COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Suffolk, ss. Division of Administrative Law Appeals
v. Docket No. CR-07-422
Appearance for Petitioner:
Michael Manning, Esq.
159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Appearance for Respondent:
Michael Sacco, Esq.
285 College Highway
PO Box 479
Southampton, MA 01073
Maria A. Imparato, Esq.
Stacey Perry filed a timely appeal under G. L. c. 32, s. 16 (4) of the May 24, 2007 decision of the Bristol County Retirement System ("Board") to deny her request to be classified in Group 2, rather than Group1, for retirement purposes. (Exs. 1, 2)
I held a hearing on June 25, 2008 at the office of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals, 98 North Washington Street, 4th floor, Boston. I admitted documents into evidence. (Exs. 1 - 11) I marked the Petitioner's pre-hearing memorandum "A" for identification, and the Respondent's pre-hearing memorandum "B" for identification. The Petitioner testified on her own behalf, as did Major Lawrence Sherman, Assistant Superintendent. There is one tape cassette of the hearing.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Stacey Perry, d.o.b. 4/7/1968, has worked for the Bristol County Sheriff's Department at the Dartmouth House of Correction since 1993. She began work as a Junior Clerk. She eventually became Head Administrative Clerk. On February 5, 2008 her title was changed to Head Administrative Clerk/Booking and Receiving. Her job group and salary did not change as a result of her change in title. (Exs. 5, 10, Testimony)
2. On February 1, 2006, Ms. Perry was appointed a Deputy Sheriff by Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. (Ex. 6)
3. Ms. Perry's job duties require her to provide clerical support for the Booking and Receiving department. (Exs. 7, 9, 11)
4. As of July 1999, Ms. Perry's job duties included preparation of work for caseworkers by matching booking sheets with court writs from the previous night; requesting all police reports from surrounding towns; entering jail and house information into the inmate tracking system; preparing all paperwork for transportation to courts; filing index cards; responding to telephone requests from courts; providing release date information for former inmates or inmates in other institutions; making copies of booking and sentence sheets for parole; booking in new inmates through data entry; and performing other duties as required by the Sheriff. (Ex. 7)
5. In April 2007, Ms. Perry's job description was amended. She was required to perform all of the duties enumerated in the July 1999 job description, and to perform the additional duties of taking photos of inmates at the time of booking; researching the Board of Probation System for DNA; checking all inmates for warrants; checking the daily count and calling it into the state; checking for sex offenders; counting all money from the vault and preparing it for finance; checking for foreign-born inmates daily; and working with Social Security for inmate information. (Ex. 9)
6. In or about April 2007, Ms. Perry made a verbal request to the Board that she be classified in Group 2 for retirement purposes. She provided the Board with the job description from July 1999 and the job description from April 2007. ("B")
7. After a Board hearing on April 27, 2007, the Board voted on May 24, 2007 to deny Ms. Perry's request, and she appealed to the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board. (Exs. 1, 2)
8. In January 2008, Ms. Perry's job description was amended again. She was required to perform all of the duties enumerated in the July 1999 job description and the April 2007 job description, and to perform the additional duties of interviewing newly committed inmates to acquire information necessary for institutional purposes; fingerprinting all newly committed inmates; and cooperating with security and administrative staff in the orderly processing of inmates through the intake process. (Ex. 11)
9. Ms. Perry works from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Booking and Receiving area has two areas separated by a plexiglass wall. On Ms. Perry's side of the plexiglass is a counter, a computer, a printer, a copy machine, a fingerprint machine and a camera. Three Correction Officers are assigned to the area (Testimony)
10. Between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Ms. Perry performs clerical work in preparation for the arrival of the vans of inmates that arrive from court between 1 - 1:30 p.m. Each van has two Transportation Officers who shackle and unshackle the inmates, take them from the vans, and place them in holding cells. (Testimony)
11. A Correction Officer brings an inmate out of the holding cell into the Booking and Receiving area for Ms. Perry to book the inmate. The inmate sits on the opposite side of the plexiglass wall from Ms. Perry while she performs the booking procedure on the computer. Sometimes she takes a picture of the inmate if his mug shot is old. Ms. Perry books between 2 and 5 inmates each day. The booking process takes between 5 and 10 minutes if fingerprinting is not required. Ms. Perry fingerprints an inmate about once a week. (Testimony)
12. On or about June 20, 2008, Ms. Perry was given the additional duty of providing each inmate with a handbook and having him sign it. (Testimony)
13. Between 3 and 4 p.m. Ms. Perry does paperwork. At 4 p.m. her work day is over. (Testimony)
14. The second shift begins at 3 p.m. Most of the booking is performed by employees on the second shift. (Testimony)
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
The decision of the Bristol County Retirement System to classify Stacey Perry in Group 1, rather than Group 2, for retirement purposes is affirmed.
Employees are classified in Groups 1 through 4 for retirement purposes under
G. L. c. 32, s. 3 (2) (g). Group 1 includes "[o]fficials and general employees including clerical, administrative, and technical workers, laborers, mechanics and all others not otherwise classified." Group 2 includes "employees of … any county … whose regular and major duties require them to have the care, custody, instruction or other supervision of prisoners."
The Petitioner's regular and major duties do not require her to have the care, custody, instruction or other supervision of prisoners. In an eight hour work day, the Petitioner is in contact with inmates during the booking process for a maximum of 50 minutes each day. (5 inmates x 10 minutes = 50 minutes) The Petitioner performs clerical work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dealing with inmates is therefore not a major duty for the Petitioner.
Furthermore, the work that the Petitioner performs does not constitute care, custody, instruction or other supervision of inmates. The inmates are supervised by Correction Officers who bring them to the jail in vans, place them in holding cells, and bring them, one by one, to the Petitioner for booking. The Petitioner sits on the opposite side of a plexiglass wall from the inmates. She asks them questions, sometimes takes their pictures and occasionally takes their fingerprints. There are three Correction Officers assigned to the Booking and Receiving area, and each van of inmates is accompanied by two Transportation Officers. The inmates are never in the Petitioner's custody or care, and she does not supervise them.
I conclude that the Petitioner's job is essentially an administrative one, and she is therefore properly classified in Group 1.
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW APPEALS
/s/ Maria A. Imparato