124.40 Civil service commissions in municipalities and townships.

(A) The mayor or other chief appointing authority of each city in the state shall appoint three persons, one for a term of two years, one for a term of four years, and one for a term of six years, who shall constitute the municipal civil service commission of that city and of the city school district and city health district in which that city is located. Each alternate year thereafter the mayor or other chief appointing authority shall appoint one person, as successor of the member whose term expires, to serve six years. A vacancy shall be filled by the mayor or other chief appointing authority for the unexpired term. At the time of any appointment, not more than two commissioners shall be adherents of the same political party.

The municipal civil service commission shall prescribe, amend, and enforce rules not inconsistent with this chapter for the classification of positions in the civil service of the city and city school district, and all the positions in the city health district; for examinations for and resignations from those positions; for appointments, promotions, removals, transfers, layoffs, suspensions, reductions, and reinstatements with respect to those positions; and for standardizing those positions and maintaining efficiency in them. The commission's rules shall authorize each appointing authority of a city, city school district, or city health district to develop and administer in a manner it devises an evaluation system for the employees it appoints. The commission shall exercise all other powers and perform all other duties with respect to the civil service of the city, city school district, and city health district, as prescribed in this chapter and conferred upon the director of administrative services and the state personnel board of review with respect to the civil service of the state; and all authority granted to the director and the board with respect to the service under their jurisdiction shall, except as otherwise provided by this chapter, be held to be granted to the commission with respect to the service under its jurisdiction. The procedure applicable to reductions, suspensions, and removals, as provided for in section 124.34 of the Revised Code, shall govern the civil service of cities.

The expense and salaries of a municipal civil service commission shall be determined by the legislative authority of the city and a sufficient sum of money shall be appropriated each year to carry out this chapter in the city.

All persons who are employed by a city school district, city health district, or city health department when a municipal civil service commission having jurisdiction over them is appointed, or when they become subject to civil service by extension of civil service to include new classifications of employees, shall continue to hold their positions until removed in accordance with the civil service laws.

If the appointing authority of any city fails to appoint a civil service commission or commissioner, as provided by law, within sixty days after the appointing authority has the power to so appoint, or after a vacancy exists, the state personnel board of review shall make the appointment, and the appointee shall hold office until the expiration of the term of the appointing authority of the city. If any municipal civil service commission fails to prepare and submit rules or regulations in accordance with this chapter, the board shall forthwith make those rules or regulations. This chapter shall in all respects, except as provided in this section, be in full force in cities with a civil service commission.

Each municipal civil service commission shall make reports from time to time, as the board requires, of the manner in which the law and the rules and regulations under it have been and are being administered, and the results of their administration, in the city, city school district, and city health district. A copy of the annual report of each municipal civil service commission shall be filed in the office of the board as a public record.

Whenever the board has reason to believe that a municipal civil service commission is violating or is failing to perform the duties imposed upon it by law, or that any member of a municipal civil service commission is willfully or through culpable negligence violating the law or failing to perform official duties as a member of the commission, it shall institute an investigation, and if, in the judgment of the board, it finds any such violation or failure to perform the duties imposed by law, it shall make a report of the violation or failure in writing to the chief executive authority of the city, which report shall be a public record.

Upon the receipt of a report from the board charging the municipal civil service commission with violating or failing to perform the duties imposed upon it by law, or charging any member of the commission with willfully or through culpable negligence violating the law or failing to perform official duties as a member of the commission, along with the evidence on which the report is based, the chief executive authority of the city shall forthwith remove the municipal civil service commissioner or commissioners. In all cases of removal of a municipal civil service commissioner by the chief executive authority of any city, an appeal may be had to the court of common pleas, in the county in which the city is situated, to determine the sufficiency of the cause of removal. The appeal shall be taken within ten days from the decision of the chief executive authority . If the court disaffirms the judgment of the chief executive authority, the commissioner shall be reinstated to the commissioner's former position on the commission.

The chief executive authority of a city with a municipal civil service commission may remove at any time any commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, having first given to the commissioner a copy of the charges and an opportunity to be publicly heard in person or by counsel in defense.

The mayor has the exclusive right to suspend the chief of the police department or the chief of the fire department for incompetence, gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, habitual drunkenness, failure to obey orders given by the proper authority, or any other reasonable and just cause. If either the chief of police or the chief of the fire department is so suspended, the mayor forthwith shall certify that fact, together with the cause of the suspension, to the municipal civil service commission. Within five days from the date of receipt of the notice, the commission shall proceed to hear the charges and render judgment on them. The judgment may affirm, disaffirm, or modify the judgment of the mayor, and an appeal may be had from the decision of the commission to the court of common pleas as provided in section 124.34 of the Revised Code to determine the sufficiency of the cause of removal.

(B) The board of trustees of a township that has a population of ten thousand or more persons residing within the township and outside any municipal corporation and that has a police or fire department of ten or more full-time paid employees may appoint three persons to constitute the township civil service commission. Of the initial appointments made to the commission, one shall be for a term ending two years after the date of initial appointment, one shall be for a term ending four years after that date, and one shall be for a term ending six years after that date. Thereafter, terms of office shall be for six years, each term ending on the same day of the same month as did the term which it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term. Any member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until a successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. At the time of any appointment, not more than two commissioners shall be adherents of the same political party.

The board of township trustees shall determine the compensation and expenses to be paid to the members of the township civil service commission. The powers and duties conferred on municipal civil service commissions and the supervisory authority of the state personnel board of review under division (A) of this section shall be applicable to the civil service commission of a civil service township.

The board of township trustees has the exclusive right to suspend the chief of the police or fire department of the township in the same manner as provided in division (A) of this section for municipal chiefs.

The jurisdiction of the township civil service commission is limited to employees of the township fire or police department and then only if the department has ten or more full-time paid employees, and it does not extend to any other township employees.

Effective Date: 08-09-1974; 07-01-2007