INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ARSON INVESTIGATORS CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I NAME AND OBJECTIVE
SECTION 1. NAME. This organization shall be known as the "Texas Chapter, International Association of Arson Investigators", hereinafter referred to as the "Chapter". The name of the Chapter shall not be used publicly by any member other than by use of their membership card for identification purposes, without express permission of the Board of Directors. This shall not restrict the officers or appointees or agents of the Chapter in the use of the name to carry out the purposes of the Chapter.
SECTION 2. OBJECTIVE. The objectives and purposes of this Chapter shall be:
- To unite for mutual benefit those public officials and private persons engaged in the control of arson and kindred crimes.
- To provide for the exchange of technical information and developments.
- To encourage high professional standards of conduct among arson investigators and to continually strive to eliminate all factors which interfere with administration of justice.
SECTION 3. The Chapter shall not be operated for profit and its funds may not be used in an attempt to influence legislation.
ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP. Application for membership shall be made to the Chair of the Membership Committee, upon the recommendation of some member of the Chapter, and admission shall be by vote of such Committee as provided in Section 2 of this Article.
SECTION 2. ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP. Any representative of government or of a government agency and any representative of a business or industrial concern who is actively engaged in some phase of the suppression of arson or administration of justice at the time he/she makes application shall be eligible to active membership, provided such person possesses the other qualifications for membership, in the discretion of the Membership Committee and provided such person is not less than eighteen years of age at the time he/she makes application. All applicants for active or associate membership, if accepted, will be on a temporary status until the next meeting of the Board of Directors. During this temporary status period a person's membership may be revoked at the discretion of the Board of Directors. If the applicant is not rejected by the Board within the specified time limit full membership is automatically granted.
SECTION 3. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP. Persons not qualified for active membership may become associate members, after determination of their qualifications by the Membership Committee. Associate members shall have the privileges of an active member, except, voting and holding office. The Chapter may, by majority vote of active members present, exclude associate members from any particular business meeting.
SECTION 4. LIFE MEMBERSHIP. The Chapter may bestow LIFE MEMBERSHIP
upon any qualified member of the Chapter who has met the following requirements:
- The individual must be or have been an active member of the Chapter, and
- The individual must have been an active member in good standing for ten years, and
- The individual must have rendered distinctive service to the Chapter through participation on committees or activities for a minimum of five years.
A Life Member shall have all of the privileges and rights of an active member without payment of dues. Nominations for Life Membership shall be made to the Board at least sixty (60) days prior to voting thereon. No more than two nominations for such membership may be approved in any year.
SECTION 5. SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP. Individuals or organizations interested in carrying out the purposes of the Chapter shall be granted sustaining membership upon contribution of not less than one hundred dollars annually. All such funds shall be devoted to the educational functions of the Chapter.
SECTION 6. PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS. Prior to voting upon each application, the Membership Committee shall give due consideration to the following, among other qualifications it deems applicable, to wit:
- The personal character and reputation of the applicant,
- The nature, character and reputation of the applicant's business,
- The character and reputation of the applicant's employer and associates, and
- The general nature, character and reputation of the principal business of the applicant's employer and associates. No person shall be eligible for any class of membership if he/she has been a member, or is: presently a member, or becomes a member of a subversive organization or of any organization whose objectives and operations are inconsistent with the purposes of the Chapter.
SECTION 7. TERMINATION AND SANCTIONS.
- TERMINATION. Membership in the Chapter shall terminate by:
- voluntary withdrawal, or
- membership shall be terminated by the Secretary-Treasurer when, after notice, such member is in arrears in the payment of dues or any other obligation to the Chapter, or
- by the consent of a majority vote of the Board of Directors, if the applicant is still within the aforementioned temporary status period.
- SANCTIONS. The Board may place on probation, censure, suspend, or terminate the membership of any member. The Board may, upon receipt and after initial review of the circumstances, temporarily suspend the membership of any member pending evaluation by the Ethical Practices and Grievances Committee. Actions requiring referral to the Ethical Practices and Grievances Committee shall include but are not limited to:
- falsification or misrepresentation in applications for membership,
- conduct in a manner prejudicial to the good name or best interests of the Chapter,
- exhibited traits of character or conduct inconsistent with the qualifications for membership, or
- other questionable conduct.
Following an evaluation of the information by the Ethical Practices and Grievances Committee and upon its recommendation, the Board shall provide such member with due notice, a hearing and an opportunity to be heard. A majority vote of the Board present in a duly constituted meeting shall be sufficient to place on probation, censure, suspend or terminate such member for any reason specified in this section.
SECTION 8. REINSTATEMENTS. Any former member may be reinstated in the Chapter at the discretion of and by the consent of a majority of the Board, provided, however, that such former member shall have been in arrears in the payment of dues or other financial obligations to the Chapter at the time of his/her separation, he/she shall be required to pay to the Chapter all such arrears as a condition to his/her reinstatement, unless the Board, by majority vote and for good cause, shall waive the payment thereof.
ARTICLE III ELECTION, TERMS, AND OFFICES
SECTION 1. OFFICERS. The officers of this Chapter shall be a President, a First Vice President and a Second Vice President.
SECTION 2. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. The officers and nine other members of the organization, duly elected, shall constitute the Board of Directors.
SECTION 3. TERMS OF OFFICE. The officers shall hold office from the time of their election and qualification for terms of two years, or until the election and qualification of their respective successors. Other members of the Board shall hold office from the time of their election and qualification for terms of three years. Their terms shall be so arranged that three retire each year. No member of the Board of Directors shall succeed himself/herself from an expiring two full terms of office. Ex-officio members of the Board of Directors, excepting Past Presidents, shall serve one year, or until the qualification of their respective successor.
SECTION 4. VACANCIES. In the event an officer or Board member shall be unable to fulfill their terms of office between Annual Meetings, the following provisions shall apply:
- The President shall be succeeded by the First Vice President who shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term and the next full term as President.
- The First Vice President shall be succeeded by the Second Vice President, who shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term and shall serve the next full term as First Vice President.
- The Second Vice President's position shall be filled by the appointment of a qualified member, by the President, with the approval of the Board. This member shall serve the, remainder of the unexpired term as Second Vice President. The position shall then be filled by election at the next Annual Meeting. The member who fills the unexpired term may be eligible for election to the next complete term, but must be nominated and elected in accordance with the By-Laws.
- In the event of a vacancy on the Board of Directors, the vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the President, from the list of those persons nominated at the last, Annual Meeting, beginning with the candidate receiving the highest number of votes then proceeding to the lowest. An EX-OFFICIO member of the Board may also be an elected or appointed officer or director. In the event the vacancy cannot be filled in this manner, the President may make the appointment from the general membership with the approval of the Board. Such newly appointed member or members shall hold office only until the next annual Meeting. Amended March 22, 2017
SECTION 5. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. The Board of Directors, for good cause, is empowered to depose from office any officer or member of the Board of Directors. Such action will require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board.
ARTICLE IV GOVERNMENT
SECTION 1. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. The government of this Chapter shall be vested in the Board of Directors. Seven (7) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 2. DUTIES AND POWERS. The Board shall have full power to initiate and transact all kinds of business necessary to the existence of the organization and the observance of its purposes. The Board shall determine the date and location of the annual meeting and shall outline the program of activities during such meeting. They shall have general powers to direct, control and supervise the affairs of the Chapter. The President shall appoint a Secretary-Treasurer, with Board approval who shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
SECTION 3. PRESIDENT. The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Chapter, and it shall be his/her responsibility to supervise and coordinate the activities of the Chapter and to preside at meetings of the Chapter and of the Board of Directors. He/she shall appoint appropriate committees for the conduct of the activities of the Chapter and at each annual meeting of the Chapter, he/she shall announce to the membership, those individuals appointed to serve on the Nominating Committee. In addition, he/she shall require reports at each annual meeting, and as otherwise desired from the committees so appointed and from the officers of the Chapter.
SECTION 4. FIRST VICE PRESIDENT. In the absence of the President, the First Vice President shall be the Chief Executive Officer and shall act as such. He/she shall also act as Chairperson of the Finance Committee.
SECTION 5. SECOND VICE PRESIDENT. In the absence of the President and the First Vice President, the Second Vice President shall perform the duties of the President.
SECTION 6. SECRETARY-TREASURER. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The Secretary- Treasurer shall keep the records and minutes of the organization and shall maintain currently the roll of the members, the constitution and all other documents of value. It shall be his/her duty to receive and acknowledge all communications of the Chapter addressed to him/her or that may be submitted to him/her by Officers of the Chapter, and perform such duties as assigned by the President.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall be custodian and sole depositor of the funds of the organization, shall distribute such funds by check as herein authorized or upon approval of the Board of Directors for purposes which promote the welfare and objectives of this organization. He/She shall render a complete summary of all income, disbursements and balances whenever requested by the Board and to the members at each annual meeting. A written copy of this report shall be made available to any member upon request. He/she shall furnish bond to the Chapter in the form and amount as designated by the Board, the cost thereof to be paid by the Chapter. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be reimbursed for his/her room at the annual conference beginning one day prior to the conference through the duration.
SECTION 7. CHAPLAIN. The Chaplain and Assistant Chaplain shall be appointed by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 8. EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS. All Ex-Officio members shall have the privileges of attending and participating in all meetings of the Board, but shall not have voting power in such meeting.
SECTION 9. ELECTION. Officers and other members of the Board shall be elected at the annual meeting of the organization to fill terms soon to expire, unless otherwise ordered by resolution or motion duly approved by the membership.
- To be eligible for nomination as a director, the candidate shall be a member in good standing of the Texas Chapter IAAI and the IAAI. More than one Board member or officer maybe elected from a department or agency. To be eligible for nomination as an officer, the candidate must have served one full term on the Board of Directors or equivalent time as Secretary-Treasurer and be a member in good standing of the Texas Chapter IAAI and the IAAI.
- No member may be nominated for more than one position per election.
- Nominating Committee members cannot be nominated for an elective office without first resigning from the nominating committee.
- Vice Presidents shall advance to the next vacancy until reaching the office of President, unless removed for just cause.
SECTION 10. NOMINATING COMMITTEE. At each annual meeting of the organization, the President shall announce, for the ensuing year, the membership of the Nominating Committee, which shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall nominate officers and the appropriate number of members of the Board, to hold office for the ensuing terms of office.
Such Nominating Committee shall consist of at least five members, but not more than seven members, the majority of whom shall not be holders of an elective position.
Such Nominating Committee shall report nominations made, to the members at the annual meeting of the organization, or at such time and in such a manner as the membership may direct by resolution or motion duly approved.
Nothing shall preclude any member or group of members from placing into nomination, to be voted on at the annual meeting of the Chapter, any person or persons whom such member or group of members might see fit to nominate for Second Vice President or member of the Board of Directors of this Chapter, provided that such person or persons have been submitted to the Nominating Committee for review prior to the annual meeting and have been found to be qualified. Nominations received during the annual meeting for those persons who have not had their qualifications reviewed by the Nominating Committee shall have their name forwarded to the Nominating Committee for evaluation and review. If after review by the Nominating Committee the nominee is found to fulfill the necessary qualifications, his/her name shall be placed as a candidate at the next annual meeting.
SECTION 11. ELECTION PROCEEDURES. In the event of a tie vote between candidates for the same position, a ballot will be conducted during the annual meeting and will contain the names of the tying candidates only. This ballot will be used to determine the successful candidate, and will be repeated as often as necessary until the position is filled. If after three (3) such ballots the tie still exists, a mandatory fifteen (15) minute recess will be called, after which the balloting will continue.
The Sergeant-at-arms and the Past Presidents shall administer all balloting.
Additional assistance may be appointed as necessary by the President.
SECTION 12. EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. All
retired Presidents shall become Ex-Officio members of the Board of Directors. All members of the Texas Chapter who hold elective or appointed offices in the International Association of Arson Investigators shall be Ex-Officio members of this Chapter Board during that term of office. The President, with the approval of the Board, may appoint such Ex-Officio members to serve as Editor of the News Letter for the Chapter, Sergeant- at-arms, Director of the Arson Investigation Seminar or Corporation Process Agent.
ARTICLE V COMMITTEES
SECTION 1. STANDING COMMITTEES. The following committees shall be standing full time committees of the Chapter:
- BUDGET AND FINANCE. The committee shall be responsible for all financial matters involving dues, expenses, income, salaries, and/or professional fees (honorariums) incurred by or on behalf of the Chapter. In addition the committee will see that the proper planning and budgeting is carried out during the year. The Chair shall be as prescribed in Article IV, Section 4. An annual audit will be conducted by the Committee in accordance with Article VII, Section 2.
- CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS. The duties of the committee shall be to advise the officers, directors, and members of the Chapter on matters pertaining to the constitution and By-Laws. In the event of proposed changes, it shall further be the duty of this committee to review and prepare the proposed changes in a suitable format for presentation to the officers, directors and members of the Chapter. Additionally, the Committee shall serve in a review capacity for the Standard Operating Procedures for the committees of the Chapter.
- ETHICAL PRACTICES AND GRIEVANCES. The duties of the Committee shall be to investigate any and all allegations of misconduct directed toward the officers,
directors or members of the Chapter. Allegations of misconduct shall include, but are not limited to the following:
- criminal offenses,
- neglect of duty,
- violation of the Code of Ethics, policies, rules or procedures of the Chapter, and
- conduct that tends to reflect unfavorably on a member of the Chapter.
Following the completion of an investigation the Committee shall forward the results and recommendations in writing to the officers and directors of the Chapter for final action.
- NOMINATING. The duties of the Committee shall be to encourage, solicit, receive and screen all nominations received for the positions of Second Vice President and Directors of the Chapter. The Committee shall present all qualified nominees to the membership on opening day of the annual meeting. The Committee shall consist of at least five (5) members, but not more than seven (7), the majority of whom shall not be holders of any elective office.
- MEMBERSHIP. The duties of the Committee shall be to promote, encourage and solicit membership in the Chapter through any appropriate means. In addition, the Committee shall develop and recommend guidelines to the Board relative to annual cost levels, and benefits of Sustaining Membership.
- CERTIFIED FIRE INVESTIGATOR. The duties of the Committee shall be to promote, encourage, and assist the members of the Chapter in the development of a professional certification program, and to encourage all members to become involved in a program. The Committee shall supervise all members to insure that they comply with the minimum standards as set forth by the Association, and make recommendations and endorsements to further these programs.
- EDUCATION AND TRAINING. The duties of the Committee shall be to assist in the development of the education and training programs of the annual seminars of the Chapter, provide topical education to the membership via the Chapter Newsletter or Magazine, and increase the development of educational material through the Chapter Library. The Committee shall further encourage, solicit, and assist in the development of new and innovative ideas for the education and training of the Chapter.
SECTION 2. ADDITIONAL DUTIES. In addition to the duties described, each committee shall perform additional duties, as described in the Standard Operating Procedures for that Committee, and other duties as may be delegated by the Board.
SECTION 3. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES. The Standard Operating
Procedures for each standing Committee, shall be developed by the Committee, subject to approval of the Board, and shall be subject to review and recertification every two years, or as necessary.
ARTICLE VI MEETINGS
SECTION 1. ANNUAL. The annual meeting shall be conducted at such time and place as may be fixed by the Board of Directors, and shall consist of, but not limited to, the annual meeting of the Board of Directors and the annual meeting of the members of the Chapter. The annual meeting shall begin at the time the Board of Directors convenes, and shall end upon adjournment of the annual meeting of the members of the Chapter. Notice thereof shall be mailed to each member at his/her last known address, not less than thirty days in advance. Elections shall occur and other business may be presented at the annual meeting. When any question comes before the meeting not specifically provided for herein, the presiding officer shall be governed in his/her decision by the rules laid down in "Robert's Rules of Order", as revised.
A majority of the members present at the annual meeting shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 2. SPECIAL. Special meetings may be called by order of the Board of Directors, at such places and time as fixed by the Board, giving due notice thereof to all members at least fifteen days in advance.
SECTION 3. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. The Board of Directors shall meet at any time or place upon call of the President or of any seven (7) members of the Board. These meetings may be conducted via Phone Conference Call with all minutes being posted on the Chapter Web Site within 20 days of the meeting. Amended 3/22/16
ARTICLE VII FINANCE
SECTION 1. FEES AND DUES. Dues for the active and associate membership in this Chapter shall be fixed by the majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting and shall be payable in advance from May 1st in the manner prescribed by the Secretary- Treasurer. Prospective members shall submit dues with application for membership which, upon admission, will pay his/her dues until April 30th following approval of the application. The fiscal year for this Chapter shall be May 1st - April 30th.
Dues notices shall be mailed each year in February with the notice of the annual meeting.
Failure to pay membership dues within ninety (90) days of the due date shall forfeit membership in the Chapter. Re-instatements are conditioned on approval by the Board of Directors and payment of all arrears. There shall be no other fees or assessments except as provided by amendment to these articles.
SECTION 2. AUDIT. The Finance Committee shall make an audit of the accounts of the Secretary-Treasurer at each annual meeting and shall verify all assets and liabilities of this Chapter.
ARTICLE VIII AMENDMENT
SECTION 1. REQUIREMENTS. This Constitution may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the organization by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, providing:
- The proposed amendment is presented in a form consistent with and without conflict, with the remainder of the existing Constitution of the Chapter.
- The proposed amendment is disseminated to the general membership for review through publication in the News-Letter, by mail, E-MAIL or posting on the Chapter Website at least thirty (30) days preceding the next regular or special meeting of the Chapter. Amended March 18, 2008
- To authorize the Constitution and By-Laws Committee to review and automatically amend, as necessary, those portions of the Constitution and By-Laws which are in conflict with existing Federal rules, regulations or laws pertaining to gender/sex discrimination.
The above is the legal and accurate Constitution and By-Laws of the Texas Chapter, International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc., in effect as of April 21, 2006.
REGULATIONS GOVERNING CHAPTERS OF THE IAAI
(Annotated from Article VII, Regional, State or Provincial Organizations, of the, International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc.)
SECTION 1. REGIONAL, STATE OR PROVINCIAL CHAPTERS. The Board may
recognize Regional, State or Provincial Chapters of the Association after written application by such Chapter. Active membership in Chapters shall be contingent upon membership in the Association. Any member of the Association wishing to become a member of a Regional, State or Provincial Chapter, shall comply with the Regional, State or Provincial's Constitution and By-Laws.
SECTION 2. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP. Regional, State or Provincial Chapters. Persons not qualified for active membership may become Associate members, after determination of their qualifications by the chapter membership committee. Associate
Members shall have the privileges of an active member, except voting and holding office.
Associate membership in a Regional, State or Provincial Chapter is not contingent upon I. A. A. I. membership.
SECTION 3. REGIONAL, STATE OR PROVINCIAL CONSTITUTIONAND BY-
LAWS. Regional, State or Provincial Chapters shall provide the Executive Secretary of the Association, a complete copy of their current Constitution and By-Laws at such time a charter is applied for.
Regional, State or Provincial Chapters, shall provide the Executive Secretary of the Association, a complete copy of any proposed amendment to the existing Constitution and By-Laws of such Regional, State or Provincial Chapter.
The Regional, State or Provincial Chapters Constitution and By-Laws shall be constructed in a form which best facilitates the administration of such Chapters, but shall not in any way, conflict with the Constitution of the Association.
SECTION 4. REGIONAL, STATE AND PROVINCIAL CHAPTER MEETINGS.
The number of meetings to be held by a Chapter shall in no way conflict with the annual meeting of the International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc., but shall otherwise be at the discretion of the chapter; provided, however, that each chapter shall hold at least one meeting each year. All members of the chapter shall be given thirty (30) days notice prior to any meetings and the International Secretary shall be furnished with a copy of all such notices at the same time. Copies of the minutes of meetings shall be furnished to with a copy of all such notices at the same time.
Copies of the minutes of the meeting shall be submitted to the International Secretary within thirty (30) days after the meeting was held.
All papers presented at any meeting shall be submitted to the International Secretary, together with a copy of the minutes of said meeting, before being published.
All official meetings of the Chapters shall be professional in nature and shall be conducted for the sole purpose of furthering the objects of the International Association of Arson Investigators.
SECTION 5. GRIEVANCES. In order to protect the best interest of the Association against potential sanctions imposed upon the Association for misconduct of a member or apparent member; any chapter receiving or filing a grievance against any member of the Chapter or the Association, shall defer any action/response upon the allegation(s) until:
- Written notification of the allegation(s) is directed to the Officers, Directors and Chair of the Ethical Practices and Grievance Committee of the Association, outlining the circumstances and conditions surrounding the alleged incident, and
- The allegation(s) will be acted upon by the Association, with written response directed to the Chapter, outlining its findings and/or its referral to the Ethical
Practices and Grievances Committee for continued study, to be completed in a timely manner.
SECTION 6. PROBATION, SUSPENSION, OR RECALL. The Charter of any
Chapter, may be placed on probation, suspended or re-called by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, in the event the Chapter becomes inactive or is conducted in a manner which is determined to be contrary to the best interests of the Association.
SECTION 7. DEFINITION. All references to State, Regional or Provincial, District or Charter organizations, contained within this Constitution and By-laws, shall mean those organizations duly recognized and chartered by this Association.