O
hio Legislative Service Commission
122nd Final Bill Analysis
Effective Date update from the LSC Status Sheet: See LSC Status Sheet

Because of Ohio Supreme Court interpretations, effective dates published in the LSC Status Sheet are not authoritative, and users of the LSC Status Sheet rely upon them at their own risk. The effective dates have been unofficially and undefinitively determined by the LSC Division of Legal Review and Technical Services solely for the convenience of users.

Am. Sub. H.B. 348
122nd General Assembly
(As Passed by the General Assembly)


Makes conviction of certain felonies a separate basis for disciplining a classified employee and deprives a person convicted of certain felonies of the status of a classified employee.
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.
CONTENT AND OPERATION

Discipline of a classified employee for conviction of certain felonies

Law amended by the act 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, fined more than five days' pay, 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 act adds, to this list of grounds for discipline, conviction of a felony and defines "felony" to mean (1) a felony that is an offense of violence (see comment 2), (2) a felony that is felony drug abuse as defined in the Drug Offenses Law, (3) a felony under the laws of Ohio, another state, or the United States that is a crime of moral turpitude (see comment 3), (4) a felony involving dishonesty, fraud, or theft, or (5) a felony that is a violation of any of three specified sections of law (see COMMENT 4).

The act 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 act further specifies that a person convicted of a felony immediately forfeits the person's status as a classified employee in any public 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.

The act entitles any person removed for conviction of a felony to a cash payment for any accrued but unused sick, personal, and vacation leave as authorized by law. If subsequently reemployed in the public sector, the person must qualify for and accrue these forms of leave in the manner specified by law for a newly appointed employee and must not be credited with prior public service for the purpose of receiving these forms of leave. (Sec. 124.34(A).)

The act specifies that the provisions described above governing the disciplining of officers and employees who have been convicted of a felony prevail over any conflicting provisions included in a collective bargaining agreement (sec. 4117.10(A)).

Date of service of an order upon a classified employee

Law largely retained by the act requires that in any case of a fine, 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 act specifies that (1) the officer or employee is "served" rather than "furnished" with a copy of the order, (2) the ten-day period starts on the date the order is served rather than with the filing of the order, and (3) 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).)

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. Current law (sec. 2901.01(A)(9)) defines "offense of violence," for use in the Revised Code, as 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 act 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.

4. The specified offenses are retaliation (sec. 2921.05), obstructing justice (sec. 2921.32), and having an unlawful interest in a public contract (sec. 2921.42).

HISTORY

ACTION DATE JOURNAL ENTRY

Introduced 04-01-97 p. 499
Reported, H. State Gov't 06-18-97 pp. 1150-1151
Passed House (90-8) 06-25-97 pp. 1413-1414
Reported, S. State & Local
Gov't & Veterans Affairs 05-12-98 p. 1887
Passed Senate (32-0) 11-18-98 pp. 2321-2323
House concurred in Senate
amendments (98-0) 12-01-98 p. 2806



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