1998 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representatives Peranich, Fredericks, Banks, Coleman (29th), Green (72nd), Guice, Miller, Ryan, Watson
House Bill 727
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-76-131, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS WITH FELONY CONVICTIONS WHO HAVE BEEN LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS FOR AT LEAST SEVEN YEARS AFTER CONVICTION AND WHO SATISFY CERTAIN OTHER CONDITIONS MAY BE GRANTED A WORK PERMIT AS A GAMING EMPLOYEE BY THE GAMING COMMISSION IF THE COMMISSION, AFTER AN INVESTIGATION, DETERMINES THE PERSON SHOULD BE GRANTED SUCH A PERMIT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 75-76-131, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-76-131. (1) The executive director shall:
(a) Ascertain and keep himself informed of the identity, prior activities and present location of all gaming employees in the State of Mississippi; and
(b) Maintain confidential records of such information.
(2) No person may be employed as a gaming employee unless he is the holder of a work permit issued by the commission.
(3) A work permit issued to a gaming employee must have clearly imprinted thereon a statement that it is valid for gaming purposes only.
(4) Application for a work permit is to be made to the executive director and may be granted or denied for any cause deemed reasonable by the commission. Whenever the executive director denies such an application, he shall include in the notice of the denial a statement of the facts upon which he relied in denying the application.
(5) Any person whose application for a work permit has been denied by the executive director may, not later than sixty (60) days after receiving notice of the denial or objection, apply to the commission for a hearing before a hearing examiner. A failure of a person whose application has been denied to apply for a hearing within sixty (60) days or his failure to appear at a hearing conducted pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be an admission that the denial or objection is well founded and precludes administrative or judicial review. At the hearing, the hearing examiner appointed by the commission shall take any testimony deemed necessary. After the hearing the hearing examiner shall within thirty (30) days after the date of the hearing announce his decision sustaining or reversing the denial of the work permit or the objection to the issuance of a work permit. The executive director may refuse to issue a work permit if the applicant has:
(a) Failed to disclose, misstated or otherwise attempted to mislead the commission with respect to any material fact contained in the application for the issuance or renewal of a work permit;
(b) Knowingly failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the regulations of the commission at a place of previous employment;
(c) Committed, attempted or conspired to commit any crime of moral turpitude, embezzlement or larceny or any violation of any law pertaining to gaming, or any crime which is inimical to the declared policy of this state concerning gaming;
(d) Been identified in the published reports of any federal or state legislative or executive body as being a member or associate of organized crime, or as being of notorious and unsavory reputation;
(e) Been placed and remains in the constructive custody of any federal, state or municipal law enforcement authority;
(f) Had a work permit revoked or committed any act which is a ground for the revocation of a work permit or would have been a ground for revoking his work permit if he had then held a work permit; or
(g) For any other reasonable cause.
The executive director shall refuse to issue a work permit if the applicant has committed, attempted or conspired to commit a crime which is a felony in this state or an offense in another state or jurisdiction which would be a felony if committed in this state. However, an applicant who committed, attempted or conspired to commit such a felony no less than seven (7) years before applying for a work permit may present his complete record to the hearing examiner and if the record reveals that the applicant has not subsequently been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor, the hearing examiner may recommend to the executive director that the applicant be issued a work permit. The executive director is authorized to issue a work permit if the applicant's record reveals that he has been a law abiding citizen for at least seven (7) years, completed any probation or other conditions of the felony sentence and has been a law abiding citizen for at least two (2) years after completion of any probation or other conditions of such sentence, and if the executive director, after investigating and considering (i) all activities of the applicant since the felony conviction, (ii) the specific felony for which the applicant was convicted, and (iii) the applicant's general reputation for truth, professional ability and good character, determines that the applicant should be issued a permit.
(6) Any applicant aggrieved by the decision of the hearing examiner may, within fifteen (15) days after the announcement of the decision, apply in writing to the commission for review of the decision. Review is limited to the record of the proceedings before the hearing examiner. The commission may sustain or reverse the hearing examiner's decision. The commission may decline to review the hearing examiner's decision, in which case the hearing examiner's decision becomes the final decision of the commission. The decision of the commission is subject to judicial review.
(7) All records acquired or compiled by the commission relating to any application made pursuant to this section and all lists of persons to whom work permits have been issued or denied and all records of the names or identity of persons engaged in the gaming industry in this state are confidential and must not be disclosed except in the proper administration of this chapter or to an authorized law enforcement agency. Any record of the commission which shows that the applicant has been convicted of a crime in another state must show whether the crime was a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, felony or other class of crime as classified by the state in which the crime was committed. In a disclosure of the conviction, reference to the classification of the crime must be based on the classification in the state where it was committed.
(8) A work permit expires unless renewed within ten (10) days after a change of place of employment or if the holder thereof is not employed as a gaming employee within the jurisdiction of the issuing authority for more than ninety (90) days.
(9) Notice of any objection to or denial of a work permit by the executive director as provided pursuant to this section is sufficient if it is mailed to the applicant's last known address as indicated on the application for a work permit. The date of mailing may be proven by a certificate signed by the executive director or his designee that specifies the time the notice was mailed. The notice is presumed to have been received by the applicant five (5) days after it is deposited with the United States Postal Service with the postage thereon prepaid.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.