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DR. ULPIANO F. LOPEZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/29/79)

decided: June 29, 1979.

DR. ULPIANO F. LOPEZ, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RETREAT STATE HOSPITAL, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Dr. Ulpiano F. Lopez v. Retreat State Hospital, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 2229.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Musto, with him Griffith, Aponick & Musto, for petitioner.

Robert E. Kelly, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 632]

Petitioner seeks review of a decision by the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) affirming his removal from the position of Assistant Superintendent for Clinical Services, Mental Health, regular status at Retreat State Hospital pursuant to Section 807 of the Civil Service Act.*fn1 We affirm.

The incident leading to his removal was his alleged action which "result[ed] in persons attending a meeting in the Superintendent's Office, Retreat State Hospital, on the morning of August 5, 1976, to imbibe without their knowledge quantities of HALDOL, a psychotropic drug." The meeting above mentioned was a regular consultation of staff physicians with other medical doctors from the community to discuss the treatment of patients.

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 633]

Following the August 5, 1976 meeting several persons in attendance became ill.*fn2 Approximately eight months following this meeting Dr. Robert Murphy, a colleague of petitioner's, told the Hospital Superintendent that the petitioner had admitted the alleged misconduct to him. On the basis of this information the Hospital Superintendent relieved petitioner of his duties effective June 10, 1977.

Pursuant to petitioner's timely request, the Commission conducted a hearing into the propriety of the subject dismissal on August 10, 1977. From the adverse determination of the Commission petitioner presents the instant petition for review.

Petitioner first contends that there is not substantial evidence to support the Commission's adjudication. In its discussion of the testimony, the Commission stated, "We believe the credible evidence in this case is that of the appointing authority. Our reasonable minds are convinced that the evidence of the appointing authority supports the charges given for removal of [petitioner]." We agree. The following summary by the Commission of the testimony supporting petitioner's removal is indicative:

The testimony shows [petitioner] had a dislike for Dr. Kafrissen [a community physician]. [Petitioner] used vulgar and obscene language in referring ...


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