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Price v. Sanitary District of Chicago

MARCH 25, 1970.

JOHN R. PRICE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THE CIVIL SERVICE BOARD OF THE METROPOLITAN SANITARY DISTRICT OF GREATER CHICAGO, AND ALLEN S. LAVIN, ACTING DIRECTOR OF PERSONNEL OF THE METROPOLITAN SANITARY DISTRICT OF GREATER CHICAGO, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD F. HEALY, Judge, presiding. Reversed and remanded with direction.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Defendants appeal from an order of the Circuit Court reversing the defendant Board's discharge of plaintiff from his employment with the Sanitary District.

Plaintiff had held the position of Supervisor of Employee Selection, the examination for which had been advertised by the Board's announcement which read, in part, as follows:

Qualifications:

Nine years of progressively responsible experience in a technical and supervisory capacity in personnel administration including substantial experience and/or training in examination and selection procedures; and graduation from a four-year accredited college course majoring in personnel administration, industrial psychology or related field. Full-time graduate study in pertinent field may be substituted for experience on the basis of one school year of study for one and one-half years of experience. Any equivalent combination of training and experience will be considered.

Plaintiff, who had been working for the District on a contract basis for over three months, filed his application for the position on May 25, 1964. The application, which was under oath, contained the following significant portion relating to plaintiff's education qualifications:

One feature of the application form which bears on this case in a rather fundamental way, is the part at the top marked "Important," which calls the applicant's attention to the fact that the information supplied "may be rated as part of your examination and thus effect your final grade."

In addition to the education data set forth above, the application also contained information as to plaintiff's previous employment with three different employers covering approximately twelve years. Plaintiff was permitted to take the examination, which he passed, and, being first on the eligible list, he was appointed Supervisor of Employee Selection on August 7, 1964.

The instant action arose on November 17, 1966, when Allen Lavin, Acting Director of Personnel of the District, filed charges with the Board alleging violation by plaintiff of the following Rules of the District's Director of Personnel (adopted pursuant to the authority of Ill Rev Stats 1963, c 42, § 323.5):

11.041 — Causes for Discharge: An employee holding a permanent appointment may be discharged from the service if he is found by the Civil Service Board to:

(4) Have violated any of the provisions of the Statute governing the classified service of the District, any official regulation of the Board of Trustees, or of the Civil Service Board, or to have failed to obey any proper order or direction made or given by any superior officer of the District.

(6) Have made a false statement of a material fact in an application for employment, or to have violated any provisions of these rules governing examinations or to have been guilty of any conduct in the course of an examination which tends to bring the District service into disrepute.

(9) Have been guilty of any conduct which tends to render his continued employment detrimental to the discipline, efficiency, or reputation of the District's service.

Hearings were held before the Board on November 22, 1966, and other dates at which plaintiff appeared in person ...


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