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No member of a Merit Commission shall be removed except for palpable incompetence or malfeasance in office upon written charges filed by or at the direction of the Sheriff or the County Board and heard before the Board of Hearings provided for in this section. The Chief Judge for the judicial circuit in which the county is situated and the two Circuit Judges who have longest held judicial office shall constitute the Board of Hearing. If two or more Circuit Judges have held judicial office for the same longest or next longest length of time, choice among those Circuit Judges shall be made by lot. If there are only two Circuit Judges in the circuit embracing the county, then those two Judges shall select the third member of the Board of Hearing from among the Circuit Judges in contiguous circuits. The Board of Hearings shall hear and determine the charges and its findings shall be final. If the charges are sustained, the member of the Commission so charged shall be forthwith removed from office by the Board of Hearings and the Sheriff with the approval of a majority of the members of the County Board shall thereupon proceed to fill the vacancy created by such removal. In any proceeding provided for in this section, the Board of Hearings and each member thereof shall have power to administer oaths and to compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books and papers.
(Res. passed 10-17-2012)