Is An Ordinance Which Violates a City Charter Invalid ?
In Gallagher v. Cleveland (1983), 10 Ohio App.3d 77, 10 Ohio B. 98, 460 N.E.2d 733, the Court held that "where an ordinance is in conflict with a charter provision, the charter prevails." Id. at paragraph one of the syllabus.
The Court further held: "an ordinance establishing the position of deputy chief of police is invalid and cannot be given effect where it creates a position which did not meet the requirements set forth in the city charter for a classified or unclassified civil service position." Id. at paragraph two of the syllabus.
In Gallagher, eleven police officers and taxpayers of the city of Cleveland initiated an action against the city, the mayor, and the Cleveland Civil Service Commission.
Plaintiffs sought a declaration that an ordinance, establishing the position of deputy chief of police, was null and void because it violated several provisions of Cleveland's civil service system in the Cleveland City Charter. Id. at 77.
Plaintiffs further argued that two police officers had been "promoted" to the position of deputy chief within the meaning the city charter and that the appointment procedure followed did not meet the requirements set forth in the charter.
Specifically, they maintained that civil service examinations had not been given and appointment had not been made from a list of eligible officers certified by the Cleveland Civil Service Commission.
The Court concluded that, "the Cleveland City Council could not, consistent with the charter, create the position of deputy chief as an unclassified position." Id. at 79.
Therefore, since the ordinance violated the city charter, it was invalid.