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November 21, 2011

Use of section 64(3) of civil service law limited

Use of section 64(3) of civil service law limited
Coxen v. Meyer, 81 A.D.2d 1044

When Suffolk County dismissed its consulting firm supervising the construction of a sewer project, the State and Federal governments threatened to cut off funds unless the County provided for the required supervision of the project.

Using Section 64.3 of the Civil Service Law, the County hired an inspection staff without resorting to available eligible lists which the Court found could have been used for the appointments.

Holding that exceptions to the general civil service policy of filling vacancies in the classified service from appropriate eligible lists is to be strictly construed, the 64.3 appointments were declared unlawful. While 64.3 permits appointments without the use of eligible lists, such appointments are authorized only in exceptional cases.

The provision requires that it would not be practical to hold an examination of any kind to fill the vacancy. The fact that suitable eligible lists were already available was critical as it obviated any argument that it would not be practical to hold the test.

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