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DPA Case Number 97-3448 - Protest of Involuntary Transfer

Final Non-Precedential Decision Adopted: June 10, 1998
By: K. William Curtis, DPA Chief Counsel


This matter came on regularly for hearing before Philip E. Callis, Administrative Law Judge, State Personnel Board, on November 20, 1997, and January 27 and 28, 1998, at Susanville, California. The matter was consolidated for hearing with appellant's State Personnel Board appeal from a related disciplinary action (case no. 97-2685).
Appellant was present and was represented by Richard M. Murphy, Attorney.
Vickie Di Matteo, Staff Counsel, represented the Department of Corrections (CDC), respondent.
Evidence having been received and duly considered, the Administrative Law Judge makes the following findings of fact and Proposed Decision.


The above involuntary transfer effective October 1, 1997, and appellant's appeal therefrom comply with the procedural requirements of Government Code section 19994.3.


Appellant has been employed by the CDC since October 15, 1974. He began as a Correctional Officer and was promoted to Correctional Sergeant in 1987. Appellant has no prior adverse actions of record.


Appellant was suspended and demoted from his position as a Correctional Sergeant at the California Correctional Center (CCC) for pressuring female Correctional Officers to pose for photographs during their off duty hours, and for taking nude photographs of one female officer during an off duty photo session in a remote rural area. Following this suspension and demotion, appellant was transferred from the CCC, where the incidents occurred, to High Desert State Prison (HDSP). The notice of transfer stated in relevant part:
"Your actions, as set forth in your recent adverse personnel action dated June 13, 1997, have created a working environment which is not conducive to the efficient operation of the CCC or the Department. It is anticipated that this reassignment [to High Desert State Prison] will be in the best interest of all parties concerned."


HDSP is located on grounds adjoining the CCC approximately one mile away. The two prisons have separate administrations and staffs. The transfer did not require a change in appellant's residence.


Appellant filed this appeal with the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) alleging that the transfer "was made for a punitive purpose."
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Government Code section 19994.3 prohibits transfers "made for the purpose of harassing or disciplining the employee." Black's Law Dictionary defines the phrase "for the purpose of" as meaning "with the intention of." In the instant case, appellant's transfer from the CCC to HDSP, although related to appellant's disciplinary action, was not made "for the purpose of" harassing or disciplining appellant. Instead, the transfer was made to ease appellant's transition to a non supervisory position after his disciplinary demotion for misconduct. It would have been very uncomfortable for both appellant and his accusers to have had to work as fellow officers had appellant remained at the CCC. Appellant's transfer to another institution, situated less than one mile away, does not appear to have created any hardship to appellant. Under the circumstances, the transfer was made for valid operational reasons and should not be disapproved.

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that the protest of involuntary transfer effective October 1, 1997, is hereby denied.

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I hereby certify that the foregoing constitutes my Proposed Decision in the above-entitled matter and I recommend its adoption by the Department of Personnel Administration as its decision in the case.
DATED: April 28, 1998
  Updated: 5/22/2012
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