Cassidy Family - Helene Cassidy Civil Service Dispute

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Made State Civil Service Commission Come to Time and Reconsider Markings of her Examination – Commissioner Admitted his Error

Albany, April 9.—Madam Helene Cassidy, who was the Countess Donnay de Casteau of Belgium before she married Edward R. Cassidy, an artist of this city, by an appeal to Governor Odell yesterday, made the State Civil Service Commission reconsider a decision and put her in such a position upon the civil service eligible list as will enable her to become an examiner of French in the State Regents Department.

Madam Cassidy, or "The Countess," as she is known about Albany, married Edward Cassidy, a scion of one of Albany's first families, several years ago in France. She was born on the French frontier in Belgium and came to this city to live, but after a few years of married life she separated from her husband and took charge of a local charitable institution.

Recently she took the State civil service examination, which she declared to Governor Odell was "much too simple" for her, a native French-speaking woman. In spite of her proficiency in the French language she was marked below the standard and placed on the civil service eligible list as No. 9.

In order to secure a position she would have to be among the first three on the list. She was not content with this condition and so appealed to the Governor in a written protest, claiming that her proficiency made her marking preposterous, and that she should have been, with fair treatment, at least among the first three on the list.

When the protest was received by Governor Odell, he granted a hearing to Madam Cassidy for yesterday.

It developed that the Civil Service Commission acknowledged that possibly an error had been made in marking the papers of the applicant, and so consented that she should be placed on the list in the third position. Governor Odell informed his visitor of the decision of the commissioners and she left the Executive chamber victorious and satisfied.

Utica Herald-Dispatch April 9, 1902