O
hio Legislative Service Commission
122nd House Bill Analysis
H.B. 348
122nd General Assembly
(As Introduced)


Makes conviction of certain felonies a separate basis for disciplining a classified employee and deprives a person convicted of certain felonies of tenure rights to state employment.
Prohibits appeals to the State Personnel Board of Review or a local civil service commission if the subject of the appeal is a classified employee's discipline for conviction of certain felonies.
Specifies the date when a disciplinary order is served upon a classified employee.
Requires a juror to sign a statement affirming that the juror has not been convicted of a felony.

CONTENT AND OPERATION

Discipline of a classified employee for conviction of certain felonies

Current law provides that a classified employee (see comment 1) of the state or of a county, city, city school district, city health district, general health district, or civil service township may be reduced in pay or position, suspended, or removed for incompetence, inefficiency, dishonesty, drunkenness, immoral conduct, insubordination, discourteous treatment of the public, neglect of duty, violation of the Civil Service Law or the rules of the Director of Administrative Services or of a city or civil service township civil service commission, violation of the Ethics Law, any other failure of good behavior, or any other acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office. The bill adds to this list conviction of a felony and defines "felony" to mean a felony that is an offense of violence (see comment 2), a felony that is felony drug abuse as defined in the Drug Offenses Law, or a felony under the laws of Ohio, another state, or the United States that is a crime of moral turpitude (see comment 3).

The bill provides that conviction of a felony is a separate basis for reducing in pay or position, suspending, or removing an officer or employee, even if the officer or employee has already been reduced in pay or position, suspended, or removed for the same conduct that is the basis of the felony. An officer or employee may not appeal to the State Personnel Board of Review or to a city or civil service township civil service commission any disciplinary action taken by an appointing authority as a result of the officer's or employee's felony conviction. If an officer or employee removed for any of the reasons allowed by the Civil Service Law is reinstated as a result of an appeal of the removal, any felony conviction that occurs during the pendency of the appeal is a basis for further disciplinary action under the Civil Service Law upon the officer's or employee's reinstatement.

The bill further specifies that a person convicted of a felony immediately forfeits any rights to tenure in any state employment on and after the date of the felony conviction. If an officer or employee is removed as a result of being convicted of a felony or is subsequently convicted of a felony that involves the same conduct that was the basis for the removal, the officer or employee is barred from receiving any compensation after the removal notwithstanding any modification or disaffirmance of the removal, unless the felony conviction is subsequently reversed or annulled. (Sec. 124.34(A).)

Date of service of an order upon a classified employee

The Civil Service Law requires that in any case of reduction, suspension of more than three working days, or removal, the appointing authority must furnish the employee with a copy of the order, which must state the reasons for the disciplinary action. Within ten days following the filing of the order the employee may file an appeal in writing with the State Personnel Board of Review or the appropriate city or civil service township civil service commission. The bill specifies that (1) the order be "served" upon rather than "filed" with the officer or employee and (2) the date on which the order is served is the date of hand delivery of the order or the date of delivery of the order by certified United States mail, whichever occurs first. (Sec. 124.34(B).)

Juror's affirmance of nonconviction of a felony

Existing law provides that a person convicted of a felony under the laws of Ohio, another state, or the United States, unless the conviction is reversed or annulled, is incompetent to be an elector or juror or to hold an office of honor, trust, or profit (sec. 2961.01, not in the bill). The bill requires that each juror selected for common pleas, municipal, or probate court service or for grand jury service sign a statement for the commissioners of jurors and, if necessary, for the court affirming that the juror is not disqualified from service because of the prohibition against convicted felons serving as jurors (sec. 2313.12(B)).

COMMENT

1. The Civil Service Law requires that classified employees be hired and promoted through competitive and noncompetitive examinations, grants them appeal rights when they are suspended, demoted, removed, reduced in pay or position, or laid off, and limits their participation in partisan political activities. These provisions do not apply to unclassified employees.

2. "Offense of violence" is defined in existing law for use in the Revised Code. "Offense of violence," as defined in existing law (sec. 2901.01(A)(9)), means any of the following:

(a) Aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, aggravated menacing, menacing, menacing by stalking, kidnapping, abduction, extortion, rape, gross sexual imposition, sexual battery, felonious sexual penetration, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, certain types of burglary, inciting to violence, aggravated riot, riot, inducing panic, domestic violence, intimidation, intimidation of a victim, attorney, or witness in a criminal case, escape, or improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or school;

(b) A violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of Ohio, any other state, or the United States, substantially equivalent to any offense listed in (a) above;

(c) An offense, other than a traffic offense, under an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of Ohio, any other state, or the United States, committed purposely or knowingly, and involving physical harm to persons or a risk of serious physical harm to persons;

(d) A conspiracy or attempt to commit, or complicity in committing, any offense described in (a), (b), or (c) above.

3. Although the bill does not define "moral turpitude," an Ohio appellate court has held that moral turpitude is "an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man." State v. Adkins (1973), 40 Ohio App. 2d 473, paragraph two of the syllabus.

HISTORY

ACTION DATE JOURNAL ENTRY

Introduced 04-01-97 p. 499



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