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Beasley v. City of Gulfport

December 17, 1998

LOUIS BEASLEY
v.
CITY OF GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI



Before Pittman, P.j., Roberts And Smith, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pittman, Presiding Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/02/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROBERT H. WALKER

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - STATE BOARDS AND AGENCIES

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 12/17/98

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. This case arises from a finding by the Harrison County Circuit Court wherein it affirmed a decision of the Gulfport Civil Service Commission finding that Louis Beasley should be reinstated as an employee of the City of Gulfport without back pay and at his previous level of pay prior to the position that he was occupying at the time of his termination.

¶2. Louis Beasley was fired from the City of Gulfport as the Head Building Official July 25, 1995. In accordance with the rules and regulations of the Gulfport Civil Service Commission as adopted by the City of Gulfport, Beasley advised the City that he wished a full investigatory and disciplinary hearing to determine whether or not the actions of the City of Gulfport in terminating his services were done in good faith and for cause.

¶3. The Gulfport Civil Service Commission granted Beasley a hearing beginning January 4, 1996, and ending January 22, 1996. The Gulfport Civil Service Commission entered its order on February 5, 1996 finding the following:

The Commission finds that the City of Gulfport failed to meet its burden of proof to warrant the termination of Louis Beasley, and therefore, finds that he should be reinstated as an employee of the City of Gulfport as of February 5, 1996. The Commission further finds that there was sufficient evidence of misconduct on the part of Louis Beasley to be reinstated without back pay. Further, he is ordered to report to the Chief Administrative Officer, Havard Jordan, for further job assignments. It is further ordered that Louis Beasley is hereby reduced to his previous level of pay prior to the position he was occupying at the time of his termination.

¶4. Feeling aggrieved by the decision of the Gulfport Civil Service Commission, Beasley filed a Motion to Reconsider the Order of the Commission. The Commission denied the Motion to Reconsider on August 5, 1996.

¶5. Beasley then appealed to the Harrison County Circuit Court pursuant to the Gulfport Civil Service Rules and Regulations and the Mississippi Code. On June 2, 1997, the Harrison County Circuit Court affirmed the actions of the Gulfport Civil Service Commission. It is from this Order that Beasley seeks appeal to this Court citing the following points of error:

I. THE CIRCUIT COURT AND GULFPORT CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW IN VIOLATING § 21-31-71 (MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972) WHICH ONLY ALLOWS DISCHARGE OF CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES UPON WRITTEN CONFIRMATION OF THE APPOINTING POWER WHICH IN THIS CASE IS THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF GULFPORT.

II. THE DECISION OF THE GULFPORT CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AS A MATTER OF LAW IS LEGALLY INVALID AND IN EXCESS OF THE DISCIPLINARY ACTION PERMITTED UNDER § 21-31-23 OF THE MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED.

III. THE GULFPORT CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION VIOLATED ITS OWN RULES AND REGULATIONS AS WELL AS THE MISSISSIPPI CODE GOVERNING CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HEARINGS BY RENDERING DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE LOUIS BEASLEY. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION MADE SPECIFIC FINDINGS THAT THE CITY OF GULFPORT FAILED TO MEET ITS BURDEN OF PROOF TO WARRANT THE TERMINATION OF LOUIS BEASLEY AND THE ...


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