Monday, October 29, 2012

Commission issues 14 decisions, granting bypass appeal and ending investigation in selective certification

On October 18, 2012, the Civil Service Commission published 14 decisions on its website. Two of the decisions are particularly noteworthy. In Ortiz v. Boston Police Department, the Commission granted a bypass appeal to a candidate for original appointment as a Boston police officer. The decision is noteworthy because, as stated on this blog repeatedly, bypass appeals have become increasingly difficult to win. The Ortiz decision was the only bypass appeal granted by the Commission in this group of decisions out of seven such appeals. Equally significant, the Commission based its unanimous decision not on evidence of political overtones or favoritism in the selection process, but on the lack of a reasonable investigation into the candidate's background. Specifically, the Commission found that the roundtable that recommended the bypass relied on erroneous negative information about the candidate and did not consider, as it was unaware of, highly favorable information about the candidate. The Commission ruled that the Boston Police Department should perform a reasonably thorough investigation before deciding whether or not to bypass the candidate.

In In re: Investigation of Selective Certification for Female Police Officers, the Commission determined that no further investigation was warranted into the Boston Police Department's use of selective certification for female candidates for original appointment. The investigation resulted from an appeal filed by a male candidate who was not reached for consider when the BPD used a selective gender certification in its March 2010 appointment process. [Full disclosure: the Law Office of Joseph L. Sulman represents the appellant in the underlying appeal.]  That appeal resulted in a decision last November 7, 2011 in Pugsley v. Boston Police Department, where the Commission found that the BPD and the Human Resources Division violated civil service law in the process used to request and approve the March 2010 selective gender certification. The Commission's investigation did not reach any findings concerning that specific appeal, but concluded that no further investigation was warranted into the selective gender certification process used by the BPD in general.

No comments:

Post a Comment