Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, mine inspectors shall be selected, serve and be removed as provided in this article.
The director shall divide the state into a sufficient number of regions, so as to equalize, as far as practical, the work of each inspector. The director may assign inspectors to districts and may designate and assign not more than one inspector-at-large and one assistant inspector-at-large to each region. The director may designate the places of abode of inspectors at points convenient to the mines of their respective districts, and, in the case of inspectors-at-large and assistant inspectors-at-large, their respective regions.
All mine inspectors appointed after the mine inspectors' examining board has certified to the director an adequate register of qualified eligible candidates, so long as the register contains the names of at least three qualified eligible candidates, shall be appointed from the names on such register. Each original appointment shall be made by the director for a probationary period of not more than one year.
The director shall make each appointment from among the three qualified eligible candidates on the register having the highest grades: Provided, That the director may, for good cause, at least thirty days prior to making an appointment, strike any name from the register. Upon striking any name from the register, the director shall immediately notify in writing each member of the mine inspectors' examining board of the action, together with a detailed statement of the reasons therefor. Thereafter, if the mine inspectors' examining board finds, after hearing, that the action of the director was arbitrary or unreasonable, it may then order the name of any candidate so stricken from the register to be reinstated thereon. The reinstatement is effective from the date of removal from the register.
The name of any candidate passed over for appointment for three years shall be deleted from the register.
After having served for a probationary period of one year to the satisfaction of the director, a mine inspector has permanent tenure, subject to dismissal only for cause in accordance with the applicable provisions of section twelve of this article. No mine inspector, while in office, may be directly or indirectly interested as an employee, owner, lessor, operator, stockholder, superintendent or engineer of any coal mine. Before entering upon the discharge of the duties as a mine inspector, he or she shall take the oath of office prescribed by section 5, article IV of the Constitution of West Virginia, a certificate of which oath shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
The inspectors, inspectors-at-large and assistant inspectors-at-large, together with the director, shall make all inspections authorized by this article and article two of this chapter and shall perform such other duties as are imposed upon mine inspectors by this chapter and by any applicable legislative rules.