Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 30. General Assembly
Chapter 16. Virginia Crime Commission

Chapter 16. Virginia Crime Commission.

§ 30-156. Virginia State Crime Commission; purpose; membership; terms; compensation and expenses; quorum; voting on recommendations.

A. The Virginia State Crime Commission (the Commission) is established in the legislative branch of state government. The purpose of the Commission shall be to study, report and make recommendations on all areas of public safety and protection. In so doing it shall endeavor to ascertain the causes of crime and recommend ways to reduce and prevent it, explore and recommend methods of rehabilitation of convicted criminals, study compensation of persons in law enforcement and related fields and study other related matters including apprehension, trial and punishment of criminal offenders. The Commission shall make such recommendations as it deems appropriate with respect to the foregoing matters, and shall coordinate the proposals and recommendations of all commissions and agencies as to legislation affecting crimes, crime control and criminal procedure. The Commission shall cooperate with the executive branch of state government, the Attorney General's office and the judiciary who are in turn encouraged to cooperate with the Commission. The Commission shall cooperate with governments and governmental agencies of other states and the United States.

B. The Commission shall consist of 13 members that include nine legislative members, three nonlegislative citizen members, and one state official as follows: six members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; three nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Governor; and the Attorney General or his designee. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unless otherwise approved by the chairman of the Commission, nonlegislative citizen members shall only be reimbursed for travel originating and ending within the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of attending meetings.

C. The term of each appointee shall be for two years, except that the Attorney General and legislative members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. All members may be reappointed. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be made for the unexpired terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

D. The Commission shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman annually, who shall be members of the General Assembly. A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. Meetings of the Commission shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

E. Legislative members of the Commission shall receive such compensation as provided in § 30-19.12 and nonlegislative citizen members shall receive such compensation as provided in § 2.2-2813 for their services. All members shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. All such compensation and expense payments, however, shall come from existing appropriations to the Commission.

F. No recommendation of the Commission shall be adopted if a majority of the Senate members or a majority of the House members appointed to the Commission (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the Commission.

1972, c. 766, §§ 9-125, 9-126; 1974, c. 527; 1979, c. 316; 1993, c. 438; 2001, c. 844; 2003, c. 885; 2004, c. 1000.

§ 30-157. Executive director, counsel and other personnel.

The Commission may appoint and employ and, at pleasure remove, an executive director, counsel, and such other persons as it deems necessary; and to determine their duties and fix their salaries or compensation within the amounts appropriated therefor.

1972, c. 766, § 9-131; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-158. Powers and duties of Commission.

A. The Commission shall have the power and duty to:

1. Maintain offices, hold meetings and functions at any place within the Commonwealth that it deems necessary.

2. Conduct private and public hearings, and designate a member of the Commission to preside over such hearings. Pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the Commission, witnesses appearing before the Commission may be examined privately and the Commission shall not make public the particulars of such examination. The Commission shall not have the power to take testimony at private or public hearings unless at least three of its members are present at such hearings. Witnesses appearing before the Commission at its request shall be entitled to receive the same fees and mileage as persons summoned to testify in the courts of the Commonwealth, if such witnesses request such fees and mileage.

3. Conduct studies and gather information and data in order to accomplish its purposes as set forth in § 30-156, and in connection with the faithful execution and effective enforcement of the laws of the Commonwealth with particular reference but not limited to organized crime and racketeering, and formulate its recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly.

4. Submit an annual report of its recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor. The Commission shall make such further interim reports to the Governor and the General Assembly as it deems advisable or as required by the Governor or by concurrent resolution of the General Assembly. The chairman of the Commission shall submit to the General Assembly and the Governor an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Commission no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

B. At the direction or request of the legislature by concurrent resolution or of the Governor, the Commission shall, or at the request of any department, board, bureau, commission, authority or other agency created by the Commonwealth, or to which the Commonwealth is a party, the Commission may study the operations, management, jurisdiction, powers and interrelationship of any such department, board, bureau, commission, authority or other agency that has any direct responsibility for enforcing the criminal laws of the Commonwealth.

1972, c. 766, §§ 9-127, 9-128, 9-132, 9-134; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 1000.

§ 30-159. Cooperation of state agencies; consultation with other states.

A. The Commission may request and shall receive from every department, division, board, bureau, commission, authority or other agency created by the Commonwealth, or to which the Commonwealth is a party or any political subdivision thereof, cooperation and assistance in the performance of its duties.

B. The Commission shall examine matters relating to law enforcement extending across the boundaries of the Commonwealth into other states; and may consult and exchange information with officers and agencies of other states with respect to law-enforcement problems of mutual concern to this and other states.

1972, c. 766, §§ 9-129, 9-136; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-160. Commission to refer cases of crime or official misconduct to appropriate authorities.

Whenever it appears to the Commission that there is reasonable cause, for official investigation or prosecution of a crime, or for the removal of a public officer for misconduct, the Commission shall refer the matter and such information as has come to its attention to the officials authorized and having the duty and authority to conduct investigations or to prosecute criminal offenses, or to remove such public officer, or to the judge of an appropriate court of record with recommendation that a special grand jury be convened.

1972, c. 766, § 9-130; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-161. Publication of information.

By such means and to such extent as it deems appropriate, the Commission shall keep the public informed as to the operations of organized crime, problems of criminal law enforcement in the Commonwealth and other activities of the Commission.

1972, c. 766, § 9-133; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-162. Disclosure of certain information by employee a misdemeanor.

Any employee of the Commission who discloses to any person other than the Commission or an officer having the power to appoint one or more of the Commissioners the name of any witness appearing before the Commission in a private hearing or discloses any information obtained or given in a private hearing except as directed by the Governor, a court of record or the Commission, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1972, c. 766, § 9-137; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-163. Impounding of certain documents.

Upon the application of the Commission or duly authorized member of its staff, the judge of any court of record may impound any exhibit or document received or obtained in any public or private hearing held in connection with a hearing conducted by the Commission, and may order such exhibit to be retained by, or delivered to and placed in custody of the Commission. The order may be rescinded by further order of the court made after five days' notice to the Commission or upon its application or with its consent, all in the discretion of the court.

1972, c. 766, § 9-138; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-164. Construction of chapter.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to supersede, repeal or limit any power, duty or function of the Governor or any department or agency of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, as prescribed or defined by law.

1972, c. 766, § 9-135; 2001, c. 844.