AGO 89-1.

Case Date:May 01, 1989
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1989. AGO 89-1. May 1, 1989Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 89-1 AG Alpha No. LO AD AGARC Timothy W. Schultz Executive Director Department of Local Affairs 1313 Sherman Street, Room 518 Denver, Colorado 80203 Whether Boards of County Commissioners Can Remove Health Board Members Without CauseDear Mr. Schultz: This opinion letter responds to your memorandum of March 17, 1989, in which you inquired whether the Las Animas Board of County Commissioners can remove, without cause, members of the county's health board. QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Your request for an Attorney General's opinion presents the following question: May Boards of County Commissioners remove members of their boards of health without cause? No. ANALYSIS Sections 25-1-501 and 502(1), C.R.S. (1982 & 1988 Supp.) permit boards of county commissioners to establish and maintain county boards of health. Section 25-1-502(2), C.R.S. (1982) sets the term of appointment for members of county health boards: Every county board of health shall consist of five members to be appointed by the board of county commissioners for five-year terms; except that the members first appointed shall be so designated so that one serves for one year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, and one for five years from the date of appointment. Thereafter full-term appointments shall be for five years. All members shall be residents of the county. Appointments shall be made to the board so that no business or professional group shall constitute a majority of the board. Any vacancy on the board shall be filled in the same manner as full-term appointments by the appointment of a qualified person for the unexpired term. Section 502(2) contains no provisions regarding removal of county health board members. As a general rule, when the tenure of a public officer or employee is not fixed by law, and there is no provision made for his removal, the appointing authority has the inherent power of removal incident to the power to appoint. E.g., Stoldt v. City of Toronto, 234 Kan. 957, 678 P.2d 153, 160 (1984); Gowey v. Siggelkow, 85 Idaho 574, 382 P.2d 764, 773 (1963). SeeCarter v. City Council of City of Durango, 16 Colo. 534, 27 P. 1057, 1058 (1891)...

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