Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of In the Matter of John P. Neals Appeal from the Board of Pensions and Retirement, City of Philadelphia, No. 620 February Term, 1972.
James A. Alexy, for appellant.
Wanda P. Chocallo, Assistant City Solicitor, with her Martin Weinberg, City Solicitor, for appellee.
Judges Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 646]
John P. Neals (appellant), a former Lieutenant in the Philadelphia Police Department, instituted a claim under so-called Regulation 32 for disability benefits beginning January 20, 1970. Regulation 32 was adopted by the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission (Commission) to provide benefits for disabled uniform
[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 647]
and non-uniformed employees, and, upon adoption, it superseded contrary statewide legislation; it did not, however, preclude employees from seeking workmen's compensation benefits if they so desire.
Originally the appointing authority, the Police Commissioner, denied benefits in this case, determining that the appellant's injury was not service-connected. A timely appeal was filed with the Commission on May 12, 1970, but the Commission continued the hearing pending the disposition of another hearing involving the appellant. This other hearing concerned the appellant's dismissal from the police force on charges of Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Neglect of Duty and Disobedience of Orders.
A complete hearing was held on the dismissal matter, but adjudication was deferred until the Commission could complete the Regulation 32 appeal. After completion of both hearings, however, the appellant claims that negotiations began between himself, his attorney and the attorney for the Commission, during which he was told that he would receive a favorable decision on his Regulation 32 appeal if he would withdraw his appeal of the dismissal charges. He further claims that he at first refused to withdraw his appeal, and indicated this decision by letter to his attorney. He then claims that he had another consultation, after which he personally delivered a letter to the Commission on December 2, 1970, which was addressed to his own attorney and which stated:
"Pursuant to our conversation on December 1st, 1970, I am writing this letter to confirm the fact that I accept the decision of the Civil Service Commission in regards to my case presently before it.
"I agree to withdraw my appeal to my dismissal from the Philadelphia Police Department and they will award me a ...