Introduced Version House Bill 4207 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia Legislature

2016 regular session


House Bill 4207

By Mr. Speaker, (Mr. Armstead), and Delegates Miley, Bates, Lane and Shott)

[Introduced January 21, 2016; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §4-5-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the ability of the Commission on Special Investigations to obtain information and documents that are considered confidential.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §4-5-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§4-5-2.  Powers and duties generally.

(a) The Commission on Special Investigations shall have has the power, duty and responsibility, upon a majority vote of the members appointed, to:

(1) Conduct a comprehensive and detailed investigation into the purchasing practices and procedures of the state;

(2) Determine if there is reason to believe that the laws or public policy of the state in connection with purchasing practices and procedures have been violated or are inadequate;

(3) Determine if any criminal or civil statutes relating to the purchasing practices and procedures in this state are necessary to protect and control the expenditures of money by the state;

(4) Investigate or examine any matter involving conflicts of interest, bribery of state officials, malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office by any employee or officer of the state;

(5) Conduct comprehensive and detailed investigations to determine if any criminal or civil statutes have been violated at any level of state government;

(6) Determine whether to recommend criminal prosecution or civil action for any violation, either criminal or civil, at any level of state government and, if it is determined that action is necessary, to make appropriate recommendation to the Attorney General, prosecuting attorney or other authority empowered to act on such the recommendation; and

(7) Make such written reports to the members of the Legislature between sessions thereof as the commission may deem considers advisable and on the first day of each regular session of the Legislature make an annual report to the Legislature containing the commission's findings and recommendations including in such the report drafts of any proposed legislation which it deems considers necessary to carry such the recommendations into effect.

(b) The commission is also expressly empowered and authorized to may:

(1) Sit during any recess of the Senate and House of Delegates;

(2) Recommend to the judge of any circuit court that a grand jury be convened pursuant to the provisions of section fourteen, article two, chapter fifty-two of this code, to consider any matter which the commission may deem considers in the public interest and, in support thereof, make available to such the court and such the grand jury the contents of any reports, files, transcripts of hearings or other evidence pertinent thereto;

(3) Employ such legal, technical, investigative, clerical, stenographic, advisory and other personnel as it deems considers needed and, within the appropriation herein specified, fix reasonable compensation of such the persons and firms as may be employed:  Provided, That such the personnel as the commission may determine shall have the authority to determines, may administer oaths and take affidavits and depositions anywhere in the state.

(4) Consult and confer with all persons and agencies, public (whether federal, state or local) and private, that have information and data pertinent to an investigation; and all state and local governmental personnel and agencies shall cooperate to the fullest extent with the commission.  For the purposes of this subdivision the term "cooperate" includes the disclosure to the commission of any documents, reports or other items in the possession of the person, agency of the state or local government upon the commission’s oral or written request to assist it in its investigation, notwithstanding any provision of law that imposes an obligation of confidentiality or secrecy, other than the provisions of Rule 6(e) of the West Virginia Rules Of Criminal Procedure or matters relating to a person's attorney-client privilege;

(5) Call upon any department or agency of state or local government for such services, information and assistance as it may deem considers advisable; and

(6) Refer such matters as are appropriate to the office of the United States attorney and cooperate with such that office in the disposition of matters so referred.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, specific personnel may be designated by the commission to carry a firearm in the course of performing his or her official duties: Provided, That as a precondition of being authorized to carry a concealed weapon in the course of their official duties, any such the designated personnel must have first successfully completed a firearms training and certification program which is equivalent to that which is required of members of the State Police.  The designated persons must also possess a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon in the manner prescribed in article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Commission on Special Investigations to obtain information and documents that are considered confidential.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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