Appeal, No. 49, Jan.T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 61-3196, in re appeal of Edward M. Flannery, a professional employe, from decision of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Order affirmed.
Conrad G. Moffett, with him Daniel T. Deane, Jr., for appellant.
H. Lyle Houpt, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES
Two questions are herein presented: (1) where a school teacher is charged with "immorality" and "incompetency" arising out of an alleged misappropriation fo school-administered funds and, at the time of the
hearing on such charges some four months later, it appears that he suffers from a mental illness, does the Public School Code require that such teacher be dismissed only upon the ground of "mental derangement" and not upon the grounds of "immorality" or "incompetency?"; (2) did the dismissed school teacher have a fair and impartial hearing?
Edward M. Flannery (Flannery), a school teacher in Upper Moreland Township School District (School District), Montgomery County, was alleged to have misappropriated funds, administered by the School District, during the 1959-1960 school term. Upon receipt of such information, the Board of School Directors (Board) suspended Flannery as a school teacher and, charging him with "immorality" and "incompetency", instituted proceedings to terminate his contract. Due notice of these charges was given Flannery and a hearing before the Board was originally fixed for April 18, 1960; by agreement, the hearing was continued until August 16th and 23rd, 1960.*fn1 After hearings, the Board unanimously voted to dismiss Flannery and terminate his contract on the grounds of "immorality" and "incompetency", said dismissal and termination to be effective as of April 4, 1960. Both the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County upheld the Board's action and, from the latter's order, Flannery has taken this appeal.
Flannery's dismissal is governed by Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949*fn2 which provides: "The only valid causes for termination of a contract ... entered
into with a professional employe shall be immorality, incompetency, intemperance, cruelty, persistent negligence, mental derangement, advocation of or participating in un-American or subversive doctrines, persistent and wilful violation of the school laws of this ...