120-122.  Vacancies in legislative appointments.

When a vacancy occurs in any office subject to appointment by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, or upon the recommendation of the President of the Senate, and the vacancy occurs either: (i) after election of the General Assembly but before convening of the regular session; (ii) when the General Assembly has adjourned to a date certain, which date is more than 20 days after the date of adjournment; (iii) after sine die adjournment of the regular session; or (iv) when the term of office expires and a successor has not been appointed, then the Governor may appoint a person to serve until the expiration of the term or until the General Assembly fills the vacancy, whichever occurs first. The General Assembly may fill the vacancy in accordance with G.S. 120-121 during a regular or extra session. When a person is holding over in office after the expiration of the term, for the purpose of this section that office may be filled as if it were vacant. Before making an appointment, the Governor shall consult the officer who recommended the original appointment to the General Assembly (the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, or the President of the Senate), and ask for a written recommendation. After receiving the written recommendation, the Governor must within 30 days either appoint the person recommended or inform the officer who made the recommendation that he is rejecting the recommendation. Failure to act within 30 days as required under the provisions of the preceding sentence shall be deemed to be approval of the candidate, and the candidate shall be eligible to enter the office in as full and ample extent as if the Governor had executed the appointment. The Governor shall not appoint a person other than the person so recommended. Any position subject to initial appointment by the General Assembly but not filled prior to sine die adjournment of the Session at which the position was created or adjournment to a date certain which date is more than 20 days after the date of adjournment of the session at which the position was created may be filled by the Governor under this section as if it were a vacancy occurring after the General Assembly had made an appointment. (1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1191, s. 2; 1983, c. 717, ss. 112, 113; 1985, c. 752, ss. 1, 2; 1993, c. 563, s. 13; 2004-187, s. 5; 2004-195, s. 7.)