Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Machamer v. Iowa Department of Administrative Services

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 21, 2016

JAMES MACHAMER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, JANET PHIPPS, and KARIN GREGOR, Defendants-Appellees.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, Judge.

         A former employee appeals the district court's denial of his petition for writ of certiorari, claiming he was denied his rights under the Veterans Preference Act. AFFIRMED.

          Thomas J. Duff of Duff Law Firm, P.L.C., West Des Moines, and Elizabeth Flansburg of Lawyer, Dougherty, Palmer & Flansberg P.L.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meghan Gavin, Jeffrey C. Peterzalek, and Matthew Oetker, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellees.

          Heard by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          SCOTT, Senior Judge

         James Machamer appeals the district court's denial of his petition for writ of certiorari. Machamer claims the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) violated the Iowa Veterans Preference Act (the Act) by denying him a hearing before he was terminated from his position. See Iowa Code ch. 35C (2015). In this appeal, he asserts the district court wrongly concluded he was exempt from the protections of the Act as a "person holding a strictly confidential relation to the appointing officer." See id § 35C.8.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In March 2015, Machamer accepted the position of Chief of the Organizational Performance Bureau for the Human Resource Enterprise of the DAS.[1] A month later, Machamer was asked to resign his position, effective immediately, after allegations were made that Machamer made inappropriate statements during a staff meeting. After resigning his position, Machamer filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the district court asserting the DAS; its director, Janet Phipps; and its chief operating officer and general counsel, Karin Gregor, violated the Act by failing to provide him due notice of the charges supporting termination and a hearing. See id. § 35C.6 (noting no person protected by the Act "shall be removed from such position or employment except for incompetency or misconduct shown after a hearing, upon due notice, upon stated charges"). The defendants filed an answer in which they asserted the Act was not applicable to Machamer because he was a "person holding a strictly confidential relation to the appointing officer" and he was a deputy of the chief operating officer.

         After the parties submitted briefs and made arguments at the hearing, the district court issued its decision denying the petition for writ of certiorari. The court determined Machamer was a person holding a "strictly confidential relation" to Phipps, as the appointing authority, because "Machamer's duties and supervisory tasks demonstrate that his position required 'skill, judgment, trust, and confidence' and [he] was 'not merely clerical.'" The court also, alternatively, concluded Machamer was a deputy under section 35C.8, which also made him exempt from the protections of the Act.

         Machamer appeals asserting he is neither a deputy nor in a strictly confidential relationship with Phipps.

         II. Scope and Standard of Review.

         Our review of the district court's denial of a petition for writ of certiorari is for correction of errors at law. Frank Hardie Advert., Inc. v. City of Dubuque Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 501 N.W.2d 521, 523 (Iowa 1993). "[R]eview by an appellate court is limited to determining whether the district court properly applied the law to the controversy before it." Id.

         III. Strictly ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.