§2536. Fire and police civil service boards
A. A fire and police civil service board is hereby created in the municipal, parish, or fire protection district which shall be composed of five members who shall serve without compensation. This board shall have a chairman, vice-chairman and a secretary. The domicile of the board shall be within the area 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 area for which fire or police protection is provided for at least five years next preceding his appointment, and at the time of his appointment a qualified voter of the area.
(b) However, with respect to the two members elected by and from the fire and the police departments as provided in Paragraph (C)(3) of this Section, such members shall have been residents of the parish in which the area they are to serve is located for a period of at least five years preceding their appointment, provided such residence requirement is approved by resolution of the local governing authority.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this Paragraph, the two members elected by and from the fire and the police departments as provided in Paragraph (C)(3) of this Section shall not be required to be residents or qualified voters of the area in which they are appointed to serve or residents of the parish in which the area is located provided that such exceptions are approved by resolution of the local 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) 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, parish, or fire protection district fire or police department which is expressly required by the provisions of this Part.
C. The first five members of a board shall be appointed by the governing body of the municipality, parish, or fire protection district, as the case may be, during the ninety-day period immediately following the date that this Part takes effect in a municipality, parish, or fire protection district under R.S. 33:2531. The members of the board shall be appointed by the governing body as follows:
(1) One shall be appointed by the governing body upon its own nomination.
(2)(a) Two members shall be appointed from a list of four nominees which 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 regularly chartered and established four-year institution of higher education located within the area served; or, if there is no such institution in the area served, by the executive head of such an institution which is within the state and which is the most geographically proximate to the area served.
(b) 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) Two members shall be appointed who shall be first nominated and elected by and from the regular employees of the fire and police department as follows: One member shall be elected and appointed from the fire department, and one member shall be elected and appointed from the police department. 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. The chief of each department shall call such an election within forty-five days after this Section takes effect in the area affected 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; and, shall officially notify the governing body of the area affected 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 tie vote.
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, parish or fire protection district 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, and the members appointed as provided in R.S. 33:2536(C)(2) shall serve a term of three years. Each member shall serve until his successor has been appointed and qualified.
E. Upon the expiration of the term of office of any member of a board, or whenever a vacancy in the office of any member thereof occurs, the governing body of the municipality, parish or fire protection district, as the case may be, shall appoint a successor in the same manner as the outgoing member was appointed; and such successive appointment shall be made within ninety days after the expiration or vacancy occurs.
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 and 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 or under R.S. 33:2471-33:2476 at the time this act takes 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 district court of his domicile 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 member resides may institute such suit, and shall do so upon the written request, specifying the charges, of twenty-five citizens and taxpayers of the municipality, parish or fire protection district, as the case may be, of which the board member is a resident. 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, parish or fire protection district shall advise, within 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 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, and at said meeting they shall take the oath of office, elect a chairman and vice-chairman and transact any other necessary business. The oath of office shall be administered by any person having the legal authority to administer oaths.
K. A chairman and vice-chairman shall be elected by the members of the board for terms which shall run concurrently with that for which each was appointed to serve as a member of the board, however, the term of either office shall terminate upon death of the incumbent or upon 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 the secretary shall be filled in one of the following ways:
(a) By electing one of its members thereto.
(b) By appointing the city clerk, parish treasurer, or secretary of the fire protection district, as the case may be, to fill such office ex officio.
(c) By employing and paying on a part-time basis any other person a salary not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars per month which salary shall be approved by the municipal governing authority.
(2) The secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the board. 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 all 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 such manner as will assist the examiner effectively to carry out 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. Two members of a three-member board and four members of a five-member board shall constitute a quorum, and the concurring votes of a simple majority of members shall be sufficient for the decision of all matters to be decided or transacted by it. Meetings of the board shall be open to the public.
N. In any municipality, parish or fire protection district otherwise amenable to the provisions of this Part where either the fire or police service shall, for any reason, not be subject to this Part, then, and in such event, the board shall be comprised of three members, with only one member to be selected in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section C(2) above and only one member to be nominated by the service remaining, be it fire or police, as is provided in Sub-section C(3) above; all other provisions hereof to remain and be fully effective even though only one of the services, whether it be fire or police, are affected hereby.
Acts 1964, No. 282, §1. Amended by Acts 1965, No. 146, §1; Acts 1980, No. 84, §1; Acts 1984, No. 274, §1; Acts 1997, No. 516, §1, eff. July 3, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 524, §1; Acts 1999, No. 454, §1; Acts 1999, No. 455, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1177, §1; Acts 2010, No. 627, §1, eff. July 1, 2010.