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this Paragraph, the two members elected from the municipal fire and the municipal police departments shall not be required to be residents or qualified voters of the municipality in which they are appointed to serve or residents of the parish in which the municipality is located provided that such exceptions are approved by resolution of the local governing authority.

            (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, only one member shall be elected from the city of New Iberia municipal fire and police civil service system in accordance with Paragraph (C)(4) of this Section, provided that such exception is approved by resolution of the city of New Iberia governing authority.

            (2)(a) Any employee, while serving as a member of a board, shall occupy, as a regular employee, a position or office lower than that of chief, assistant chief, district chief, or battalion chief in the fire service; or a position or office lower than that of chief, assistant chief, or major in the police service.

            (b) No member of a board shall have been during a period of six months immediately preceding his appointment a member of any local, state, or national committee of a political party or an officer or member of a committee in any factional political club or organization.

            (c)(i) No member of a board shall be a candidate for nomination or election to any public office or hold any other public office or position of public employment, except that of notary public, a military or naval official office, or that of a municipal fire or police department which is expressly required by the provisions of this Part.

            (ii) However, a member of the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board of the city of Houma may hold a position of public employment if said position of public employment is not with the city of Houma.

            C.(1)(a) The first five members of a board shall be appointed by the governing body of the municipality during the ninety-day period immediately following the date that this Part takes effect in a municipality under R.S. 33:2471.

            (b) If the governing body fails to appoint the members as required in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph and the state examiner has given written notification to the governing body of its failure to appoint such members, then the governing board shall make the appointments within ninety days following such notification.

            (c) If the governing body fails to make appointments as required in Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this Paragraph, then the state examiner shall seek a writ of mandamus which shall lie to the court of original and unlimited jurisdiction in the parish in which the office of state examiner is domiciled.

            (2) The members of the board shall be appointed by the governing body as follows:

            (a) One shall be appointed by the governing body upon its own nomination.

            (b)(i) Two members shall be appointed from a list of four nominees that shall be furnished, within sixty days after the governing authority makes a request by certified letter for such list, by the executive head of a legally chartered and established four-year institution of higher education located within the municipality; or, if there is no such institution in the municipality, by the executive head of such an institution which is within the state and which is the most geographically proximate to the municipality. However, if only two such four-year institutions of higher education are located within the municipality, the head of each of the two institutions shall furnish a list of two nominees and one member shall be appointed from each such list.

            (ii) If a list of nominations is not submitted within sixty days after submission of request for such list, such failure shall be considered a failure to perform a ministerial duty required by law of a public official or corporate officer. To this end, the district attorney for the parish in which the institution is located shall provoke the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel the official or officer to act as provided by law.

            (3)(a) Two members shall be appointed who shall be first nominated and elected by and from the regular employees of the fire and police departments as follows:

            (i) One member shall be elected and appointed from the fire department.

            (ii) One member shall be elected and appointed from the police department.

            (b)(i) The employee-nominee from each department shall be elected by secret ballot of the regular employees of his respective department at an election to be called and held for that purpose by the chief of the department.

            (ii) If, after the close of nominations for the employee member for the respective department, the name of only one regular employee has been placed in nomination, that nominee shall be declared elected.

            (iii) If more than one name is placed in nomination, the chief shall call an election within forty-five days after this Part takes effect in the municipality by posting, for a fifteen-day continuous period immediately preceding the election, a notice thereof on the bulletin board of each station house of his department. The chief shall officially notify the governing body of the municipality within the ten-day period immediately following the election, the name of the employee-nominee so elected by the regular employees of his department. The chief of the department shall vote in the election only in the case of a tied vote.

            (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, if R.S. 33:2495.2 becomes applicable, only one member shall be elected from the city of New Iberia municipal fire and police civil service system and one member shall be appointed by the mayor of the city of New Iberia upon his own nomination, provided that such exception is approved by resolution of the city of New Iberia governing authority.

            D. The term of office for all members of the board shall be for a period of three years, except that the first member appointed by the governing body of a municipality upon its own nomination shall serve for a period of two years; the first employee members nominated and appointed as provided above shall serve a term of one year. Each member shall serve until his successor has been appointed and qualified.

            E. Upon the term of office expiring for a member of a board, or because of a vacancy in the office of any member thereof, the governing body of the municipality shall appoint a successor in the same manner as the outgoing member was appointed; and such successive appointment shall be made within ninety days immediately following the expiration or vacancy.

            F. Each member shall take the oath of office before entering upon the duties of his office. His oath shall include a statement to uphold the constitution and laws of Louisiana and of the United States; to administer faithfully and impartially the provisions of this Part and the rules adopted under the authority of this Part.

            G. Members of such a board serving under Act 102 of 1944, as amended at the time the Revised Statutes take effect shall continue in office until the expiration of the term for which they were appointed.

            H. Any member of a board shall be liable to removal from office by judgment of the court of original and unlimited jurisdiction in civil suits of the parish wherein the board is domiciled for high crimes and misdemeanors in office, incompetency, corruption, favoritism, extortion, oppression in office, gross misconduct, or habitual drunkenness. The district attorney of the district wherein the board is domiciled shall institute such suit upon the written request, specifying the charges, of twenty-five citizens and taxpayers of the municipality. The district attorney shall associate in the diligent prosecution of such suit any attorney selected and employed by the citizens and taxpayers.

            I. The governing body of the municipality shall advise, within and not later than the expiration of the ninety day period provided for the appointment of the board members, each appointee of his appointment and term of office as a member of the municipal fire and police civil service board; and, an official record thereof shall be placed in the official minutes of the governing body.

            J. The original members of the board shall meet within thirty days after their appointment in their first official meeting; take the oath of office; elect a chairman and vice-chairman; and transact any other business pertinent at that time. The oath of office shall be administered by the city clerk or by any other person having the legal authority to administer it.

            K. A chairman and a vice-chairman shall be elected by the members of the board. The term for which either the chairman or vice-chairman shall serve as such, shall run concurrently with that for which he was appointed a member of the board; except the term of either office shall terminate upon death of the incumbent, or his resignation from the office or from the board or his removal from the board.

            L.(1) At the discretion of the board, the office of secretary shall be filled in one of the following ways:

            (a) By electing one of its members thereto.

            (b) By appointing the city clerk, or secretary-treasurer of the municipality to fill such office ex officio.

            (c) By employing on a part-time basis any other person and paying a salary not to exceed twelve hundred fifty dollars per month which salary shall be approved by the municipal governing authority.

            (2) The board may terminate the term of office of any person serving as its secretary at any time. No person serving as secretary of a board, except a member thereof, shall have the right to vote in its proceedings. The secretary shall attend the meetings of the board; keep a record of its proceedings; attend to correspondence directed to him, and other correspondence ordered by the chairman; perform other functions assigned to him by the board; and cooperate with the state examiner in a manner that will assist the examiner to carry out effectively the duties imposed upon him by this Part or those functions which may be requested of him by the board.

            M. The board shall meet at any time after its original meeting upon the call of the chairman, who shall give all members of the board due notice thereof. The chairman of the board shall call, and the members of the board shall attend, one regular meeting of the board within each quarterly period of each calendar year. If a chairman fails or refuses to call such quarterly meeting of his board, the members of the board shall meet upon the written call of any two members mailed ten days in advance of the meeting. Four members of the board shall constitute a quorum, and the concurring votes of any three members comprising the quorum of the board shall be sufficient for the decision of all matters to be decided or transacted by it. Meetings of the boards shall be open to the public.

            Amended by Acts 1969, No. 146, §1; Acts 1975, No. 363, §1; Acts 1976, No. 69, §1; Acts 1976, No. 166, §1; Acts 1977, No. 470, §1; Acts 1978, No. 184, §1; Acts 1980, No. 302, §1; Acts 1981, No. 776, §1; Acts 1983, No. 473, §1; Acts 1993, No. 689, §1; Acts 1997, No. 517, §1, eff. July 3, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1326, §1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 454, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1177, §1; Acts 2010, No. 627, §1, eff. July 1, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 686, §1, eff. June 18, 2014; Acts 2016, No. 667, §1, eff. June 17, 2016.