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About Civil Service and the State Personnel Board of Review

Ohio's connection and involvement in Civil Service history is important and significant. When northeastern Ohio-born President James A. Garfield was assassinated in 1881 by a disgruntled office seeker, this tragedy spurred a need for personnel reform for government jobs. The old President Jackson approach of "to the victors belong the spoils" needed change. In 1882, U.S. Senator George H. Pendleton from Cincinnati, Ohio, presented a bill in Congress to eliminate the old system and to introduce, in its place, a non-partisan civil service at the federal level. Congress adopted the bill, which became known as the Pendleton Civil Service Act and served as a model and inspiration for use across America at the state and local levels. 

In 1912, civil service was introduced on a state-wide basis in Ohio. The delegates of the 4th Constitutional Convention agreed that the civil service system should be instituted "so far as practicable" and the Civil Service Act was subsequently written and passed in 1913. The Civil Service Act was amended in 1915 to provide for an appeal to the Civil Service Commission by those classified employees "who had been reduced in pay or position, laid off, suspended, discharged or discriminated against by the appointing officer."

In 1959, House Bill 794 abolished the State Civil Service Commission and created the State Personnel Board of Review (SPBR) and Office of State Personnel (later renamed the Department of Administrative Services).

Ohio's State Constitution makes specific mention of Civil Service protections and their importance, plus the state legislature has  written O.R.C. Section 124 to outline the details for these important rights and responsibilities. SPBR and the trial courts follow these state laws and the various higher court rulings to better define legally these protections and processes. 

Past Board Members:

Board Member Name First Appointed by Governor
Adriana M. Sfalcin 2007
Paul M. Booth 2003
Roger W. Tracy 1999
Debora A. Batta 1995
Patricia A. Hamilton 1990
William E. Hinig 1989
J. Richard Lumpe 1986
M. Morris Jackson 1984
Frank E. Avern 1970
Earl W. Allison 1964
William A. Lavelle 1982
Charles V. Schwenker 1977
Warren S. Earhart 1973
James E. Hughel 1972
John P. Cook 1969
Fred K. Cassel 1966
Lowel T. Fess 1965
James R. Gould 1963
William N. Lovelace 1963
Reuben M. Payne 1962
Minor C. Kershner 1960
Carl W. Smith 1960
Paul F. Benson 1960
SPBR Established 1959

 

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