(a) There is created and established a State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The board shall be composed of nine members. Eight members of the board shall be active licensed chiropractors elected as provided in this section. Seven of the elected members shall be elected one from each congressional district in this state except as otherwise provided in Section 34-24-141. Any candidate for or member of the board shall be a resident of the appropriate congressional district except one candidate for the board shall be elected from the state at large. One elected member of the board shall be elected from the state at-large and shall be an African-American. Each elected member of or candidate for the board shall meet the following qualifications: A citizen and resident of Alabama who has resided in this state for at least five years; a graduate of a chartered chiropractic school or college, which required actual attendance in the school as a prerequisite to graduation; currently engaged in the clinical practice of chiropractic and has been engaged in the clinical practice in this state for at least the five immediately preceding years; having renewed his or her license to practice chiropractic by September 30 of the year in which the election shall take place; of good moral character; and must not be presently on probation relating to the practice of chiropractic in any state including this state.
(b) One member of the board shall be a consumer member appointed by the Governor. Neither the consumer member, nor his or her spouse, shall be a chiropractor. The consumer member shall not be an immediate family member of a chiropractor, nor shall he or she be employed in the chiropractic field.
(c) The elected members of the board shall be elected as provided in this subsection. In August of any year that the term of a member of the board expires, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners shall mail a notice of the election of the board and the method of qualifying as a candidate to each active licensed chiropractor in the district where the vacancy occurs at his or her permanent mailing address. The election provided for in this section shall be conducted by an independent agency such as a certified public accounting firm unless there is only one candidate for the board and in this situation, the board shall certify the results. The board shall set a period for candidates to qualify and the date for the ballots to be mailed. Candidates shall qualify by submitting their name to the executive director of the board during the qualifying period which shall be not less than 20 days nor more than 40 days after the notice is mailed. Not less than 14 days after the deadline for qualification, each licensed chiropractor shall be mailed a ballot for the appropriate congressional district where the vacancy is to be filled. In order to be counted, the ballots shall be returned by mail to the independent agency postmarked not later than 14 business days after the ballots were mailed by the board. The results of the election shall be certified by the independent agency. The ballots shall be maintained for a period of six months by the independent agency. The candidate with a simple majority of the votes cast in each respective congressional district shall be elected to the board position for that congressional district. In the event no candidate in a district receives a majority of the votes, the board shall hold a run-off election in the same manner as provided in this subsection. The members of the board shall take office immediately upon election and the executive director of the board shall set the first meeting of the board after the election of the new board.
(d) Whenever a vacancy occurs on the board, whether by death, resignation of a member, or other cause, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original election or appointment for the remainder of the term of office.
(e)(1) The board may employ investigators, inspectors, attorneys, and any other agents, employees, and assistants as may from time to time be necessary, and may use any other means necessary to bring about and maintain a rigid administration and enforcement of state and federal law.
(2) The board shall have the power to issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of all necessary papers, books, records, documentary evidence and materials, or other evidence. Any person failing or refusing to appear or testify regarding any matter about which he or she may be lawfully questioned or to produce any papers, books, records, documentary evidence or materials, or other evidence in the matter to be heard, after having been required by order of the board or by a subpoena of the board to do so, upon application by the board to any circuit judge of this state, may be ordered to comply therewith; and, upon failure to comply with the order of the circuit judge, the court may compel obedience by attachment as for contempt as in case of disobedience of a similar order or subpoena issued by the court. The president and secretary-treasurer of the board shall have authority to issue subpoenas, and any board member shall have authority to administer oaths to witnesses, or to take their affirmation. A subpoena or other process of paper may be served upon any person named therein, anywhere within the State of Alabama, by any officer authorized to serve subpoenas or other process or paper in civil actions, in the same manner as is prescribed by law for subpoenas issued out of the circuit courts of this state, the fees and mileage and other costs to be paid as the board directs.
(f) The board shall employ an executive director who shall be responsible for the administration of board policy. The executive director may be licensed to practice chiropractic in this state as provided in this article.
(g) The board shall publish annually a directory listing all permit holders and all persons licensed to practice chiropractic in Alabama. Copies of the directory shall be made available from the executive director at a cost set from time to time by rule of the board.
(h) The membership of the board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state.
(i) Each member of the board shall meet all qualifications to be a candidate for his or her seat on the board during his or her entire term. Any member who fails to continue to meet the qualifications for his or her seat shall forfeit his or her seat on the board and resign or the board seat shall be declared vacant by the board.