Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gloria Kusic, No. S.A. 336 of 1972.
Alexander J. Jaffurs, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Shane Creamer, for appellant.
Charles N. Caputo, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
This case raises the novel question as to whether or not an Assistant Attorney General may appeal to this Court on behalf of an administrative agency despite the fact the agency concerned has advised him that it does not wish to proceed with the appeal.
This action began when Gloria Kusic (Kusic) filed an application with the Liquor Control Board (Board) to transfer her Restaurant Liquor License from McKeesport to a location in White Oak Borough. Following a hearing, the Board refused the transfer and Kusic
appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. That court reversed the Board's order and directed that Kusic be permitted to transfer her license. Upon receipt of this decision, the Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Board, Alexander J. Jaffurs (Jaffurs), advised the Board that an appeal from the decision should be filed with this Court. The Board, after considering the matter, decided not to appeal and so notified Jaffurs. Despite this action by the Board, Jaffurs proceeded to file an appeal on behalf of the Board with this Court. Kusic subsequently filed a motion to quash. Upon Jaffurs' request, an Opinion of the Attorney General (Official Opinion No. 149, 1972), directed to Edwin Winner, then Chairman of the Board, was obtained which supported Jaffurs' right to file this appeal.
It is Jaffurs' position that once this case went into litigation it came completely under the control of the Office of the Attorney General and that, as the Attorney General's representative, Jaffurs could act for the Board on all legal aspects of the case, including any appeal. His grounds for such a position are sections 512 and 902 of the Administrative Code of 1929, Act of April 9, 1929, P.L. 177, 71 P.S. §§ 192 and 292, which provide:
§ 512 -- "Whenever any department, other than the Department of the Auditor General, board, commission, or officer of the State Government, shall require legal advice concerning its conduct or operation, or when any legal difficulty or dispute arises, or litigation is commenced or to be commenced in which any department, other than the Department of the Auditor General, board, commission, or officer, is concerned, or whenever any taxes or other accounts of any kind whatever due the Commonwealth remain overdue and unpaid for a period of ninety days, it shall be the duty
of such department, board, commission, or officer, to refer the same to ...