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APPEAL ALEXANDER KONICK FROM SUSPENSION AND REMOVAL AS ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IV PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD. ALEXANDER KONICK (04/03/78)

decided: April 3, 1978.

IN RE: APPEAL OF ALEXANDER KONICK FROM SUSPENSION AND REMOVAL AS ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IV OF THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD. ALEXANDER KONICK, APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of In Re: Appeal of Alexander Konick, No. 1673.

COUNSEL

Michael W. Zurat, for appellant.

William C. O'Toole, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 503]

Alexander V. Konick appeals to us from a State Civil Service Commission (Commission) order which

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 504]

    sustained his suspension and later removal by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) from his position as a regular status Enforcement Officer IV.

Effective June 3, 1975, Konick was suspended without pay by the PLCB Executive Director on a charge of "conduct unbecoming an enforcement officer." The PLCB affirmed this suspension and ordered his removal from his position effective July 14, 1975. On appeal, the Commission heard the PLCB's evidence with regard to its charges against Konick and, on that basis alone, concluded that he had been removed for "just cause" pursuant to Section 807 of the Civil Service Act*fn1 (Act), 71 P.S. ยง 741.807. Following the advice of his counsel, Konick did not testify or produce any witnesses at the Commission hearing, his reason apparently being that two criminal prosecutions had also been initiated against Konick which directly related to the PLCB's charges.

The appeal raises four distinct issues: (1) whether or not the record substantiates a finding of just cause for removal, (2) whether or not the Commission acted arbitrarily in denying a continuance, (3) whether or not Konick was denied equal protection, due process, and effective assistance of counsel, and (4) whether or not he was denied a fair hearing because of adverse publicity. Our scope of review, of course, is limited to a determination of whether or not the Commission erred as a matter of law or violated Konick's constitutional rights and whether or not the findings necessary to support the Commission's adjudication are supported by substantial evidence. Department of Health v. Howell, 24 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 42, 354 A.2d 21 (1976). If the Commission's findings are supported by evidence sufficient to convince a reasonable

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 505]

    mind to a fair degree of certainty, we must accept the findings and we may not substitute our own judgment. McClelland v. State Civil Service Commission, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 339, 322 A.2d 133 (1974).

The Commission made nineteen findings which we have carefully reviewed and which we find to be supported by the testimony presented at the hearing. Moreover, we believe that these findings adequately substantiate the ...


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