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In re Critchlow

Decided: June 4, 1985.

IN THE MATTER OF FRANCIS X. CRITCHLOW


On appeal from a Final Determination of the Civil Service Commission.

Dreier and Shebell. The opinion of the court was delivered by Shebell, J.A.D.

Shebell

Appellant Francis X. Critchlow appeals the final determination of the Civil Service Commission that he is ineligible to take the examination for Chief, Bureau of Training and Staff Development in the Department of Corrections. This case has a long and torturous history commencing in October of 1981 when the Department of Civil Service in announcing the examination, published the requirements for this position as follows:

Five (5) years of professional experience in planning, administering and coordinating training and staff personnel development programs for individuals having the responsibility for custody, safety and rehabilitation of persons deprived of their liberty.

Critchlow in his application stated he had six years and six months of experience as a Senior Training Technician at the Department of Corrections and described the duties of his position as follows:

Prepare lesson plans, teach[,] administer tests to correctional personnel at Corr. Officers Trng. Acad. Staff training & development.

His application for admission to the examination was granted.

By letter of March 4, 1982 Critchlow's supervisor, Thomas Cooper, without Critchlow's knowledge, wrote to Civil Service urging that Critchlow be found ineligible to sit for the examination.

Cooper, the incumbent chief, was also scheduled to take the examination for the position he then held on a provisional basis. He alleged Critchlow had only minimal involvement in training operations and that his chief duties were the processing of invoices and other fiscal forms and that he had no supervisory duties nor staff which reported to him. Cooper also supplied a copy of the duties questionnaire completed by Critchlow on August 15, 1979 which he claimed indicated Critchlow had no supervisory function. Although some 43 specific job duties were listed, the three main ones allegedly were clerical duties, and to collect and transport laundry to and from trainee dormitories.

Civil Service later "discovered" that on June 15, 1981 job specifications for the Chief position were issued which required the following experience:

Five years of professional experience in planning, administering and coordinating large scale training and staff personnel development programs for individuals having the responsibility for custody, safety and rehabilitation of persons deprived of their liberty. Four of the five years should have been in a supervisory capacity. [(emphasis ours)]

By letter dated June 23, 1983 Civil Service rescinded Critchlow's eligibility and advised him his application did not demonstrate that he possessed the requisite experience in planning, administering and coordinating training and staff personnel programs. Critchlow, in seeking reconsideration, submitted three schedules of training programs conducted at the Correction Officers Training Academy and Staff Development Center in 1983, a recruit test average tally sheet and various job specifications. He was again held eligible by Civil Service on August 9, 1983. However, on September 14, 1983 Cooper, again without appellant's knowledge, wrote Civil Service questioning Critchlow's eligibility. On September 30, 1983 the Deputy Director, Division of Policy and Planning, Department of Corrections, wrote to Civil Service challenging ...


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