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BECHAK v. CORAK (05/11/64)

May 11, 1964

BECHAK
v.
CORAK, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 55, March T., 1964, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Sept. T., 1963, No. 6, in case of Andrew J. Bechak and John F. Wright, Jr. v. Eli G. Corak, James E. Ross, Samuel M. McCune et al. Decree affirmed; reargument refused June 27, 1964.

COUNSEL

H. Beryl Klein, with him Klein, Simoni and Morris, for appellants.

John E. Caputo, for appellees.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 414 Pa. Page 524]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS

Andrew J. Bechak and John F. Wright, Jr., taxpayers and residents of Beaver County, for themselves and others similarly situated, filed a complaint in equity against James E. Ross, Samuel M. McCune and Eli G. Corak, county commissioners of Beaver County, James F. Tress, county controller, and Russel Milnes, county treasurer. The complaint alleges that the county commissioners, since the beginning of their terms of office to the present (1963), have been reimbursed, from public funds, $150 per month for individual travel expenses, alleged to have been incurred within the county, without submitting itemized accountings or vouchers supporting the expenditures, and that the commissioners have received public moneys as reimbursement for travel expenses outside Beaver County, also without accounting for same.*fn1

The complaint alleges further that James F. Tress, controller, has received $125 monthly from public funds for travel within the county without filing an accounting for these expenses or producing valid receipts.

None of these payments, it is alleged, may be made to the county commissioners or the controller without a proper statement detailing the expenses and justifying payment.

[ 414 Pa. Page 525]

As to the county treasurer, the complaint alleges that although he filed a monthly expense voucher for mileage traveled within Beaver County and received reimbursement from public funds, there exists no authority in law for such expenditure or reimbursement to a county treasurer.

The period covered by the complaint is January, 1960, to the then current year, 1963.

The relief sought is an injunction restraining the commissioners and controller from authorizing and approving lump sum expenses for themselves without an accounting of travel expenses incurred, supported by receipts. The complaint also seeks the appointment of an auditor to determine the exact amounts paid under the questioned procedure. Finally, the complaint asks that the court direct the commissioners and controller to repay all funds received by them as monthly lump sum ...


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