Wilson, 111617 OHAGO, AGO 2017-41

Docket Nº:AGO 2017-41
Case Date:November 16, 2017
Court:Ohio
 
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The Honorable D. Andrew Wilson
AGO 2017-41
No. 2017-041
Ohio Attorney General Opinion
Ohio Attorney General
November 16, 2017
         The Honorable D. Andrew Wilson          Clark County Prosecuting Attorney          50 East Columbia Street, Suite 449          Springfield, Ohio 45502          SYLLABUS:          1. R.C. 3709.13 places a general health district employee within the general civil service framework of R.C. Chapter 124. (1980 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 80-087, approved and followed; 1955 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 5699, p. 434, syllabus paragraph 1, overruled on the basis of legislative amendment).          2. A general health district employee, other than the health commissioner, is in the classified civil service absent a provision in R.C. 124.11(A) that places the employee in the unclassified civil service.          3. Pursuant to R.C. 124.11(A)(28), a general health district employee that performs functions and duties of a deputy or assistant authorized to act for or in place of the health commissioner, or that holds a fiduciary relation to the health commissioner, is in the unclassified civil service.          Dear Prosecutor Wilson:          You have requested an opinion addressing the following question: Are all employees of a general health district, other than the health commissioner, classified employees under R.C. 3709.13, or are deputies and assistants that are authorized to act for or in place of the health commissioner, or holding a fiduciary relationship to the health commissioner, unclassified employees under R.C. 124.11(A)(28)?          General Health Districts          Provisions establishing the powers and duties of health districts and boards of health appear in R.C. Chapters 3707 and 3709. R.C. 3709.01 declares that the state shall be divided into health districts. Each city constitutes a city health district and the townships and villages in each county shall be combined and known as a general health district. Id. The statute also authorizes the union of a general health district and one or more city health districts located within or partially within such general health district. When such a union is completed, the district is known as a general health district. Id.; see also R.C. 3709.10 (union of general health districts and manner of electing of a board of health for the combined district). You have informed us that a combined general health district has been formed in Clark County pursuant to R.C. 3709.07, consisting of the City of Springfield city health district and the Clark County general health district.          A general health district is served by a board of health, R.C. 3709.02(A), a district advisory council, R.C. 3709.03(A), and a health district licensing council, R.C. 3709.41(A). The power to appoint general health district employees is granted to the board of health by R.C. 3709.13:
In any general health district the board of health may, upon the recommendation of the health commissioner, appoint for full or part time service a public health nurse and a clerk and such additional public health nurses, physicians, and other persons as are necessary for the proper conduct of its work. Such number of public health nurses may be employed as is necessary to provide adequate public health nursing service to all parts of the district. Employees of the board, other than the commissioner, shall be in the classified service of the state, and all employees of the board may be removed for cause by a majority of the board. (Emphasis added.)
R.C. 3709.15 also authorizes the board of health of a general health district to appoint sanitarians and nurses. Under R.C. 3709.16, the board of health of a general health district “shall determine the duties and fix the salaries of its employees.” See also Franklin v. Gallia Cnty. Health Comm’r, No. 99AP-216, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 1245 (Franklin County March 28, 2000) (finding that R.C. 3709.16 authorized the Gallia County Board of Health to...

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