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Merit Commission - Merit Rules

The Maricopa County Merit System Commission is actually two commissions in one. The Commission is responsible for overseeing the Employee Merit System Rules (under the provisions of A.R.S. § 11-351 through § 11-356) and the Law Enforcement Officers Merit System Rules (A.R.S. § 38-1001 through 38-1007). The Commission consists of five members, each of whom is nominated by a member of the Board of Supervisors. Each Commission member holds office for a term of four years. The Commission is charged with representing the public interest in the improvement of personnel administration in the county service. The Commission adopts new rules, amends existing rules, recommends preparation of policies and procedures, and serves as an independent personnel board for the County under A.R.S. § 38-532(H).
Click here to go to the Arizona State Statutes.

The Merit Commission members are:
Larry Pickard, Chairman, District 4
David Hernandez, Vice-Chairman, District 5
William Lally, Chairman, District 1
Sean Lake, District 2
Alberto Gutier, District 3

Matters Which May be Appealed

Employees in the classified service who have attained regular status may appeal a dismissal, demotion, suspension or a reduction in force (RIF). An employee who has been subject to a RIF under the Employee Merit Systems Rules may file an appeal only on the grounds that the calculation of the employee's retention points was inaccurate and resulted in that employee being selected for separation before another. An employee subject to the Law Enforcement Officers Merit System Rules may appeal the RIF on the grounds that the order of layoff or dismissal has not been determined in accordance with the Resolution and Rules of the Commission.

Appeals

The request for an appeal must be in writing and filed with the Human Resources Director. Appeals must be filed no later than ten (10) business days following the date of personal delivery or certified mailing of a written order from the appointing authority. The request for appeal must state the facts upon which the appeal is based and the action requested of the Merit Commission. An initial hearing date will be set within twenty (20) business days after receipt of an appeal request. Notification of the date and time of the hearing will be mailed to the parties.

Hearing Officer

The appeal is assigned to a Hearing Officer who is an authorized representative of the Merit Commission. The Hearing Officer is empowered to grant or refuse extensions of time, rule on motions, take testimony, accept evidence and provides the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommendations to the Commission.

Subpoenas

Either party may request subpoenas. Requests for subpoenas must include the complete name, address, and phone number of the individual(s) to be subpoenaed. The Merit Systems Administrator must receive requests for subpoenas no later than ten (10) business days prior to the scheduled hearing.

Hearing

The hearing is closed to the public unless the appellant requests that the hearing be open to the public. The Appellant may represent himself or herself or be represented by legal counsel of his or her choosing (at the expense of the appellant), or a lay representative. The County arranges with a court reporter to record and transcribe the hearing. Each party will have a maximum of three and one-half (3.5) hours to present the case including opening statement; direct exam, cross exam, and re-direct/re-cross of witnesses; objections; and closing argument. Time spent on cross examination and re-cross counts against the total time allotted to the party conducting the examination. The Hearing Officer shall have the authority to grant up to an additional 7 hours (total) of testimony. The Hearing Officer shall not allow testimony beyond 14 hours total without prior approval from the Law Enforcement Officers’ Merit System Commission chairman or designee.

Withdrawal of Appeal

The Appellant may submit a written request to withdraw the appeal at any time prior to the decision by the Commission.

Hearing Officer's Recommendation

After the hearing is completed, the Hearing Officer will prepare Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendations. Copies will be sent to the Appellant and Respondent and the parties have ten (10) calendar days from the receipt of the Hearing Officer's Recommendation to file written objections with the Commission. Each party must serve a copy of their written objections upon the other interested parties. The parties are notified by letter of the meeting date where the Commission will consider matters relating to the appeal.

Decision by the Commission

The Commission will review the Hearing Officer's Recommendation and any written objections by the Appellant and Respondent. The Commission may adopt the Hearing Officer's Recommendation in its entirety, or modify it, or may itself decide the case upon the record, including the transcript with or without taking additional evidence.



For more information contact: Samantha Cruz, Merit Systems Administrator
301 West Jefferson, Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: 602 506-3792 Fax: 602 506-3313
   


Maricopa County Human Resources Department, 301 W. Jefferson Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Business hours 8am to 5pm MST, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, 602-506-3755

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