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FARVIEW STATE HOSPITAL v. BENJAMIN J. SNIPAS (10/30/75)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: October 30, 1975.

FARVIEW STATE HOSPITAL, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE
v.
BENJAMIN J. SNIPAS, APPELLANT

Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Benjamin J. Snipas v. Farview State Hospital, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 1569.

COUNSEL

Charles W. Johnson, Jr., with him Handler, Gerber & Weinstock, for appellant.

Darius G. C. Moss, Assistant Attorney General, with him Marx S. Leopold, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Kramer and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 475]

This is an appeal by Benjamin J. Snipas from an order of the State Civil Service Commission, which ordered Snipas reinstated to his position of Therapeutic Activities Worker V, regular status, but which did not allow back pay. The sole issue in this case is whether the Commission abused its discretion by denying back pay. We conclude that the Commission did not abuse its discretion and, therefore, affirm.

On August 22, 1974 Snipas was suspended, pending an investigation, from his position at Farview State Hospital, and on October 3, 1974 he was removed from his position. Snipas appealed to the Commission which, in an adjudication dated February 5, 1975, concluded that the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) had failed to establish just cause for Snipas' removal. The commission ordered Snipas reinstated but denied back pay. Snipas has appealed only from the denial of back pay.*fn1 No appeal was taken by DPW.

The Civil Service Act*fn2 grants the Commission discretionary authority to award back pay.*fn3 Our scope of review is to determine if the Commission abused its discretion or committed an error of law by denying back

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 476]

    pay. Baron v. Civil Service Commission, 8 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 6, 301 A.2d 427 (1973).

The Commission specifically concluded in its adjudication that Snipas' "behavior and attitude were contributing factors in the removal action." The Commission's adjudication includes extensive findings of fact, and many of these findings support the conclusion concerning Snipas' "behavior and attitude." Snipas contends that the Commission's findings are not supported by substantial evidence. We disagree. The Commission's findings are supported by substantial evidence, and the Commission did not abuse its discretion by ordering Snipas reinstated without back pay.

In accordance with the above, we therefore

Order

And Now, this 30th day of October, 1975, the order of the State Civil Service Commission, ordering that Benjamin J. Snipas be reinstated without back pay, is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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