Appeal from the Order of the Civil Service Commission in case of Alfred G. Boris v. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Appeal No. 3204.
M. Maley Peterson, with him Robert E. Faber, for petitioner.
Robert Lesko, with him, John E. Childe, Jr., Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 549]
Alfred G. Boris appeals from the adjudication of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission dismissing his appeal of his removal from the position of Environmental Protection Specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (Department).
Boris was provisionally appointed in 1969 as an Environmental Safety Representative in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In June of 1970, his classification was changed to Environmental Specialist II (Sanitation). As a result of a departmental reorganization which occurred in January of 1970, Boris was transferred to the newly created Department of Environmental Resources. On December 19, 1971, he received regular Civil Service status as an Environmental Protection Specialist II (Sanitation). He was promoted to the position of Environmental Protection Specialist III (Sanitation) on March 23, 1972. Throughout the period from 1969 to September of 1975 Boris's duties were in a housing consultant program, and his performance was well above satisfactory.
In September of 1975, the housing consultant program was eliminated due to budgetary constraints, and Boris was offered the option of resigning or being laterally reassigned to the position of Vector Control Consultant. In this position, Boris had responsibility for providing consultation and monitoring local compliance with state grant requirements in the area of pest and insect control. His geographic area of responsibility was the 5-county Philadelphia metropolitan area.
[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 550]
Boris was discharged on June 13, 1978. In the letter of dismissal, dated May 26, 1978, the Department cited numerous factors as the basis for the personnel action. Those factors included: four fair or unsatisfactory performance evaluations during the period from September of 1975 to April of 1978; a written reprimand for actions occurring on August 8, 1977 for leaving what appeared to be a loaded revolver in the conference room of the office; the judgment of an independent review panel confirming the basis for an evaluation of unsatisfactory for Boris's performance during the period from September of 1976 to September of 1977; and specific examples of inadequate performance during the period from January of 1978 to April of 1978.
Boris appealed to the State Civil Service Commission, under Sections 951(a) and (b) of the Civil Service Act.*fn1 He asserted that his dismissal was not based on good cause,*fn2 and furthermore, that his termination was discriminatory on the basis of age.*fn3 After a lengthy hearing at which both Boris and the Department were represented by counsel, the Civil Service Commission unanimously concluded that Boris
[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 551]
was properly removed, and that his removal was not motivated by discrimination. The Commission specifically cited testimony of Boris's supervisors that they were frequently required to correct and amend the program evaluations that he submitted, that he failed to identify present and potential problems in the vector control plans which he monitored, and that they received several complaints from local administrators regarding Boris's inefficiency and lack of expertise. While acknowledging that the record reflected that Boris had considerable personal support among township and borough administrators with whom he came in contact, the Commission found this evidence of limited impact due to these administrators' lack of exposure to major segments of Boris's job responsibilities. The ...