Monday, February 15, 2016

Civil Service Commission vs Richard G. Cruz [GR No. 187858, August 9, 2011]

FACTS: Respondent Cruz, storekeeper of the City of Malolos Water District (CMWD), was charged with grave misconduct and dishonesty by CMWD General Manager (GM) Nicasio Reyes. He allegedly uttered a false, malicious and damaging statement against GM Reyes and the rest of the CMWD Board of Directors which stemmed from the respondent's act of claiming overtime pay despite his failure to log in and out in the computerized daily time record for three working days. GM Reyes preventively suspended the respondent for 15 days. Before the expiration of his preventive suspension, however, GM Reyes, with the approval of the CMWD Board, found the respondent guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty, and dismissed him from the service. The CSC however reversed the ruling and stated that respondent should not be held liable for grave misconduct.

ISSUE: Whether the respondent is entitled to back salaries after the CSC ordered his reinstatement to his former position

HELD: No. The mere reduction of the penalty on appeal does not entitle a government employee to back salaries if he was exonerated of the charge against him. If the exoneration of the employee is relative (as distinguished from the complete exoneration), an inquiry into the factual premise of the offense charged and of the offense committed must be made. If the administrative offense found to have been actually committed is of lesser gravity than the offense charged, the employee cannot be considered exonerated if the factual premise for the imposition of the lesser penalty remains the same.

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