Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bahr: Let's fire those liars

Leave it to Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-St. Charles, to bring a sense of dignity to the uproar over the Missouri Department of Revenue's alleged cooperation with the federal government to deliver personal information about gun owners.

Once again, we are wasting time sparring with the federal government when Missouri has many serious economic issues that need to be addressed.

This portion of Bahr's most recent newsletter was titled "Firing Liars."

Pursuant to this constitutional provision and in response to the illegal activities of the Department of Revenue, I have filed HB 886. This bill provides a process allowing the General Assembly to fire Department heads and Deputy Department Heads who lie to the Legislature (as DOR did to the Senate), violate the law (as DOR did by purchasing and using facial recognition cameras and sending that personal information to the federal government) or engaging in other offenses an elected official may be impeached for. This bill will require a private hearing for the official to have an opportunity to defend them self and then require approval of both the House and the Senate. This bill will enable the Legislature to have a check and balance on the Executive department to ensure we are provided truthful information so we may make informed decisions on important State issues.

Bahr's bill reads as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 106, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 106.215, to read as follows:
            106.215. 1. The general assembly is hereby authorized to remove from employment or service any department director or deputy director when it determines that such removal is necessary for the betterment of the public service in a manner consistent with the provisions of this section.
            2. A petition signed by sixteen members of the house of representatives and filed with the chief clerk of the house containing allegations supporting the need for removal of the director or deputy director shall initiate the process. After the removal petition has been filed, the chief clerk shall give a written notice to the secretary of the senate and the director or deputy director of the intention to remove him or her from office.
            3. If the requirements under subsection 2 of this section have been met the house standing ethics committee shall gather information regarding the allegations set for in the petition and shall conduct at least one hearing to allow the director or deputy director to present a defense to the allegations against him or her. This hearing shall be a closed meeting and not open to the public. Within thirty days of its first meeting, the committee shall file a report of its findings with the chief clerk of the house and the secretary of the senate.
            4. After the committee has filed its report, the members of the house of representatives shall vote on the removal of the director or deputy director. If a majority of the members of the body vote to remove the director or deputy director, then the senate shall vote on the removal. If the majority of the whole number of votes of both houses is in the affirmative, then the director or deputy director shall be relieved of his or her employment with the state immediately and shall be removed from the position he or she holds.
            5. For the purposes of this section, “betterment of the public service” shall include instances of misconduct, perjury before any committee of the general assembly, violation of any state statute, a conviction or plea of guilty for committing any crime, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.

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