City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Civil Service Commission
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February 14, 2013: Civil Service Commission

Regular Meeting of the Civil Service Commission of the City of Lyndhurst, will meet Thursday, February 14, 2013, at 8:30 a.m., in the Conference Room of the Lyndhurst Municipal Center. Raymond Schmidlin, Chairman, presiding.
Commissioners: R D Patete, R. Schmidlin, R A Sweeney
Others: P T Murphy, Director of Law; C J White, Secretary
Approve minutes of the Regular Meeting held January 10, 2013.
Revisit extending the Eligibility Lists in the Fire Department.
Review and approve psychological and physical examination for Special Police Officer Scott Lillash.
Discuss promotional book list in the Fire Department.
Correspondence from Lt. Jeff Traci
February 14, 2013: Civil Service Commission

The Civil Service Commission of the City of Lyndhurst met in Regular Session on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., in the Conference Room of the Lyndhurst Municipal Center, 5301 Mayfield Road.
Members Present:
Commissioners: R. Schmidlin, Chairman; R D Patete, R. Sweeney
Others Present: P T Murphy, Director of Law; C J White, Secretary; R Porrello, Chief of Police; M Carroll, Fire Chief; Lt. J Traci, Police Department.
It was moved by Mr. Schmidlin, seconded by Mr. Patete that the reading of the minutes of the Regular Meeting held January 10, 2013, copies of which were mailed to all members, be dispensed with and said minutes stand approved as circulated.
The question was put to a voice vote and passed unanimously.
Motion carried.
Revisit extending Eligibility Lists in the Fire Department.
After discussion, it was agreed by the Commission to let the firefighter, lieutenant, captain and chief eligibility lists in the fire department expire March 10, 2013.
Chief Carroll presented the idea of regional testing for original appointment. He questioned the Commission on whether or not the rules would have to be changed.
In answer to Mr. Schmidlin's question, Chief Carroll does not see a need for a promotional test, but he stated that he feels it's always good to have a current original appointment list. He further stated he would like to look into a regional original appointment test.
Review and approve psychological and physical examination for Special Police Officer candidate Scott Lillash.
This item is tabled pending further information.
Discuss promotional book list in the Fire Department.
Chief Carroll presented the following to the Commission:
Lyndhurst Fire Department
Standard Operating Procedures
General Administration
Number: 714.0
Title: Promotional Exam Resource List
Effective: December 21, 2012
Supersedes: Page 2 of 5
All fire department personnel seeking promotion to the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain.
1. A reading list for the ranks of lieutenant and captain shall be reviewed annually.
2. Changes in the reading list are at the discretion of the fire chief.
3. The fire department shall maintain at least one copy of each resource in the fire station library.
4. The newest addition of a reading resource shall be used on the promotional exam as long as the addition is obtained at least thirty (30) days prior to the announcement of a promotional exam.
5. A minimum of four (4) and a maximum of six (6) reading resources will be used from the books listed in this policy.
6. In addition to the books chosen from the resource list in this policy; Fire Department SOP's, Fire Department Pre-plans, the Union Contract, and the City Employee Handbook may also be included on the promotional exam.
7. The following books could be used on the Lieutenant's written exam:
  • Fire Officer Handbook of Tactics, 3rd Ed., Norman
  • From Buddy to Boss, Sargent
    8. The following books could be used on the Captain's written exam:
  • It's Your Ship, Abrshoff
  • Strategic & Tactical Considerations on the Fireground, 3rd Ed., Smith
    9. The following books could be used on either the Lieutenant's or Captain's written exam:
  • Building Construction Related to the Fire Service, 3rd Ed., IFSTA
  • Company Officer, 3rd Ed., Smoke
  • Fire Department Incident Safety Officer, 2nd Ed., Dodson
  • Fire Service Personnel Management, 3rd Ed., Edwards
  • Firefighting Operations in High Rise & Standpipe Equipped Buildings, McGrail
  • Introduction of Fire Origin & Cause, 3rd Ed., IFSTA
  • Fire Inspection Principles & Practice, IAFC/NFPA
  • Hazardous Materials for First Responders, 3rd Ed., IFSTA
    Civil service rule changes or recommendations could supersede this policy at any time.
    Chief Carroll stated he would like to maintain a library of pertinent and current books to be used for promotional exams in the fire department. He also stated that this will give the members of the fire department an opportunity to read at their leisure, instead of trying to get all the books read once a promotional test is announced.
    In answer to Mr. Schmidlin's question, Chief Carroll stated that all books listed are recommended by the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association; the books will be purchased by the fire department. He further stated that the current officers in the fire department participated in the choice of books listed.
    Mr. Schmidlin expressed his agreement with the idea of a library where the list of books would be readily available. The Commission concurred.
    Correspondence from Lt. Jeff Traci.
    The following letter was submitted to each commission member:
    "January 26, 2012
    Members of the Civil Service Commission,
    This past November I sent a similar letter to this to Chief Porrello and he gave me the option to forward this to the Civil Service Commission.
    I would like to express how impressed I have been with the quality of police work and leadership Ptl. Scipione has demonstrated in the first 2 years since he returned from his short leave due to an illness. Ptl. Scipione returned to LPD after being forced to leave the department due to a medical disability. Ptl. Scipione left LPD in January of 2010 and returned in January of 2011. Upon his return Ptl. Scipione rode with a Field Training Officer for a mere 2 days and was ready to work on his own. I was watching Ptl. Scipione carefully during the first year out of concern that his symptoms may come back and effect his work. Not one time did I notice a single issue with his work. He demonstrated excellent investigative skills and solid police work from the first week he returned. I would rank his follow up investigation on reports in the highest tier of any of our officers. During his first year back he received a Departmental Commendation for his initiative and investigation of stolen cell phones. He responded to a report of stolen cell phones at the Apple store and rather than just take a theft report he began a lengthy investigation which led to several arrests and the recovery of numerous stolen cell phones.
    During his first 2 years he went above and beyond with numerous investigations. These included working with outside agencies and with State and Federal task forces. These are things that many officers never do in their career. His leadership has spearheaded many projects around the police department. He recently took it upon himself to organize members of Lyndhurst Police to help raise money for Officer Jason Gresko, a Willoughby PD officer who died in a line of duty car crash. His efforts led to LPD donating 2 baskets to a benefit auction valued at over $1,000 along with $3,182 from a raffle he organized. Ptl. Scipione has no ties to this officer, he just took the lead and ran with it. The most impressive demonstration of his leadership is developing a multi-jurisdictional drug task force. The SPAN cities not only agreed to the task force, but had the confidence in him to allow Ptl. Scipione to be the Commander of the unit.
    The unfortunate part about all of Ptl. Scipione's success is that since he left with a medical disability and chose to return when he recovered, he is treated by the department as a new hire with no seniority. He has just returned to standard patrolman pay, will be short 2 weeks of vacation every year for the rest of his career, and is at the bottom of the shift in seniority. He has not let this setback effect his morale in anyway.
    My main concern is I think it is an injustice not to count his prior almost 10 years of service with the City of Lyndhurst when he takes a promotional exam. Ptl. Scipione's situation is unique and should be treated different than an officer bringing experience from another city. We have hired several officers who have had several years of experience at another department and not one of them progressed in nearly the same way as Ptl. Scipione did on his return. Those officers took 6 months or more to be allowed to be on their own and then slowly progressed from there. Ptl. Scipione returned with 2 days of training and then continued without missing a beat from his first 10 year stretch of service. He has never acted like a new hire and I don't feel we should continue to treat him as a new hire.
    I would recommend that the Civil Service Commission seriously consider counting Ptl. Scipione's entire time of employment with City of Lyndhurst to calculate his seniority for any promotional exams. He is giving us his best and I think he should be given the credit he deserves.
    Lt. Jeff Traci
    cc: Mayor Cicero"
    Mr. Schmidlin stated that although he may agree with Lt. Traci, this letter would require a legal opinion.
    Mr. Murphy stated that he has read the letter signed by Lt. Traci and Rule IX, Section 5, which states ". . .and upon reinstatement such firefighter or police officer shall not receive credit for seniority earned prior to resignation and reinstatement and shall not be entitled to reinstatement to a position above the rank of firefighter or police officer, as the case may be, regardless of the position held at the time of resignation." He further stated that Mr. Scipione, at the time of reinstatement, agreed to this rule in a signed letter dated December 20, 2010.
    Lt. Traci stated that it is his opinion that Patrolman Scipione, since his reinstatement, has acted like a ten year veteran, and feels as his supervisor, that it is in the best interest of the department that his seniority be reinstated. He further stated that the department treats Patrolman Scipione as a leader, and not a new hire.
    In answer to Mr. Murphy's question, Lt. Traci stated he is not speaking on Patrolman Scipione's behalf, but just wanted to come forward and express his thoughts.
    Mr. Schmidlin thanked Lt. Traci for his request, and stated that although he and the other commissioners may agree with the request, state and local rules must be followed. He asked that Lt. Traci convey to Patrolman Scipione their gratitude for the years of service he has put into the department.
    Mr. Patete stated that he feels Lt. Scipione has proven to be an asset to the department, and that the Rule IX, Section 5 doesn't seem fair; he shouldn't be kicked when he is down.
    Mr. Murphy explained that the consideration of Patrolman Scipione's reinstatement was that he was permitted to come back, bypassing original appointment tests. He further stated that he will review the Civil Service Rules and outline options for the Commission's review.
    Mr. Schmidlin stated that he would like to know the history of Rule IX, Section 5. He further stated that it must exist for a reason.
    It was moved by Mr. Schmidlin, seconded by Ms. Sweeney that the meeting be adjourned.
    The question was put to a voice vote and passed unanimously.
    Motion carried, meeting adjourned at 9:00 a.m.

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