The superintendent may suspend, demote in rank or discharge from the service any member of the department of public safety for any of the following causes: Refusing to obey the lawful orders of his superior officer, neglect of duty, drunkenness, immorality, inefficiency, abuse of his authority, interference with the lawful right of any person, participation in political activities, primaries, conventions or elections, conviction for a crime or any action proscribed under this article. The superintendent shall cause an investigation to be made when notice of any one or more of such causes is brought to his attention and shall determine whether or not the member should be suspended, demoted in rank or discharged. If the superintendent orders the member suspended, demoted in rank or discharged, a written statement of the charges and a written order of suspension, demotion in rank or discharge shall be delivered personally to the member by his commanding officer, or next in command in the absence of his commanding officer. The superintendent shall explicitly set forth in any such written statement of charges the details giving rise to the cause or causes upon which he ordered such suspension, demotion in rank or discharge. The member may appeal the superintendent's order to the board of appeals created for such purpose or to the circuit court of Kanawha County in accordance with the provisions of section six of this article and all of the original papers in such cases shall be delivered to the appeals board or the circuit court, as the case may be.
The right to appeal a suspension or discharge shall not apply to members until they have completed their probationary period with the department, which shall be for a period of eighteen months.