§ 3001 State Human Relations Commission composition; vacancies; compensation; removal; quorum.
(a) The State Human Relations Commission consists of 18 members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor and, collectively, meet all of the following criteria:
(1) Broadly represent the various racial and cultural groups of this State.
(2) All reasonable efforts must be made to ensure that each county is represented by at least 5 members.
(b) Commission appointments are for 4-year terms. The Governor may appoint a member for a term of less than 4 years to ensure that no more than 5 members’ terms expire in 1 year.
(c) A Commission member serves without compensation but is reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses, except that a member designated by the Chair to serve on hearing panels is compensated the sum of $50 per day,up to a maximum of $1,500 in a calendar year, for each day spent attending a hearing.
(d) A Commission member may be removed at any time for gross inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
(1) A member is deemed in neglect of duty if the member, without good cause, is absent from 3 consecutive meetings or attends less than 50% of meetings in a calendar year.
(2) A member deemed in neglect of duty is considered to have resigned. The Commission Chair shall immediately notify the Governor of the resignation.
(e) The Commission shall adopt bylaws that provide for operating procedures, such as election of officers, appointment of committees, conducting of meetings, and other matters that promote the Commission’s efficient operation.
(f) A majority of appointed members must be present at a meeting in order to have a quorum and conduct official business.
§ 3002 Chair and executive committee; meetings.
(a) The Commission shall elect a Chair from among the members of the Commission.
(b) An executive committee of the Commission consists of 7 members. The Commission Chair shall serve as Chair of the executive committee. The Chair may appoint the remaining 6 executive committee members after consultation with the Commission regarding which members to appoint.
(c) The executive committee or Commission shall meet at least once a month.
§ 3003 Responsibilities.
The Commission is responsible for carrying out public information and education programs, preparing reports and recommendations, and making surveys and studies necessary for the performance of its duties under this chapter. The Commission may delegate 1 or more of its responsibilities under this section to the Division of Human Relations, but the delegation must specifically state the responsibility the Division must undertake.
§ 3004 Powers and duties.
The Commission shall cooperate with the Governor, the General Assembly, public agencies, officials, firms, corporations, civic groups, and individuals in promoting amicable relationships among the various racial and cultural groups within the State. To this end the Commission may do any of the following:
(1) Act as conciliator in matters involving members of groups protected under the laws enforced by the Commission. The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act in Chapter 100 of Title 29 do not apply to meetings that involve conciliation or mediation.
(2) Complete investigations, surveys, and studies as are pertinent to the performance of its duties.
(3) Make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly concerning needed legislation.
(4) Perform duties assigned to the Commission under Chapter 45 and 46 of Title 6.
§ 3005 Special Administration Fund.
(a) Creation. — A special fund in the State Treasury, to be known as the Special Administration Fund of the Human Relations Commission and referred to as “the Fund” throughout this section, consists of:
(1) All civil penalties assessed and collected under Chapter 45 or 46 of Title 6.
(2) Costs, attorneys’ fees, and expenses awarded to the Commission under Chapter 45 or 46 of Title 6.
(3) All Community Development Block Grant moneys designated for the administration and enforcement of Chapter 46 of Title 6.
(4) All other moneys specifically designated for the Fund.
(5) All interest on or profits earned by the Fund.
(b) Administration. — (1) All moneys collected under this section must be deposited or paid into the Fund, are continuously available to the Commission for expenditure in accordance with this section, do not lapse at any time, and may not be transferred to any other fund, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. All moneys in the Fund must be prudently invested to the credit of the Fund, administered and disbursed in the same manner as is provided by law for other special funds in the State Treasury, and maintained in a separate ledger account on the books of the Secretary of Finance.
(2) All moneys in the Fund which are received from the federal government, or any of its agencies, or appropriated by this State for purposes described in this chapter or Chapters 45 or 46 of Title 6, may be expended solely for the proper and efficient administration of this chapter.
(3) The State Treasurer is the custodian of and liable on the State Treasurer’s official bond for the faithful performance of duties in connection with the Fund. Such liability on the official bond exists in addition to the liability on any separate bond which the State Treasurer may give. All sums recovered on any such official bond for losses sustained by the Fund must be deposited in the Fund.
(c) Use. — The Commission may use moneys in the Fund for any of the following purposes:
(1) The payment of litigation expenses, costs, and attorneys’ fees in connection with the enforcement provisions of Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6.
(2) The payment of the expenses of investigations conducted under Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6, and this chapter.
(3) The payment of studies and surveys conducted under this chapter.
(d) Transfer. — If the Commission determines that the money in the Fund is more than adequate to pay for all foreseeable needs for which this Fund is created, it may authorize the transfer money from the Fund to the General Fund in an amount the Commission deems proper.
§ 3006 Subpoenas; compelling testimony.
(a) The Commission may issue subpoenas and order discovery in aid of the investigations, surveys, and studies authorized under §3004 of this title when the Attorney General has reason to believe that such subpoenas and discovery will enable the Commission to perform the duties imposed by this chapter.
(b) Any subpoena, process, order of the Commission, or other paper requiring service may be served by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, or employee of the Division of Human Relations.
(c) If a witness refuses to obey a subpoena that the Commission lawfully issued or give evidence the Commission properly requested, the Commission may petition the Superior Court to compel the witness to obey the subpoena or give the evidence. The Court shall immediately issue process to the witness and hold a hearing on the petition as soon as possible. If the witness refuses, without reasonable cause or legal grounds, to obey the subpoena or give the evidence, the Court shall punish the witness for contempt.