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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HENRY E. SCHREIDER (04/08/76)

decided: April 8, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
v.
HENRY E. SCHREIDER, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Henry E. Schreider v. Bureau of Employment Security, No. 1623.

COUNSEL

David Zwanetz, with him Louis A. Rieffel, for appellant.

James J. Morley, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 298]

Henry E. Schreider, appellant, was employed as an Unemployment Compensation Tax Agent (UCTA) IV in the Bureau of Employment Security, Department of Labor and Industry (Bureau). Two vacancies occurred when the Regional Director (Joseph D. Mina) and the Assistant Regional Director (Edward Bradley) resigned, and each of their positions carried a higher job classification than that of the appellant (UCTA VI and UCTA V, respectively). The appellant and two other individuals (Joseph P. Geoghegan and William E. Cravison) were considered for promotion to the two available positions, and the appellant who was not promoted, appealed to the State Civil Service Commission (Commission). The Commission held a hearing, took testimony and dismissed the appeal.

Our scope of review of a State Civil Service Commission adjudication is limited to a determination of whether or not the constitutional rights of the appellant have been violated, an error of law has been committed or a necessary finding of fact was unsupported by substantial evidence. Williams v. Civil Service Commission, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 437, 306 A.2d 419 (1973). We must examine the record for the purpose of determining whether or not the Commission exercised reasonable discretion in rendering its decision and we will not weigh the evidence and substitute our judgment for that of the Commission. McClelland v. State Civil Service Commission, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 339, 322 A.2d 133 (1974). "Substantial evidence is, of course, more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 299]

    mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Acitelli v. Westmont Hilltop School District, 15 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 214, 218, 325 A.2d 490, 493 (1974).

The Bureau argues that Mr. Geoghegan and Mr. Cravison were promoted pursuant to Section 501 of the Civil Service Act*fn1 (Act) which provides, inter alia, as follows:

"The commission . . . may permit promotions to be accomplished by any one of the following plans . . . (3) by promotion based upon meritorious service and seniority to be accomplished by appointment without examination, if (i) the person has completed his probationary period in the next lower position, (ii) he meets the minimum requirements for the higher position, and (iii) he receives the unqualified recommendation of both his immediate superior and the appointing authority of his department or agency." (Emphasis added.)

The appellant argues that he had greater seniority than they, and that he has also served meritoriously. Actually, all three candidates had received excellent performance evaluation reports and all had tenure in their positions, although the appellant's seniority was slightly greater than that of either of the others.

The Commission found, and it is not challenged in this appeal, that the appellant did not fulfill the requirements of Section 501(3) (iii) of the Act in that he did not receive the unqualified recommendations required for promotion. The Commission also found that both of the appointees: 1) had been certified as being qualified by the State Civil Service Commission; 2) had the unqualified endorsements of their immediate supervisor; and 3) ...


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