Chapter 2.16
POLICE CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM
AND COMMISSION

Sections:

2.16.010    Definitions.

2.16.020    Civil service commission created – Appointment – Terms – Removal and quorum.

2.16.030    Repealed.

2.16.040    Organization of commission – Powers and duties – Secretary.

2.16.050    Persons included – Competitive examinations – Transfers, discharges and reinstatements.

2.16.060    Existing positions covered by civil service.

2.16.065    Noncommissioned personnel – Temporary inclusion – No vesting rights.

2.16.070    Qualifications of applicants.

2.16.080    Tenure of employment – Grounds for discharge, reduction or deprivation of privileges.

2.16.090    Procedure for removal, suspension, demotion or discharge – Investigation – Hearing – Appeal.

2.16.100    Burden of proof.

2.16.110    Filling of vacancies – Probationary period.

2.16.120    Power to create offices, make appointments and fix salaries not infringed.

2.16.130    Enforcement by civil action – Legal counsel.

2.16.140    Deceptive practices, false marks, etc. – Prohibited.

2.16.150    Penalty – Jurisdiction.

2.16.160    Severability.

2.16.170    Applicability.

2.16.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following mentioned terms shall have the following described meanings:

“Appointing authority” includes every person or group of persons who, acting singly or in conjunction, as a mayor, or the mayor’s designee, is invested with power and authority to select, appoint, or employ any person to hold any office, place, position or employment subject to civil service.

“Appointment” includes all means of selection, appointing or employing any person to hold any office, place, position or employment subject to civil service.

“Commission” means the civil service commission created in this chapter, and “commissioner” means any one of the five commissioners on that commission.

“Full paid police department” or “full paid police officer” means the regular commissioned police officers employed and paid regularly by the city who devote their whole time to police duty, excluding the chief of police. (Ord. 780 § 1, 1998; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.020 Civil service commission created – Appointment – Terms – Removal and quorum.

A. There is created in the city a civil service commission which shall be composed of five persons. The members of such commission shall be appointed by the mayor; provided, that the members of the civil service commission constituted pursuant to the Clyde Hill Municipal Code chapters repealed at the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be the initial commissioners of the newly created civil service commission and shall continue in office until the term of their original appointment expires. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation. No person shall be appointed a member of the commission who is not a citizen of the United States, a resident of the city for at least one year immediately preceding such appointment, and an elector of the county wherein the member resides. The term of office of each commissioner shall be three years, except as specified in subsection (B) of this section for the initial appointment of two additional commission members. A majority of the members of such commission shall constitute a quorum and the votes of any three members of such commission concurring shall be sufficient for the decision of all matters and transaction of all business to be decided or transacted by the commission under or by virtue of the provisions of this chapter. Confirmation of the appointment or appointments of commissioners by the city council shall not be required.

B. At the time Ordinance No. 780 is adopted, there are two existing commission members with one vacancy. In order to stagger the terms of the three new commission members, the vacancy shall be filled by a three-year appointment, while the two new positions created by Ordinance No. 780 shall be filled by a one-year appointment and a two-year appointment respectively. (Ord. 780 § 2, 1998; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.030 Terms limited.

Repealed by Ord. 780. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.040 Organization of commission – Powers and duties – Secretary.

A. Immediately after appointment, the commission shall organize by electing one of its members chairperson and hold regular meetings as may be required for the proper discharge of their duties. It shall be the duty of the civil service commission:

1. To make suitable rules and regulations to implement this chapter which are not inconsistent with its provisions. Such rules and regulations shall provide in detail the manner in which examinations may be held, and appointments, promotions, transfers, reinstatements, demotions, suspensions and discharges shall be made. The rules and regulations and any amendments thereof shall be reproduced for free public distribution;

2. All tests shall be practical and shall consist only of subjects which will fairly determine the capacity of persons examined to perform duties of the position to which appointment is to be made, and may include tests of job related physical fitness and/or of manual skill;

3. The rules and regulations adopted by the commission shall provide for a credit as provided in RCW 41.04.010 in favor of all applicants for appointment under civil service, who, in time of war, or any expedition of the Armed Forces of the United States, have served in and have been honorably discharged from the Armed Services of the United States, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and the American Red Cross. These credits shall apply to entrance examinations only;

4. The commission shall make investigations and hear appeals concerning and report upon all matters touching the enforcement and effect of the provisions of this chapter, and the rules and regulations prescribed hereunder; inspect all institutions, department, offices, places, positions and employments affected by this chapter, and ascertain whether this chapter and all such rules and regulations are being obeyed;

5. An investigation may be made by the commission or by any commissioner designated by the commission for that purpose. The commission shall also make a like investigation on the petition of a citizen, duly verified, stating that irregularities or abuses exist, or setting forth in concise language, in writing, the necessity for such investigation. In the course of an investigation or in hearing appeal from an action of the commission or appointing authority, the commission or designated commissioner, or chief examiner, shall have the power to administer oaths, subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production by them of books, papers, documents and accounts appertaining to the investigation and also to cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the superior court; and the failure upon the part of any person so subpoenaed to comply with the provisions of this section shall be deemed a violation of this chapter and punishable as such;

6. All hearings and investigations before the commission, or designated commissioner, or chief examiner, shall be governed by this chapter and by rules of practice and procedure to be adopted by the commission, and in the conduct thereof neither the commission, nor designated commissioner shall be bound by the technical rules of evidence. No informality in any proceedings or hearing, or in the manner of taking testimony before the commission or designated commissioner, shall invalidate any order, decision, rule or regulation made, approved or confirmed by the commission; provided, however, that no order, decision, rule or regulation made by any designated commissioner conducting any hearing or investigation alone shall be of any force or effect whatsoever unless and until concurred in by at least two of the other four members;

7. To hear and determine appeals or complaints respecting the administration of the department by the appointing authority to, but only to the extent such actions relate to provisions of this civil service system, appeals relating to examination, placement or removal from an eligibility list and such other matters as may be referred to the commission pursuant to the duties outlined in subsection (A)(1) of this section. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to authorize investigation into or appeal of the day to day administration of the department, such as the assignment of work and direction of employees or budgetary matters such as salary and benefits;

8. Establish and maintain a roster of employees covered by civil service;

9. Provide for, formulate and hold competitive tests to determine the relative qualifications of persons who seek employment in any class or position and as a result thereof establish eligible lists for the various classes of positions as established by the city, and to provide that employees laid off because of curtailment of expenditures, reduction in force, and for like cause, head an applicable eligibility list in order of their seniority, to the end that they shall be the first to be reemployed so long as such employees fulfill a reasonable procedural obligation to inform the department of a current address and to promptly respond to notice of vacancy;

10. When a vacant position is to be filled, certify to the appointing authority, on written request, the name of the highest ranked persons on the eligibility list for the class. If more than one vacancy is to be filled, the commission shall certify a number of names equal to the number of vacancies, as well as four additional names from highest ranked individuals on the eligibility list. If there is no current eligibility list, the commission shall make provision in their rules for emergency, provisional or temporary appointments for such positions. Because a temporary or provisional appointment shall not exceed a period of 12 months in duration, the commission may extend the temporary or provisional appointment for up to six additional months for good cause. Good cause may include vacancy caused by an officer on indefinite disability leave or any other good cause which, in the discretion of the commission, warrants an additional extension of a provisional or temporary appointment;

11. Keep such records as may be necessary for the proper administration of this chapter.

B. The commission shall appoint a secretary and chief examiner. It may either utilize a staff member designated by the city administrator from among the city’s personnel or may contract with funds provided by the city with an independent contractor to fill the position. Nothing in this section shall require hiring under civil service procedures to fill these positions nor extend civil service protection to those persons designated or contracted to serve. (Ord. 780 § 4, 1998; Ord. 758 § 1, 1997; Ord. 753 § 8, 1997; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.050 Persons included – Competitive examinations – Transfers, discharges and reinstatements.

A. Coverage. Except as provided in CHMC 2.16.065, the provisions of this chapter shall include only the full-time, full commissioned officers of the city’s police department and shall exclude:

1. The position of police chief; and

2. The position of chief examiner and civil service secretary.

B. Examinations – Appointments – Reinstatement – Transfers – Suspension or Discharge. All appointments to and promotions covered by this chapter shall be made solely on merit, efficiency and fitness, which shall be ascertained by open competitive examination and impartial investigation. No person subject to the coverage of this chapter shall be reinstated in or transferred, suspended, or discharged from any such place, position, or employment contrary to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 753 § 9, 1997; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.060 Existing positions covered by civil service.

Persons holding positions as fully commissioned police officers were included in the civil service system under the terms of Ordinance 668 of the city. Persons included in civil service upon enactment of CHMC 2.16.065 are included and/or vested only pursuant to the terms of that section. (Ord. 753 § 10, 1997; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.065 Noncommissioned personnel – Temporary inclusion – No vesting rights.

In recognition of a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals for Division III, Teamsters v. Moses Lake, 70 Wn. App. 404 (1993), the city of Clyde Hill determines it to be in the public interest to provide for temporary inclusion of noncommissioned personnel of the police and fire departments, as follows:

A. Until such time as the Washington State Supreme Court or State Legislature determine that cities’ civil service system is not required to include noncommissioned personnel, the following listed positions and the incumbents holding a listed position at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section are all regular, full-time personnel of the police department who are not covered by CHMC 2.16.050 as commissioned or uniformed officers of such department or excluded from coverage by such section.

B. The city reserves the right to remove noncommissioned personnel listed above whether incumbents in the position or persons hired after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section. Such persons hereby are notified that their positions are subject to removal and no vested rights shall be created by their temporary inclusion in the system or their removal from the system. Such persons are included in the civil service system and shall be hired, disciplined or removed from the system only in accordance with the provisions of this chapter until the city council in its sole discretion deems it appropriate to remove such positions from civil service coverage.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the commission is authorized to delegate the administration of the testing process for clerical positions to the city administrator under the supervision of the commission’s secretary/chief examiner. (Ord. 753 § 11, 1997)

2.16.070 Qualifications of applicants.

An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service must be a citizen of the United States of America who can read and write the English language.

An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service must be of an age suitable for the position applied for, with the physical capability to perform all of the essential elements of the job, of good moral character and of temperate and industrious habits. The commission shall establish rules to ascertain an applicant’s qualifications and may delegate such matters as the review of an individual’s background to the appointing authority.

Minimum qualification standards may be adopted by rule by the commission upon the recommendation of the chief of police; actual job descriptions shall be determined at the sole discretion of the appointing authority. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.080 Tenure of employment – Grounds for discharge, reduction or deprivation of privileges.

The tenure of everyone holding an office, place, position or employment under the provisions of this chapter shall be only during good behavior and any such person may be removed or discharged, suspended without pay, demoted, or reduced in rank, or deprived of other special privileges for any of the following reasons:

A. Incompetency, inefficiency or inattention to or dereliction of duty;

B. Dishonesty, intemperance, immoral conduct, insubordination, discourteous treatment of the public, or a fellow employee or any other act of omission or commission tending to injure the public service; or any other willful failure on the part of the employee to properly conduct himself; or any willful violation of the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations to be adopted hereunder;

C. Mental or physical unfitness for the position which the employee holds;

D. Dishonest, disgraceful, immoral or prejudicial conduct;

E. Drunkenness or current use of intoxicating liquors, narcotics or any other habit forming drug, liquid or preparation to such extent that the use thereof interferes with the efficiency or mental or physical fitness of the employee, or which precludes the employee from properly performing the function and duties of any position under civil services (nothing herein shall be interpreted to limit the rights of a recovering alcoholic to the protections granted an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act);

F. Conviction of a felony, or a misdemeanor, involving moral turpitude; and

G. Any other act or failure to act which in the judgment of the civil service commissioners is sufficient to show the offender to be an unsuitable and unfit person to be employed in the public service. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.090 Procedure for removal, suspension, demotion or discharge – Investigation – Hearing – Appeal.

A. No person in the classified civil service who shall have been under provisions of this chapter shall be removed, suspended, demoted or discharged except for cause, and then only upon written notice of discipline of the appointing authority or written accusation of any citizen or taxpayer. A written statement of the notice of discipline or accusation, in general terms, shall be served upon the officer, and a duplicate filed with the commission. Any person so removed, suspended, demoted or discharged may, within 10 days from the time of his removal, suspension, demotion or discharge, file with the commission a written appeal whereupon the commission shall conduct a review of the action. The review shall be confined to the determination of the question of whether such removal, suspension, demotion or discharge was or was not made for political or religious reasons, and was or was not made in good faith for cause. After such hearing or deliberation, the commission may affirm, modify or overturn the action of the appointing authority. The commission may order the immediate reinstatement or reemployment of such person in the office, place, position or employment from which such person was removed, suspended, demoted or discharged. The reinstatement shall, if the commission so provides in its discretion, be retroactive, and entitle such person to pay or compensation from the time of such removal, suspension, demotion or discharge. The commission may direct a suspension without pay for a given period, not to exceed 30 days, and subsequent restoration to duty, or demotion in classification grade, or pay. The findings of the commission shall be certified in writing to the appointing authority, and shall forthwith be enforced. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to limit the discretion of the commission to increase discipline on the record before it above the level originally set or proposed by the appointing authority.

B. The commission shall hold a public hearing, after reasonable notice to the parties of the time and place of such hearing. At the hearing, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity of appearing in person and by counsel, and presenting their case; provided, however, that upon the joint request of the appointing authority and appellant, the hearings may be closed in order to reasonably protect the rights of privacy of an individual or to prevent an undue disruption of the operations of the department. The deliberation of the commission may be closed, at its discretion, to all persons, including the parties and excepting only counsel to the commission.

C. Appeal from the judgment or order may be taken to the superior court of King County, Washington. Appeals shall be filed within 30 calendar days by serving a written notice of appeal and pleading upon the commissioner by service upon its secretary/chief examiner or any member of the commission. The superior court shall proceed to hear and determine such appeal in a summary manner on the record of the commission; provided, however, that such hearing shall be confined to the determination of whether the judgment or order of removal, discharge, demotion or suspension made by the commission was or was not made in good faith for cause, and was not made for political or religious reasons, and no appeal to such court shall be taken except upon such ground or grounds. (Ord. 753 § 12, 1997; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.100 Burden of proof.

All matters to be proven by any party shall be proven by preponderance of the evidence. The appointing authority bears the burden of sustaining a removal, suspension, demotion or discharge of an employee. The burden of proof shall be on the employee or applicant in all other matters. Any petitioner of the commission to investigate irregularities or abuses bears the burden of showing such irregularities or abuses occurred. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.110 Filling of vacancies – Probationary period.

A. Original Appointment to Department. Whenever a vacancy exists, or upon the request of the appointing authority, the commission shall certify the names from the applicable eligibility list as provided in CHMC 2.16.040. An individual who refuses an offer of appointment shall be removed from the list.

B. Promotional Appointments. Whenever the appointing authority determines that a vacancy shall be filled by a promotional appointment, the commission shall certify from the appropriate eligibility list names as follows:

1. For each police officer position the commission shall certify the three highest names on such list, from which the appointing authority may appoint any one. If more than one vacancy exists, additional names shall be certified as provided in CHMC 2.16.040(A) (10).

2. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to obligate the appointing authority to fill any position.

C. Procedure to Fill Vacancies. If more than one vacancy is to be filled, an additional name shall be certified for each additional vacancy. The appointing authority may after review of the person so certified appoint one person to each such vacant position. If any person certified by the commission is removed from the list or otherwise requests not to be considered for appointment, the commission shall then certify the next highest person on the list to replace the individuals(s) so removed. The commission in their rules shall establish a procedure for removal of names from the eligibility list either prior to or subsequent to certification to the appointing authority. Whenever requisition is made by the appointing authority or whenever a position is held by a temporary appointee and an eligible list for the class of such position exists, the commission shall certify the names of the persons eligible for appointment to the appointing authority. The appointing authority may appoint a person from among the names certified, provided they are found to be in fact qualified, to the position. The appointing authority shall have absolute discretion regarding the decision to fill a vacant position. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to require the appointing authority to fill a position nor to limit its discretion to request a new eligibility list as provided in subsection (D) of this section.

D. Eligibility List – Rejection. The commission shall by rule provide for the life of an eligibility list. It may in its discretion provide for a process of continuous testing with an eligibility list of continuous, rolling nature. If the appointing authority determines in its discretion that there is no individual certified for hire from the eligibility list suitable to the department’s needs and standards, it may request the commission reject the entire list and prepare a new list. The commission shall grant the appointing authority’s request upon good cause shown.

E. Probation – Extensions. To enable the appointing authority to exercise an informed choice in the filling of vacancies, no appointment, employment or promotion in any position in the classified service shall be deemed complete until after the completion of a satisfactorily served probationary period. The probationary period for new employees shall be 12 months. The probationary period for persons promoted or transferred to positions with different job descriptions shall be six months. Persons reemployed who have formerly acquired regular status within the same class shall not be subject to probation for that class. During such probationary periods, the appointing authority may terminate the employment of the probationer, if during the performance test thus afforded, in its sole discretion, the appointing authority deems it to be in the best interest of the city. The appointing authority shall then designate one of the persons certified as standing within the next three persons of highest rank on the eligibility list for the position. The new probationer shall likewise enter upon the duties until some person is found who is deemed fit for appointment, employment or promotion for the probationary period provided therefor. The appointment, employment or promotion shall be deemed complete when the appointing authority certifies in writing that the probation period has been satisfactorily completed and the individual has been certified to regular employment. Time spent by an individual on sick, disability, or family leave shall not be included in the calculation of the probationary period. (Ord. 758 § 2, 1997; Ord. 753 § 13, 1997; Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.120 Power to create offices, make appointments and fix salaries not infringed.

All offices, places, classifications, job descriptions, positions and employments coming within the purview of this chapter shall be created by the mayor and city council or mayor or whoever shall be vested by the mayor and city council with power and authority to select, appoint, or employ any person coming within the purview of this chapter, and nothing contained in this section shall infringe upon the power and authority of any such person or group of persons, as the appointing authority, to fix the salaries and compensation of all employees employed hereunder. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.130 Enforcement by civil action – Legal counsel.

It shall be the duty of the commission to begin and conduct all civil suits which may be necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter and of the rules of the commission. The commission shall be represented in such suits by the chief legal officer of the city, or his/her designee, but the commission may in case of conflict request the city council to be represented by special counsel appointed by it. The approval of the city council shall not be unreasonably withheld. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.140 Deceptive practices, false marks, etc. – Prohibited.

No commissioner or any other person, shall by himself/herself or in cooperation with one or more persons, defeat, deceive, or obstruct any person in respect of his/her right of examination or registration according to the rules and regulations of this chapter, or falsely mark, grade, estimate or report upon the examination or proper standing of any person examined, registered or certified pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or aid in so doing, or make any false representations concerning the same, or concerning the person examined, or furnish any person any special or secret information for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects or chances of any person so examined, registered or certified, or to be examined, registered or certified or persuade any other person, or permit or aid in any manner any other person to impersonate him, in connection with any examination or registration of application or request to be examined or registered. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.150 Penalty – Jurisdiction.

Any person who willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 and by imprisonment in the county jail for not longer than 30 days, nor by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.160 Severability.

If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall, for any reason, be held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)

2.16.170 Applicability.

The examination and eligibility provisions of this chapter and establishment of positions covered by civil service by the provisions of this chapter shall be effective for all appointments made after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 668 § 1, 1992)