H. C. A. Hofacker, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
John R. Bentley, Pittsburgh, Harry E. Richter, Pittsburgh, for George W. Holfelder, Arthur Story, Louis Gold, James C. Pentland and Charles H. Ingram.
Louis Rosenberg, Pittsburgh, for Neville Tp. Submitted.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Fine, JJ.
[ 166 Pa. Super. Page 124]
This is an appeal by the auditors of the Township of Neville from an order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County (1) striking off certain surcharges against the township officials imposed by the auditors in their annual report for the fiscal year of 1948, and (2) refusing the auditors permission to amend and complete, nunc pro tunc, report of their audit by adding thereto a proper affidavit together with proof of publication.
The Township of Neville is a township of the first class, and the applicable statutory provisions are found in The First Class Township Law of June 24, 1931, P.L. 1206, as amended, 53 P.S. § 19092-101 et seq. Section 1003, as last amended by the Act of May 8, 1947, P.L. 163, 53 P.S. § 19092-1003, provides that the township auditors
[ 166 Pa. Super. Page 125]
shall file copy of their audit with the clerk of the court of quarter sessions not later than the fifteenth day of April; that the auditors' report shall be published within ten days after its completion; and that the auditors' report shall be duly verified by the oath of one of the auditors. Section 1003, as amended, in these respects, reads as follows: 'The auditors shall complete their audit, settlement, and adjustment within as short a time as possible, and shall file copies thereof with the secretary of the township, the clerk of the court of quarter sessions and the Department of Internal affairs not later than the fifteenth day of April. Any officer or person whose act or neglect has contributed to the financial loss of the township shall be surcharged by the auditors with the amount of such loss. They shall, within ten days after the completion of their report, publish, by advertisement in at least one newspaper of general circulation published in the township, or if no newspaper is published therein, then in one newspaper circulating generally in the township a concise financial statement setting forth the balance in the treasury at the beginning of the preceding fiscal year; * * * The auditor's report and financial statement shall be signed by all of the auditors and the auditor's report shall be duly verified by the oath of one of the auditors.'
The auditors of the Township of Neville filed their annual report for the fiscal year 1948 in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County on May 5, 1949, about twenty days later than the Act prescribes. The report was signed by the three auditors but it lacked verification by the oath of one of the auditors. It was published by advertisement in a newspaper circulating generally in the township on May 20, 1949, or fifteen days after the date on which it was filed in the office of the clerk of the court of quarter sessions. The report
[ 166 Pa. Super. Page 126]
contained twenty-five items of surcharge; the township commissioners were surcharged a total of $11,415.15; the township solicitor was surcharged $352. Many of the items relate to the use of township labor, equipment, and ...