CITE: 39 Wn. App. 271, 693 P.2d 129
ERICKSON v. CIVIL SERVICE COMM'N
CAUSE NUMBER: 6127-2-III
FILE DATE: December 20, 1984
CASE TITLE: Larry v. Erickson, Appellant, v. Spokane County Civil Service Commission, et al, Respondents.
 Civil Service - Sheriffs - Discipline of Deputy - Modification - Decrease in Punishment. RCW 41.14.110, which permits a civil service commission to impose discipline upon a deputy sheriff, also empowers the commission to decrease the punishment imposed upon such a deputy by the sheriff.
NATURE OF ACTION: A sheriff sought judicial review of a county civil service commission's imposition of a suspension of a deputy sheriff in lieu of the discharge imposed by the sheriff.
Superior Court: The Superior Court for Spokane County, No. 83 2-00696-6, Philip J. Thompson, J., on September 28, 1983, entered a judgment affirming the action of the commission.
Court of Appeals: Holding that the action was within the power of the commission and was neither arbitrary nor capricious, the court AFFIRMS the judgment.
COUNSEL: DONALD C. BROCKETT, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, and DAVID A. SARACENO, DEPUTY, for appellant.
DONALD C. BROCKETT, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, and ROBERT B. BINGER, DEPUTY, for respondent Civil Service Commission.
TERENCE M. RYAN and PARKINS & RYAN, for respondent Smith.
AUTHOR OF MAJORITY OPINION: Per Curiam.-
Brian J. Smith, a deputy sheriff, was discharged from service by the sheriff. He appealed, and following a hearing, the Spokane County Civil Service Commission, pursuant to RCW 41.14.110, in lieu of affirming the removal, directed a 30-day suspension. On appeal to superior court, the sheriff maintained the commission exceeded its statutory authority and was arbitrary and capricious. The Superior Court affirmed the commission. We agree.
 POOL v. OMAK, 36 Wn. App. 844, 678 P.2d 343 (1984) is dispositive of the sheriff's claim the commission exceeded its authority. There this court held that RCW 41.12.090, containing language virtually identical to RCW 41.14.110, allows the commission discretion to modify a disciplinary decision of a police chief by imposing a stricter penalty than the one imposed by the chief. Conversely, the authority to modify carries with it discretion to decrease the penalty. The result dictated by POOL is further supported by cases analyzing city charters which were instituted before RCW 41.14.110, but which contained similar language. STATE EX REL. PERRY v. SEATTLE, 69 Wn.2d 816, 820, 420 P.2d 704 (1966); STATE EX REL. PERRY v. SEATTLE, 62 Wn.2d 891, 892, 384 P.2d 874 (1963); STATE EX REL. WOLCOTT v. BOYINGTON, 110 Wash. 622, 626, 188 P. 777 (1920). SEE ALSO DEERING v. SEATTLE, 10 Wn. App. 832, 836, 520 P.2d 638, CERT. DENIED, 419 U.S. 1050 (1974).
As to the sheriff's second contention, we have reviewed the record and find the imposition of the lesser penalty here to be neither arbitrary nor capricious. SEE RCW 34.04.130(6)(f); POOL v. OMAK, SUPRA at 846 n.1. SEE ALSO HELLAND v. KING CY. CIVIL SERV. COMM'N, 84 Wn.2d 858, 863, 529 P.2d 1058 (1975); GREIG v. METZLER, 33 Wn. App. 223, 226, 653 P.2d 1346 (1982); BENAVIDES v. CIVIL SERV. COMM'N, 26 Wn. App. 531, 534, 613 P.2d 807 (1980); PORTER v. CIVIL SERV. COMM'N, 12 Wn. App. 767, 769-70, 532 P.2d 296 (1975); IN RE HAHN, 12 Wn. App. 243, 529 P.2d 484 (1974).