Conflict Between General Statute and Special Act
In McLaughlin v. State Bd. of Education (1999) 75 Cal. App. 4th 196, 223-224 [89 Cal. Rptr. 2d 295], the court stated:
"It is the general rule that where the general statute standing alone would include the same matter as the special act, and thus conflict with it, the special act will be considered as an exception to the general statute whether it was passed before or after such general enactment. Where the special statute is later it will be regarded as an exception to or qualification of the prior general one; . . ."
The subject of who may conduct disability retirement appeal hearing is directly addressed in section 21156. This statue is more specific than the broad, general reference to "may delegate any authority or duty conferred or imposed under this article to a subordinate officer" contained in section 21173. the language of section 21156 controls over any conflict between sections 21156 and 21173.
Finally, " 'one ferrets out the legislative purpose of a statute by considering its objective, the evils which it is designed to prevent, the character and context of the legislation in which the particular words appear, the public policy enunciated or vindicated, the social history which attends it, and the effect of the particular language on the entire statutory scheme.
'An interpretation which is repugnant to the purpose of the [statute] would permit the very "mischief" the [statute] was designed to prevent.
Such a view conflicts with the basic principle of statutory interpretation that provisions of statutes are to be interpreted to effectuate the purpose of the law.' " ( McLaughlin v. State Bd. of Education, supra, 75 Cal. App. 4th at p. 223.)