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BOARD SCHOOL DIRECTORS ROSE TREE MEDIA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. ROBERT M. FELDMAN (07/14/78)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: July 14, 1978.

THE BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS OF THE ROSE TREE MEDIA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT,
v.
ROBERT M. FELDMAN, APPELLEE

No. 421 January Term, 1976, Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court at No. 539 C.D. 1975

COUNSEL

Fronefield, deFuria & Petrikin, Joseph A. Damico, Jr., Media, for appellant.

Jay M. Goldstein, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Cleckner & Fearen, Michael I. Levin, William Fearen, Harrisburg, for Pennsylvania School Boards Association, amicus curiae.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Packel, JJ. Manderino, J., files a dissenting opinion joined by Eagen, C. J. Packel, J., did not participate in the decision of the case.

Author: Nix

[ 479 Pa. Page 342]

OPINION

The appellant, the Board of School Directors of Rose Tree Media School District (School Board), dismissed the appellee, Robert M. Feldman, from his employment as a non-tenured teacher after a hearing pursuant to section 4 of the Local Agency Law, Act of December 2, 1968, P.L. 1133, § 4, 53 P.S. § 11304. Feldman appealed his dismissal to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which affirmed the School Board's adjudication of dismissal. Feldman then appealed this determination to Commonwealth Court. A three-judge panel of that court reversed,*fn1 relying on this Court's decision in Horn v. Township of Hilltown, 461 Pa. 745, 337 A.2d 858 (1975) and their court's decision in Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission v. Feeser, 20 Pa. Commw. 406, 341 A.2d 584 (1975), rev'd, 469 Pa. 173, 364 A.2d 1324 (1976). The School Board filed in this Court a petition for allowance of appeal which we denied. The Board then filed a petition for reconsideration of that denial. We granted reconsideration and this appeal followed.

At the time of its decision of this case, the Commonwealth Court did not have the benefit of our decision in Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission v. Feeser, 469 Pa. 173, 364 A.2d 1324 (1976), which overruled the Commonwealth Court in that case and clarified our decision in Horn v. Township of Hilltown, supra. See also State Dental Council and Examining Board v. Pollock, 457 Pa. 264, 318 A.2d 910 (1974).

[ 479 Pa. Page 343]

We therefore remand this case to the Commonwealth Court for reconsideration in light of our decision in Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission v. Feeser, supra.

MANDERINO, Justice, dissenting.

I dissent. The order of the Commonwealth Court should be affirmed. It correctly decided that the appellee's dismissal was tainted because of a conflict of interest whereby the School District's solicitor acted in both a prosecutorial and judicial role.


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