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AGO 1952 No. 277 - April 01, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

POWER OF GOVERNOR TO REMOVE APPOINTEE FROM VETERANS' REHABILITATION COUNCIL

The Governor has power and authority to remove an appointee from the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council appointed for a fixed term.

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                                                                    April 1, 1952 

Mr. Fred Koch
Assistant to the Governor
Executive Department
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 277

 Dear Mr. Koch:

             Your letter of March 19th requests the opinion of this office as follows:

             "The Office of the Governor respectfully requests your opinion on whether it is within the Governor's authority and power to remove an appointee from the Veterans Rehabilitation Council once he has been appointed for a fixed term in accordance with the law."

             It is our conclusion that the Governor has power and authority to remove an appointee from the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council appointed for a fixed term.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             Our opinion to the Chairman of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council of December 20, 1951, stated that the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council is appointed for an indefinite term at the pleasure of the Governor.  We mention this opinion in order to enclose it in this letter and because it may be of value to your office.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Turning to the instant matter, your question concerns the right of the Governor to remove a member of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council.  The State Rehabilitation Council was created by Chapter 110, Laws of 1947.  An examination of the entire Act discloses no provision for the removal by the Governor of members of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council.  Therefore, it is our opinion that the general provisions of the law as to removal of officers govern.  Such general provisions are contained in sections 10988 and 10989 Rem. Rev. Stat.  Such sections authorize the Governor to remove any state officer appointed by him by filing with the Secretary of State a statement showing his reasons and his order of removal.  He must state that he is satisfied that the officer has been guilty of misconduct, malfeasance, or is incompetent.

             The leading case on such removals isState ex rel. Davis v. Johns, 139 Wash. 525, 248 Pac. 423.  Therein the court upheld the power of the Governor to remove a state officer, the officer in question being a member of the Board of Regents of the University appointed for a fixed term.  The court also held that there is no effectual appeal to the courts from such removal and that the Governor's statement filed according to section 10989 is all that is required.  It is, therefore, our conclusion that if the Governor complies with the above cited sections that a member of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council appointed for a fixed term may be removed from office.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General 

DON CARY SMITH
Assistant Attorney General

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