FROM CITY CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ORLEANS NO. 7711
P. LOEFFELHOLZ Counsel for plaintiff/appellant
ELIZABETH S. ROBINS DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY ISAKA R. WILLIAMS
ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY REBECCA H. DIETZ CITY ATTORNEY
Counsel for defendant/appellee.
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Daniel L.
Dysart, Judge Tiffany G. Chase.
F. MCKAY III CHIEF JUDGE
Plaintiff, Dr. Lucille Perry ("Dr. Perry"), appeals
the May 30, 2017 ruling of the Civil Service Commission for
the City of New Orleans ("CSC"), which determined
that Dr. Perry was not owed any back pay upon her
reinstatement to employment due to an offset from her interim
earnings. Finding no error in the CSC's ruling, we
OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
facts of this case are taken from the appeal Perry v.
City of New Orleans, 2011-0901, pp. 1-4 (La.App. 4 Cir.
2/1/12), 104 So.3d 453, 454-55. ("Perry
Appellant [Dr. Perry] began working for the City of New
Orleans, Department of Health, as a classified employee with
permanent status beginning April 17, 1988, with the class
code C5317 and the title of "Senior Environmental
Technician." Subsequently, Appellant's class code
was changed to C5311, titled "Environmental Tech 1"
and then to an "Environmental Specialist III."
According to Appellant's testimony, her job duties
included handling "crisis cases" with the housing
and health inspectors, typically involving elderly abuse,
abandoned children, and other social issues. (footnote
On March 30, 1998, Appellant was transferred from the
Department of Health to Municipal Court, with the new
classified position of "Medical and Social Services
Coordinator, " class code C0295. Appellant's
workplace also changed from City Hall to Municipal Court, and
her new Appointing Authority was George P. Wells, the
Municipal Clerk of Court. Appellant worked in victim services
in connection with domestic violence cases and held the title
"Victim Services Coordinator."
On January 6, 2003, Appellant's supervision shifted from
Municipal Court to the Department of Law. According to
Appellant's testimony at the hearing, the determination
was reached that it was a conflict of interest for the Victim
Services Coordinator to be within Municipal Court because it
could reflect a potential bias of the court; therefore, the
position was transferred to the Department of Law. Appellant
asserts that her job duties remained the same. According to
the Civil Service Commission's decision, the need for the
administrative transfer was precipitated by a change in
funding, as the salary for Appellant's position was
funded by a grant which was transferred from the budget of
the Municipal Court to the Department of Law.
Also on this date, January 6, 2003, a transfer document was
executed, wherein Appellant's civil service status was
changed from classified to unclassified, with the new job
title of "Asst. Attorney I." According to the
testimony of the human resources director/legal budget and
finance manager, Vanessa Caliste Swafford, "Attorney
I" was a newly created position under class code U0020AA
("U" representing "unclassified").
Appellant denies ever seeing this transfer document and
submits that her actual job duties never changed. There is no
provision for an employee signature anywhere on the transfer
document. (footnotes omitted).
On April 1, 2007, Appellant's position was changed within
the Department of Law to the position of "Urban Policy
Specialist, " class code U0167.
In the fall of 2008, Appellant was disciplined for an
incident that occurred in Municipal Court on July 31, 2008,
between Appellant and a Municipal Court Judge. As a result of
this incident, Appellant was suspended for one week without
pay, and received a disciplinary letter dated September 10,
2008, from City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields. The disciplinary
letter included the language: "Lastly, as a reminder,
members of the unclassified staff serve at the pleasure of
the Administration...." Appellant signed the ...