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[The State Ex Rel.] Lane v. City of Pickerington et al

October 27, 2011

[THE STATE EX REL.] LANE,
APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF PICKERINGTON ET AL., APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Court of Appeals for Fairfield County, No. 10-CA-14, 2011-Ohio-1908.

Per curiam.

[Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as State ex rel. Lane v. Pickerington, Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-5454.]

NOTICE

This slip opinion is subject to formal revision before it is published in an advance sheet of the Ohio Official Reports. Readers are requested to promptly notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, of any typographical or other formal errors in the opinion, in order that corrections may be made before the opinion is published.

SLIP OPINION NO. 2011-OHIO-5454

[Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as State ex rel. Lane v. Pickerington,

Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-5454.]

Public employees--Mandamus sought to compel municipal personnel appeals board to conduct hearing--Letter from city law director insufficient to constitute appealable order of board--Remand to court of appeals.

Submitted October 18, 2011

{¶1} This is an appeal from a judgment entered by the court of appeals denying a writ of mandamus to compel a city and its personnel appeals board to conduct a hearing and make a determination on the merits of a municipal employee's appeal of his removal from employment. Because the court of appeals erred in holding that the employee had an adequate remedy by appeal to the common pleas court to raise his claims when there was no evidence that the board had issued any decision, we reverse the judgment of the court of appeals and remand the cause to the court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Facts

{¶2} Appellant, Paul Lane, was employed by the city of Pickerington, Ohio, from August 30, 1999, until November 2, 2009. Lane worked for the city as a construction inspection supervisor until November 2005 and then as an inspections administrator up to November 2, 2009. According to Lane, he was in the classified civil service during his employment with Pickerington.

{¶3} Effective November 2, 2009, following a hearing, the interim city manager terminated Lane's employment for disciplinary reasons. By letter dated November 5, 2009, the interim city manager issued a notice that was handdelivered to Lane by the city's personnel director notifying him of his termination from employment for violating Section 7.14 of the city's Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual, Use of Technology, Section 2.

{ΒΆ4} On November 17, 2009, Lane submitted to the city's personnel director a request for a hearing before appellee Pickerington Personnel Appeals Board regarding his termination from employment. Section 9.03 of the Pickerington City Charter specifies, "The Personnel Appeals Board shall be established to hear appeals whenever any official or employee in the competitive service feels ...


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