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LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP v. TURKELSON. (07/02/59)

July 2, 1959

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT,
v.
TURKELSON.



Appeal, No. 152, Jan. T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, April T., 1958, No. 18, in case of Lower Merion Township v. Glenn A. Turkelson. Order affirmed. Proceedings on appeal by patrolman from decision of civil service commission. Before GROSHENS, J. Adjudication filed reversing order of commission, Township's exceptions to adjudication dismissed and order entered. Township appealed.

COUNSEL

Edmund B. Spaeth, Jr., with him John E. Forsythe, Township Solicitor, and Wright, Mauck & Spencer, for appellant.

Frederick B. Smillie, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Jones, Cohen and Mcbride, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 396 Pa. Page 375]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

This is an appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County reversing the Order of the Lower Merion Township Civil Service Commission. The facts may be briefly stated.

On December 19, 1957, Mr. Hotchkiss, acting for the Agnes Irwin School, took a Christmas envelope containing five ten dollar bills to the Lower Merion Township Police Headquarters, and handed the envelope to Patrolman Turkelson, the appellee. The envelope was addressed to "Lower Merion Township Police". At the time Turkelson was in uniform, and on duty on the police switchboard.

About two months later, Mrs. Hotchkiss asked another Lower Merion Township patrolman to have Turkelson send the school a letter of acknowledgment. When informed of this, Turkelson said he would straighten the matter out.

[ 396 Pa. Page 376]

On March 5, 1958, G. A. McLaughlin, the Superintendent of the Lower Merion Police, received a telephone call from Mrs. Hotchkiss, asking for a receipt for the money. The Superintendent referred the matter to Captain Clarence E. Robb to investigate. Captain Robb spoke to Patrolman Turkelson the next morning and Turkelson acknowledged that he had received the envelope. He said that he still had it at home unopened. On March 7, 1958, he handed Captain Robb five ten dollar bills with the statement that he had not known there was so much money in the envelope. Thereupon Captain Robb filed a charge against Patrolman Turkelson alleging that he had been guilty of a corrupt practice in that he failed to account for money received by him in his official capacity. The Superintendent approved the charge and Patrolman Turkelson was suspended from duty as of March 7, 1958. After a full hearing the Civil Service Commission found Turkelson guilty of the corrupt practice charged, and pursuant to the mandate*fn* of the Township's Police Code of Discipline

[ 396 Pa. Page 377]

    removed him from the force as of the date ...


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