Civil Service Commission fires HR administrator

DEARBORN – The Dearborn Civil Service Commission Thursday voted to remove Human Resources Administrator Valerie Murphy-Goodrich from her position with the city.

Under the Dearborn City Charter, the Human Resources administrator “serves at the pleasure of the Civil Service Commission.” Murphy-Goodrich had been head of the Human Resources Department since 1994.

The vote was 3-0, with Commission Chairwoman Margaret Schaefer and Commissioners James. C. Peitz and W. Robert Schneiders voting in favor of the removal.

Commissioner Mohamad I. Chehab, who was appointed in March and was attending his first meeting, abstained, and Commissioner Michael Berry was absent.

Schaefer said the decision was a difficult one, but was necessary in order for the commission to proceed with improvements to the Human Resources Department, as recommended by an independent review dated February 2011.

The review was conducted under guidelines found in Section 11.6b of the City Charter.

Consulting firm Plante Moran performed the review, which outlined serious deficiencies in the operation of the department and included seven recommendations and 11 action items.

A key recommendation was for the city to “re-engineer all core HR processes across the organization as a means to gain needed efficiency and standardize service delivery to all departments.”

Schaefer said one of the concerns of the commission was the lack of progress in the implementation of the reforms proposed by Plante Moran.

Among its implementation recommendations, the Plante Moran report identified the need for a more timely process for hiring and promoting employees, increased use of technology, department restructuring into specialist versus generalist roles, an evaluation of training offerings, and development of a performance management system for staff feedback and increased accountability.

Under the City Charter, the Civil Service Commission has the responsibility for selecting a new Human Resources Administrator.

Murphy-Goodrich did not return phone calls seeking comment by press time.