Eastwood, Goldmann and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Goldmann, J.A.D. Francis, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned) (concurring).
[24 NJSuper Page 338] Appellant Keegan, a disabled war veteran, ranked first in a competitive examination conducted by the Department of Civil Service for the position of naturalization clerk for Hudson County. Despite that fact, one Mary M. Carty, ranking fifteenth on the list, was certified and appointed under circumstances hereinafter set forth. Keegan appealed to the Department from the certification and appointment and requested a hearing. The Department rejected the appeal by a letter decision, termed a "Conclusion and Determination," without argument or the taking of testimony. Keegan appeals pursuant to Rule 3:81-8.
It would appear that the county clerk's office in Hudson County has for many years investigated persons making application for citizenship. Regular employees of the county clerk interviewed and assisted aliens in their attempts to become citizens. At some time prior to September 16, 1949 the county clerk created the position of "Special Investigator" and on that date appointed "May" M. Carty thereto at an annual salary of $4,000 as a permanent and full-time employee. The "Personnel Action Form" filed with the Department of Civil Service by the deputy county clerk as appointing authority described the individual tasks to be performed by the appointee as follows:
"Investigating persons making application for citizenship; filing of business names wherein a business is conducted under an assumed name and Veterans Licenses for peddling, hawking and vending of merchandise in Hudson County, N.J.
Familiarizing ones self with the functions and duties required of one serving in the Naturalization Bureau also serving as a supervisor in the Record Room where many papers are asked for each day and seeing to it that the papers are not removed and that they are returned to their proper places.
Will be expected to gain a knowledge of all the functions of the County Clerk's Office and when sickness or any other reason may happen to anyone connected with the office, to fill in such position."
The tasks were clearly those theretofore carried on by regular employees of the county clerk's office. The only qualifications for the position were: "Desirable Age: Over 30 years. Years of experience: Five years." There was no indication that a man or a woman would be better qualified or more desirable for the position.
On June 1, 1950 the Department of Civil Service approved the "temporary appointment" of Miss Carty "to the position of naturalization clerk, pending an open competitive examination." Just how this new title originated is not clear. On September 4, 1951 the Department of Civil Service in its printed bulletin of forthcoming open competitive examinations announced:
"NATURALIZATION CLERK (C34)
Open to male and female citizens, 12 months resident in Hudson County.
Under direction, does specialized clerical work; investigates persons making application for citizenship; is responsible for a file for licensing for peddling, hawking and vending of merchandise; assists in carrying out the function of the Naturalization Bureau; supervises a Record Room where papers filed with the County Clerk are kept; does related work as required.
1. Formal education or other education or training showing attainment of the level represented by graduation from high school.
2. Three years of experience in work involving the handling of highly technical clerical work.
3. Freedom from physical defects which would prevent efficient performance of the ...