IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PASCO COUNTY

Case No. 01-2164CA

Division P

CITY OF NEW PORT RICHEY,

                        Petitioner,

vs.

LEONARD REEVES,

                        Respondent.


Opinion filed June 29, 2001

Brian Koji, Esquire,
Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A.,
Attorney for Petitioner

Mr. Leonard Reeves, Pro Se,
Respondent

Mr. Robert Moore,
Chairman, City of New Port Richey Civil Service Board

OPINION IN CERTIORARI

The City of New Port Richey in its petition for writ of certiorari requests this court to review and quash a decision of the Civil Service Board of the City of New Port Richey that reversed the discharge of the respondent, Leonard Reeves.  Certiorari is an appropriate vehicle to obtain a review of that decision.  Dabbs v. City of Tampa, 613 So.2d 1378 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993).  That decision of the Civil Service Board must be quashed.

The essential facts are that the City discharged the respondent from his employment with the Public Works Department of the City for possessing marijuana while on duty on January 10, 2001.  The respondent appealed his dismissal to the Civil Service Board.  At the hearing before the Civil Service Board the respondent admitted to possessing marijuana as charged by the City and further admitted to smoking marijuana during the lunch break on the day he was charged and arrested.  It is clear that the unlawful use or possession of a controlled substance on city property or during working hours is “cause for immediate discharge.”  §3.14(A.), City of New Port Richey Personnel Rules and Regulations.

The Board’s authority in reviewing the dismissal of the respondent was limited to determining if there was “just cause” for the respondent’s termination.  City of Clearwater v. Garretson, 355 So.2d 1248 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978).  The Board ignored those limitations and substituted its opinion for that of the City manager.  Therefore, this court finds that the Civil Service Board below failed to observe the essential requirements of law and its decision must be reversed.  The decision of the civil service board is hereby quashed and the respondent’s discharge approved.

DATED this 29th day of June, 2001.

 

____________________________________
Wayne L. Cobb, Circuit Judge

 

 

Copies to:

Brian Koji, Esquire,

Mr. Leonard Reeves, Pro Se,

Mr. Robert Moore