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Volume 8 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 57

Opinions of Counsel index

County Director of Real Property Tax Services (appointment) (probationary period) - Civil Service Law, §§ 20, 63; Real Property Tax Law, § 1530:

Pursuant to rules adopted by a municipal civil service commission and approved by the State Civil Service Commission, the appointment of a county director may be made subject to a probationary period, during which time or at the conclusion of which the appointee may be dismissed from office.

Subdivision one of section 1530 of the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) provides for a six year term of office for Directors of Real Property Tax Services, commencing on the first of October 1971 and on every October first of each sixth year thereafter. The position of Director of Real Property Tax Services must be classified in the noncompetitive class of the civil service, except where the county legislative body determines the position to be full-time and requests that the position be classified in the competitive class (RPTL, § 1530(2)).

Civil Service Law, section 63, subdivision one, provides that the State Civil Service Commission and municipal civil service commissions may provide by rule for the conditions and extent of probationary service for appointments to positions in the exempt, non-competitive or labor classes. In addition, this subdivision provides that “Every original appointment to a position in the competitive class . . . shall be for a probationary term.” Local rules relating to probation must be approved by the State Civil Service Commission pursuant to section 20 of the Civil Service Law.

In the case at hand, rules were adopted by the County personnel officer placing the position of Director of Real Property Tax Services II in the non-competitive class and establishing a probationary term for original appointments to this position of not less than 26 weeks nor more than 52 weeks. These rules were approved by the State Civil Service Commission.

Where a probationary period is prescribed, the appointing power may dismiss the appointee at the end of the probationary term (Voll v. Helbing, 256 App.Div. 44, 9 N.Y.S.2d 376 (3d Dept. 1939), app.dsmd. 294 N.Y. 653, 60 N.E.2d 384 (1945)).

August 2, 1985