Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission, in case of Appeal of F. Shirley Kaplan, No. 1427.
Morris Mindlin, for appellant.
Cecil Maidman, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
This is an appeal from an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) dismissing the appeal of F. Shirley Kaplan relative to her removal by the Department of Public Welfare from her position as Casework Supervisor II, regular status, with the Lebanon County Board of Assistance (Board).
Mrs. Kaplan began her employment with the Board on November 15, 1971. By August 15, 1972, she had achieved permanent civil service status. She received
an overall evaluation of "good" on a report dated October 17, 1972. However, on a similar report issued just two weeks later, her overall evaluation had dropped to "fair." Two subsequent reports, dated January 30, 1973 and April 26, 1973, showed continued deterioration in her performance, and her overall evaluation on April 26 was "unsatisfactory."
Mrs. Kaplan was notified by a letter dated April 27, 1973 that because of the deterioration of her performance she was being removed from her position, effective May 14, 1973. This letter was signed by Francis E. Ulishney, the Executive Director of the Board. A second letter from Mr. Ulishney, dated May 7, 1973, informed Mrs. Kaplan that she was suspended, effective that day. Mrs. Kaplan then appealed the suspension and removal to the Commission.
Because of its significance in this appeal, it is necessary for us to trace the procedural steps leading up to the hearing before the Commission. Mrs. Kaplan indicated her intention to appeal to the Commission on May 17, 1973. The next day a letter was sent to Mrs. Kaplan informing her that a hearing before the Commission was scheduled for June 27, 1973. Mrs. Kaplan did not seek the aid of counsel until June 20, 1973. On that day she consulted an attorney who was scheduled to appear before another tribunal on the day of the hearing before the Commission. The attorney wrote to the Commission on June 22, 1973, asking for a continuance. His request was denied. Mrs. Kaplan then appeared for the hearing and again requested a continuance. Her request was denied by the Commission and she represented herself at the hearing.
Two questions are presented on appeal. Mrs. Kaplan first argues that the Commission's denial of her request for a continuance was an abuse of discretion and ...