Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Joseph Malinsky, Clearfield County Case No. 35028-D.
Earle D. Lees, Jr., for appellant.
Harold Dunbar, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 194]
This is an appeal by Joseph Malinsky from a decision of the Department of Public Welfare sustaining the Clearfield County Board of Assistance in its denial of public assistance benefits to appellant because of his failure to comply with certain of the Department's rules and regulations concerning employment. The issue is whether the Department erred by holding that Malinsky was ineligible for assistance because of his inability and unwillingness to seek and retain suitable employment as required by Section 3182 of the Department of Public Welfare Manual.*fn1 We hold that the Department did not err and affirm.
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 195]
Malinsky had consulted the Clearfield County Board of Assistance in early 1975 about obtaining financial assistance. Pursuant to the CETA*fn2 program, the Board obtained custodial employment for Malinsky at the Holidaysburg State Hospital. During the short period of his employment (February 27, 1975 through March 28, 1975), Malinsky was absent from his work for four days*fn3 without sufficient excuse and without prior notification to his supervisors; he was observed urinating on the lawn of the hospital, he smoked cigarettes in violation of hospital regulations and was involved in several incidents with fellow employes. Such conduct culminated in his dismissal.
Appellant contends that the evidence presented to the Department was insufficient to support a finding that he had not met the requirements of Section 3182 because he had failed to make a sincere effort to seek and retain employment. "An adjudication of the Department of Public Welfare will be sustained if it is in accordance with law and is supported by substantial
[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 196]
evidence." Krug v. Dept. of Public Welfare, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 563, 565, 308 A.2d 168 (1973). "Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind can accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Parago v. Dept. of Public Welfare, 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 16, 20, 291 A.2d 923, 926 (1973). "The fact finder must resolve conflicts in testimony and is not required to accept the testimony of any witness, and it is not the function of a reviewing court to weigh conflicting testimony or to judge the weight and credibility of the evidence." Palmer v. Dept. of Public Welfare, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 407, 413, 291 A.2d 313, 317 (1972).
Appellant's own testimony supports the finding of excessive absence from his job and his lack of a satisfactory excuse.
"MR. LEES [Malinsky's attorney]: Now during that time, you heard testimony that you missed five days of work, what was ...