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AGO 1952 No. 363 - August 04, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington


Board of trustees for county hospital and county tuberculosis sanitarium are separate boards and one cannot manage board institutions.

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                                                                  August 4, 1952

Honorable John J. O'Connell
Prosecuting Attorney
Pierce County
Tacoma, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 363

Attention:  Mr. Robert A. Jacques

Dear Sir:

            On June 20, 1952, you requested an opinion of this office on the following questions:

            (1) Can one Board of Trustees serve both a county hospital and tuberculosis sanitarium?

            (2) If a single board may legally serve both institutions, what is the number of trustees to be appointed?

            Our conclusions are as follows:

            Our answer to question (1) is in the negative.

            Question (2) does not require an answer as our answer to question (1) was in the negative.


            The provisions of RCW pertinent to the analysis of the questions presented are RCW 36.62.110 et seq., and RCW 70.30.020 et seq.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            RCW 36.62.110 et seq., makes it mandatory that the board of county commissioners appoint six trustees for a county hospital.  Subsequent provisions of this chapter outline the duties of the board of trustees, procedures by which they function, qualifications and terms of office.

            RCW 70.30.020 concerns county tuberculosis hospitals and makes it mandatory upon the county commissioners to appoint a board of managers, consisting of three members, to manage this hospital.  Subsequent provisions of this chapter outline the manner in which this board shall function.

            While normally there is no reason why a board of trustees cannot function to manage more than one trust estate, the legislature has provided that there shall be a board of trustees for county hospitals, and a separate and distinct board of managers for tuberculosis hospitals.  As the number, qualifications, duties, terms of office and procedural functioning of the two boards differ considerably, it is the opinion of this office that it was not the intention of the legislature that one board of trustees manage both the county hospital and the county tuberculosis sanitarium.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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