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MICHAEL MYERS v. ROBERT P. KANE (02/05/76)

decided: February 5, 1976.

MICHAEL MYERS, STATE REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE 184TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT, AND OSCAR ROSARIO, MEMBER OF THE PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCIL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ROBERT P. KANE, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA; WALTER PHILLIPS, JR., DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR PHILADELPHIA COUNTY; JOHN SNAVELY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE GOVERNOR'S JUSTICE COMMISSION; AND COL. JOHN D. BARGER, MAJOR JOHN D. CASE, HON. K. LEROY ERVIS, JAMES MCCOUGHEY, WILLIAM NAGEL, HON. RICHARD A. SNYDER, LEO P. WEIR, HON. HELENE WOHLGEMUTH, MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNOR'S JUSTICE COMMISSION, DEFENDANTS



Original jurisdiction in case of Michael Myers, State Representative from the 184th Legislative District and Oscar Rosario, Member of the Philadelphia Planning Council v. Robert P. Kane, Attorney General of Pennsylvania; Walter Phillips, Jr., Deputy Attorney General and Special Prosecutor for Philadelphia County; John Snavely, Executive Director of the Governor's Justice Commission; and Col. John D. Barger, Maj. John D. Case, Hon. K. Leroy Ervis, James McCoughey, William Nagel, Hon. Richard A. Snyder, Leo P. Weir, Hon. Helen Wohlgemuth, Members of the Governor's Justice Commission.

COUNSEL

Vincent J. Ziccardi, for plaintiffs.

J. Donald McCarthy, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry S. Tischler, Assistant Attorney General, Morris J. Solomon, Deputy Attorney General, M. Faith Angell, Deputy Attorney General, for defendants.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 214]

The funding of the Office of Special Prosecutor, Walter M. Phillips, Jr., through Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) grants is the subject of this complaint in equity, which is but another episode in the continuing controversy surrounding this office.*fn1

The Attorney General and other public officers and officials named as defendants have filed sundry preliminary

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 215]

    objections to plaintiffs' complaint, one of which is in the nature of a demurrer for failure to state a cause of action. As we agree that plaintiffs' complaint is insufficient and not asserted to be amendable, nor do we believe it to be so, we must dismiss the complaint and need not pass upon the other objections.

The essence of plaintiffs' complaint as a matter of law is that (a) in approving the grant of LEAA funds to this use and purpose, the Governor's Justice Commission violated its own procedures for the approval of applications for LEAA grants administered by the Commission, and (b) in applying to the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, U.S. Department of Justice, the defendants, or some of them, misrepresented material facts regarding matching funds, i.e., violated pertinent Federal regulations.

The Federal Crime Control Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. ยง 3701 et seq., encompasses a program intended to provide funds for comprehensive planning and implementation of projects by State and local governments for the improvement of law enforcement and criminal justice. LEAA was created to administer the program and has adopted regulations under the Federal legislation.

At the State level, the Governor's Justice Commission is structured consistent with LEAA requirements and currently is operating under and subject to the Governor's Executive Order No. 1975-9. In so operating, it has promulgated policies and guidelines to facilitate its responsibility in acting upon grant applications under the LEAA program. Regional Planning Councils have also been established across the State, the essential responsibility of which is to review and make recommendations to the Commission concerning purely intraregional applications for grants.

At the time plaintiffs' complaint was filed in this Court, the Commission had not taken action on the funding application in issue, ...


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