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EDWIN S. GAITHER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/09/74)

decided: August 9, 1974.

EDWIN S. GAITHER, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Appeal of Edwin S. Gaither, No. 1399.

COUNSEL

Robert L. Webster, with him Webster & Hallal, for appellant.

Louis Kwall, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 94]

This is an appeal filed by Dr. Edwin S. Gaither (Gaither) from an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission), dated July 12, 1973, dismissing Gaither's appeal from his removal as a radiologist with regular civil service status.

Gaither was employed by the Connellsville State General Hospital on August 22, 1968 as a radiologist. Subsequently he attained permanent civil service status as a radiologist. Although the record indicates that his appointing authority, i.e., the Board of Trustees of the Connellsville State General Hospital (see the Public Welfare Code, Act of June 13, 1967, P.L. 31, § 316, as amended, 62 P.S. § 316), required something less than full-time employment of Gaither prior to February 8, 1972, he was aware that his position called

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 95]

    for full-time employment. At the time he received notice of his termination, effective March 31, 1973, Gaither was receiving a salary of $25,115 per year. The record discloses that for some period of time prior to February of 1972, Gaither was also actively engaged as a full-time radiologist at another hospital. Although there is conflicting testimony in the record on whether Gaither contributed as little as one hour of service per day to Connellsville State General Hospital, he admits that he did not contribute the full-time requirement of 37-1/2 hours per week.

In any event, on February 22, 1973, Gaither received a letter from the appointing authority informing him that his services would no longer be required after March 31, 1973. On March 21, 1973, he received a follow-up letter from the administrator of Connellsville State General Hospital which reads as follows: "The Board of Trustees have instructed me to inform you that the reason for your removal as radiologist of the Connellsville State General Hospital is because of the unsuccessful performance of your duties as radiologist." (Emphasis added.)

Gaither filed an appeal to the State Civil Service Commission; and although his appeal stated that it was not being taken under either Section 951(a) or 951(b) of the Civil Service Act, Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. §§ 741.951(a) and 741.951(b), the Commission properly interpreted his request to be a demand that just cause be established for his removal, which meant that his appeal was being taken under § 951(a). A hearing was held, at which Gaither appeared in propria persona.

In its adjudication, the Commission found, inter alia, (a) that Gaither had been given a copy of the job description for his position on February 8, 1972 and December 1, 1972; (b) that Gaither had taken ...


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