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Section 3 Powers and Duties of the Commission

3.01 Authority and Jurisdiction

Pursuant to the Charter, the Commission shall have:

(1) Responsibility for the resolution or disposition of all personnel matters, with authority to appoint hearing officers to hear all employee appeals previously under the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Board of Review, including those of classified employees who work for the County Executive, Prosecuting Attorney, County Planning Commission, and the County Public Defender;

(2) Responsibility for administration of countywide compliance with federal and state laws regarding personnel matters for which the County is the reporting unit and for maintenance of records required by such laws;

(3) For the County Executive’s organization and departments, authority to ensure:
     a. Pay equity for like positions;
     b. Standardization of benefits;
     c. Approval of qualifications;
     d. Consistent discipline;
     e. Training of management in personnel practices;
     f. Training of employees in job functions;
     g. Training for total quality management;
     h. Consistent administration of performance management system;
     i. Coordination of recruitment;
     j. Compliance with ethics resolutions or ordinances as passed by the Council;

(4) Responsibility for creation of rules and policies related to the Personnel Review Commission’s authority set forth in the Charter, County Code, and general law where applicable;

(5) Responsibility for administering a clear, countywide classification and salary administration system;

(6) Responsibility for ensuring compliance with ethics resolutions and ordinances passed by County Council, including the authority to hear whistleblower appeals pursuant to the Ethics Code, as well as, appeals of job audit determinations including step placement per the Pay Equity Ordinance;

(7) Responsibility for conducting inquiries regarding the abuse of the power of appointment, layoff, removal, reduction, suspension, or otherwise violating laws, rules or ordinances the Commission is charged with enforcing and to report the inquiry findings to County Council (See Rule 12.04); and

(8) Such other functions as may be deemed necessary by the Council for the Commission to carry out its mission and purpose.

3.02 Classification Plans

Pursuant to Section 9.03 of the Charter, the Commission shall administer a clear, countywide classification and salary administration system in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Charter.

3.03 Civil Service Testing

Pursuant to Section 9.01 of the Charter, the Commission shall be responsible for administering an efficient and economical system for the employment of persons in the public service of the County according to merit and fitness. To this end, the Commission has authority, including but not limited to the following:

(1) To prepare, conduct, grade, and validate all competitive examinations for positions in the County’s classified service;

(2) To evaluate qualifications for all noncompetitive positions in the County’s classified service; and

(3) To prepare and maintain eligible lists containing the names, scores, and rankings of persons qualified for appointment to positions in the County’s classified service.

[Reference Section 303.03(A) of the County Code]

3.04 County Human Resources Policies and Systems

The County’s human resources policies and systems shall be established by ordinance. The Commission shall review and submit a recommendation regarding any ordinance concerning County personnel policies prior to passage by County Council. In the event the Commission does not endorse an ordinance, the Commission may provide a Statement of Non-Endorsement to the Council.

3.05 Subpoena Powers

The Commission has authority to subpoena and require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, public records, and other documentary evidence pertinent to any matter it has authority to hear.

All officers in the civil service of the County shall attend and testify when summoned to do so by the Commission. Depositions of witnesses may be taken by the Commission or designee, or any member of the Commission, in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the courts of common pleas. In case any person, in disobedience to any subpoena issued by the Commission, or any member of the Commission, fails or refuses to attend and testify to any matter regarding which the person may be lawfully interrogated, or produce any documentary evidence pertinent to any hearing, the court of common pleas of any county, or any judge of the court of common pleas of any county, where the disobedience, failure, or refusal occurs, upon application of the Commission, or any member of the Commission, shall compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testify in the court.

Parking fees and mileage shall be allowed to witnesses and, on their certificate, duly audited, shall be paid by the Cuyahoga County Treasurer.

3.06 Delegation of Certain Administrative Functions

The Commission delegates the following administrative functions to the Human Resources Department, which shall serve under the day-to-day direction of the Director:

(1) Management and implementation of personnel policies and practices that comply with federal and state employment laws and for the maintenance of records required by such laws;

(2) Providing copies of all Human Resources Policies and Procedures to all County employees, as well as, providing copies of Ohio laws and County ordinances relating to ethics policies to County public officials and employees;

(3) Conducting ethics training programs and classes for County public officials and employees;

(4) Ensuring that public officials and employees acknowledge, in writing, receipt of the materials and attendance to all programs and classes identified in the preceding paragraphs of this Section; and

(5) Post whistleblower provisions of the Ethics Code on the Cuyahoga County website and in all physical locations where other human re sources policies are posted.

The Commission retains the authority to exercise all its Charter mandated duties and administrative functions not expressly delegated in this Section. The Commission may modify this Rule via resolution of the Commission. The Commission shall retain an oversight role regarding all powers and duties delegated under this Section. The Department of Human Resources shall provide reports to the Commission regarding the Department’s performance of the delegated functions. The specific reporting schedules and content of reports shall be determined by the Commission and will be adopted by resolution of the Commission.

3.07 Ethics

Pursuant to Section 9.02 of the Charter, the Commission shall have the authority to ensure compliance with ethics resolutions or ordinances passed by County Council. The Commission shall be the ethics compliance and training body for the County as set forth in the Ethics Code.

The Commission delegated certain portions of its duties under the Ethics Code to the Human Resources Department as set forth in Rule 3.06 herein.

The Commission shall hear appeals from disciplinary or retaliatory actions taken against all classified or unclassified employees of the County, as a result of the employee's whistleblower report made pursuant to the Ethics Code. When an employee files a whistleblower appeal, the Commission will determine whether a proper report was made under the Ethics Code and whether a causal relationship exists between such report and the County's actions. If the Commission finds a violation of the Ethic’s Code, the Commission may impose a remedy up to and including reinstatement. [Reference Title IV of the County Code]

Additionally, the Ethics Code grants the Commission the authority to write and send letters of notification, admonition, and censure regarding ethics law violations, when applicable. The Commission, however, shall not exercise this authority unless one of the following occurs:
  • The Inspector General requests assistance from the Commission due to a conflict of interest; or
  • The Commission, by a majority vote, determines that it is necessary to exercise this authority.