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EDWARD L. BROWN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/29/78)

decided: March 29, 1978.

EDWARD L. BROWN, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission in case of Edward L. Brown v. Department of Transportation, No. 1986.

COUNSEL

Edgar R. Casper, with him Frank, Gross & Casper, for petitioner.

Frank A. Fisher, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Crumlish

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 462]

This is an appeal by Edward L. Brown (Brown) from a decision of the Civil Service Commission affirming the action of the Department of Transportation (PennDOT), which suspended and later removed

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 463]

Brown from his position as a probationary Police Officer II in PennDOT's Bureau of Aviation. We affirm.

Brown was employed by PennDOT as Security Officer at Harrisburg International Airport when, on March 22, 1976, he was arrested by the State Police and charged with burglary and conspiracy in connection with the theft of 29 air conditioners from an airport building on December 25, 1973. At a preliminary hearing on March 30, 1976 before a district justice, two co-defendants, Reuben Thomas and John J. Brennan, testified to Brown's participation in the burglary. The next day the Director of PennDOT's Bureau of Personnel notified Brown by letter that he was being "suspended pending investigation for possible dismissal" as a result of his "recent arrest on a charge of burglary." On April 16, 1976, the Director notified Brown of his termination effective that day. Brown appealed both the suspension and the termination to the State Civil Service Commission which, after a hearing, issued its adjudication wherein it concluded that there existed just cause for Brown's suspension and removal, and dismissed the appeal. Brown brought the case here.

Our review of adjudications of the Civil Service Commission is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, or necessary findings of fact are unsupported by substantial evidence. We leave to the Commission questions of evidentiary weight and credibility. Philadelphia County Board of Assistance v. Cahan, 24 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 543, 358 A.2d 440 (1976).

The Civil Service Act, Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. § 741.1 et seq., provides for suspension of employees in Section 803, 71 P.S. § 741.803, which states:

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 464]

An appointing authority may for good cause suspend without pay for disciplinary purposes an employe holding a position in the classified service. . . . What shall constitute good cause for suspension may be stated in the rules.

The Commission rules, found at 4 Pa. Code § 101.21, contain the ...


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