decided: January 6, 1976.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
S. K. DESIKACHAR, APPELLANT
Appeal from the order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of S. K. Desikachar v. Department of Transportation, No. 1614.
Rajeshwar Kumar, for appellant.
Reynold J. Kosek, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 508]
This is an appeal by Satyagalam K. Desikachar (appellant) from an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) which affirmed an "unsatisfactory" Interim Performance Evaluation Report (IPER) issued to appellant by the Department of Transportation (Department).
In our review of this matter, we are required by law to affirm the Commission unless it appears that its adjudication was not in accordance with law, that any of its findings of fact necessary to support its adjudication were not supported by the evidence, or unless the constitutional rights of the appellant have been violated. O'Peil v. State Civil Service Commission, 16 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 467, 332 A.2d 879 (1975).
Appellant, questioning the Commission's conclusions that his IPER was rated "unsatisfactory" for just cause,*fn1 alleges that he has received a biased IPER because of discriminatory actions*fn2 practiced by supervisory personnel in his department.
The Civil Service Act sets forth the premise that one's relationship with the classified service is to be controlled by a merit concept. This concept requires "personnel actions" of the Commonwealth to be based upon merit criteria relevant to the proper execution of the employee's duties. The criteria must be job-related and in some logical and rational manner touch upon competency and
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 509]
ability. See Cotter v. State Civil Service Commission, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 49, 318 A.2d 390 (1974).
On its face, appellant's IPER of January 2, 1975 meets this test imposed by the statute. All criteria rated in the IPER bear a direct relationship to the appellant's ability to successfully perform his duties. In four of the rated categories (Relationship with People, Quantity of Work, Initiative, and Analytical Ability), appellant received an "unsatisfactory" rating. In the categories of "Dependability" and "Quality of Work," the appellant was rated at the lowest level of the three-level "fair" subdivision. Only in "Safety Performance" was appellant rated as "good." Additionally, in the space reserved for "Comments" on the report, appellant was chastised for his disruptive behavior, the inadequacy of his skills, his lack of neatness, and his inability or refusal to differentiate between practical design and pure mechanical theory. From the face of this report, it is clear that the Department, by assigning an overall "unsatisfactory" rating to appellant, did not violate the provisions of the Civil Service Act.
The Department presented considerable competent testimony in support of all of the comments and ratings. Two of appellant's supervisors, Michael Hegarty and L. M. Robinson, and one of appellant's co-workers (presently a supervisor), Haridaden Parich, testified on behalf of the Department. All substantially testified to the effect that appellant was treated with the utmost consideration and yet responded to their assistance and tutelage with a considerable degree of belligerency. Hegarty explicitly testified as to the inability of appellant to perform the most simple tasks mandated by his job classification. Additionally, appellant introduced a memo from Robinson to the district's administrative officer, dated subsequent to the IPER, which spells out in detail the reasons for the "unsatisfactory" rating.
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 510]
Of course, in rebuttal to the report and to the Department's evidence, and in the hope of carrying the burden imposed upon him by the Act,*fn3 appellant attempted to show that the ratings were based on the personal, calculated vindictiveness of his supervisors. Although appellant did present, through his testimony and through the use of certain documents, evidence that he hoped would prove some sort of "concerted conspiracy" by his "jealous supervisors" to prevent his possible future promotion from a Civil Engineer II to a Civil Engineer III in the classified service, the Commission, after weighing all of the evidence, found appellant's position to be without credence.*fn4
We conclude that the Commission properly exercised its functions in the administrative framework and must be affirmed.*fn5
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 511]
And Now, this 6th day of January, 1976, the order of the State Civil Service Commission, dated April 18, 1975, dismissing the appeal of Satyagalam K. Desikachar, is hereby affirmed.