§4-1-5. Authority to subpoena witnesses and documents; penalty for refusal to comply; applicability of whistle-blower law.
(a) When the Senate or House of Delegates, or a committee of either house, authorized to examine witnesses, by resolution or by rules of the Senate or of the House of Delegates, shall order the attendance of any witness, or the production of any books, papers, documents or records necessary for the Senate, House of Delegates or a committee thereof to perform its duties, a summons shall be issued accordingly, signed by the presiding officer or clerk of such house, or the chairman of such committee, directed to the sheriff or other proper officer of any county, or to the sergeant at arms of such house, or any person deputed by him. When a committee is appointed by each house under any joint or concurrent resolution, and directed to sit jointly, with authority to examine witnesses or send for persons or documents, the subpoena aforesaid may be signed by the chairman of the committee on the part of the Senate or the chairman of the committee on the part of the House of Delegates.
(b) If any witness subpoenaed to appear at any hearing or meeting pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall refuse to appear or to answer inquiries there propounded, or shall fail or refuse to produce books, papers, documents or records within his or her control when the same are subpoenaed, the Senate, House of Delegates or a committee thereof, in its discretion may enforce obedience to its subpoena by attachment, fine or imprisonment, or it may report the facts to the circuit court of Kanawha County or any other court of competent jurisdiction and such court shall compel obedience to the subpoena as though such subpoena had been issued by such court in the first instance.
Witnesses subpoenaed to attend such hearings or meetings, except officers or employees of the state, shall be allowed the same mileage and per diem as is allowed witnesses before any petit jury in this state.
(c) The provisions of article one, chapter six-c of this code are expressly applicable to persons testifying pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.