Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1951 No. 200 -
Attorney General Smith Troy


The non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council need not be appointed for a definite term but shall serve at the pleasure of the governor.

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                                                               December 20, 1951

Honorable Clay Nixon,Chairman
Veterans' Rehabilitation Council
Dexter Horton Building
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                   Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 200

Dear Sir:

            Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of December 12, 1951, in which you ask our opinion as to the conditions of the appointment of a non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council.

            It is our conclusion that the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member is appointed for an indefinite tenure at the pleasure of the governor.


            On January 21, 1948, this office wrote an opinion to the director of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council advising that the terms of representatives of two additional organizations then recently added to the council should be for three years.  In that opinion the term of the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member was not considered.  Section 1, chapter 110, Laws of 1947 (Rem. 1947 Supp. § 10758-100) provides:

            "There is hereby created a 'Veterans' Rehabilitation Council' which shall consist of one member from each veterans' organization now or hereafter chartered by Act of Congress, and one other member, all appointed by the Governor in the manner following:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and any veterans' organization hereafter chartered by act of Congress and authorized to represent claims before the Veterans' Administration shall each submit to the Governor a panel of three names selected by the commanders and approved by the executive committee or board of directors, respectively, of each nationally chartered veterans' organization.  The Governor shall appoint one member from each panel so submitted.  Members shall serve for terms of three years expiring on the 15th day of January:  Provided, That of the members first appointed two shall be appointed for a term of one year, one shall be appointed for a term of two years and one shall be appointed for a term of three years.  One additional member shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor and shall not be a veteran.  The members shall receive no compensation but shall receive their actual necessary traveling and other expenses in going to, attending, and returning from meetings of the council:  Provided, further, That the per diem expense of each board member shall not exceed fifteen dollars ($15) per day and the travel expense shall not exceed five cents (5¢) per mile from his legal home residence to and from the place of the official meetings."  (Emphasis supplied)

            The language of the statute is slightly ambiguous in that it contains a statement as follows:

            "Members shall serve for terms of three years expiring on the 15th day of January:"

            which would appear to apply to all members, but it also contains the language underlined above indicating that the tenure of the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member should be somewhat different than that of the other members.

            The statement that the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member should serve at the pleasure of the governor is specific as to that one member.  Since the legislature dealt separately with the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member it is our opinion  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] that the clause relative to three year terms applies only to those members representing the veterans' organizations and that the non-veteran [[nonveteran]]member need not be appointed for any term, but his appointment may be made in such manner as the governor shall see fit and his tenure shall be at the pleasure of the governor.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General