Original jurisdiction in case of Ronald E. Tomasetti and William J. Harper v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Game Commission and Glen L. Bowers, Director, Pennsylvania Game Commission.
James R. Ronca, with him Meyers & Desfor, for petitioners.
Ronald H. Skubecz, Deputy Attorney General, with him Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondents.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 356]
Petitioners in this action, which is before us on preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer to a complaint in mandamus seeking to compel the Game Commission to hold a formal hearing, were deputy game protectors who were dismissed from their positions without a formal hearing. Respondent has
[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 357]
demurred to the complaint on the ground that deputy game protectors have no statutory entitlement to a hearing before removal.
Because petitioners do not rely on any kind of contractual agreement, we must find an express statutory basis for the entitlement to a hearing. Our Pennsylvania decisions hold:
Tenure in public employment, in the sense of having a claim to employment which precludes dismissal on a summary basis, is, where it exists, a matter of legislative grace.
[W]here the legislature has intended that tenure should attach to public employment, it has been very explicit in so stating.
Scott v. Philadelphia Parking Authority, 402 Pa. 151, 154-5, 166 A.2d 278, 281 (1960).
An enforceable expectation of continued public employment can exist only if the employee, by statute or contract, has been ...