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ROSSITER v. WHITPAIN TOWNSHIP. (05/23/61)

May 23, 1961

ROSSITER, APPELLANT,
v.
WHITPAIN TOWNSHIP.



Appeal, No. 76, Jan. T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Nov. T., 1959, No. 43, in case of Louis F. Rossiter v. Township of Whitpain. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

James R. Caiola, for appellant.

Samuel L. Sagendorph, with him George C. Corson, Jr., and Wright, Mauck & Spencer, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 404 Pa. Page 202]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN.

The appellant, Louis F. Rossiter, was chief of police of Whitpain Township, a second class township in

[ 404 Pa. Page 203]

Montgomery County. While driving a police patrol car, he was involved in an accident of serious proportions. He met with the board of supervisors to discuss the incident and, following an investigation, he was demoted to patrolman. His request for a public hearing was ignored. His appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County was dismissed, which order we are now asked to review.

Appellant contends that he was removed*fn1 from the office of chief of police of the township, and that such removal could be legally effective only by compliance with the provisions of the Act of June 15, 1951, P.L. 586, 53 P.S. ยง 811 et seq., and for the reasons enumerated therein. It is admitted that the procedure specified in that statute was not followed by the township supervisors in ordering his demotion. Section 2 thereof provides: "Removals. - No person employed as a regular, full time police officer in any police department of any township of the second class... shall be suspended or removed except for the following reasons..."

Section 4 thereof provides: "Hearings on Dismissals. - If the person sought to be suspended or removed shall demand a public hearing, the demand shall be made to the appointing authority..."

The lower court's conclusion that the provisions of the Act of 1951, supra, do not apply to the instant situation is completely correct. Appellant was not removed from his employment with the police department, rather, he was "demoted" or "reduced in rank". The right to a public hearing given a full time police officer of a second class township, after the filing of charges against him, by section 4 of the act, applies only to instances wherein he is ...


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