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RICHARD F. DAVIS v. CITY CONNELLSVILLE (01/29/80)

decided: January 29, 1980.

RICHARD F. DAVIS, A/K/A RICHARD DAVIS, A MEMBER OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE ET AL.
v.
CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION. RICHARD F. DAVIS, DOMINIC S. MANCUSO AND RAYMOND MARTRAY, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County in case of Richard F. Davis, Petitioner v. City of Connellsville, a municipal corporation, Respondent, No. 787 June Term, 1977; Dominic S. Mancuso, Petitioner v. City of Connellsville, a municipal corporation, Respondent, No. 127 June Term, 1977; and Raymond Martray, Petitioner v. City of Connellsville, a municipal corporation, Respondent, No. 126 June Term, 1977.

COUNSEL

Mark F. Geary, with him, Richard S. Ombres, for appellants.

Paul V. Mahoney, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Judge DiSalle did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Craig

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 107]

In this police civil service appeal involving Section 4408 of the Third Class City Code, Act of June

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 10823]

, 1931, P.L. 932, as amended, 53 P.S. ยง 39408, the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County affirmed the action of the Council of the City of Connellsville discharging petitioners, three police officers. We affirm the order of Judge Franks of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County.

In April of 1975, when petitioners were serving as Connellsville police officers, the Pennsylvania State Police filed criminal charges of burglary, robbery and criminal conspiracy against them. The mayor, by letters of May 1, 1975, gave each petitioner notice of indefinite suspension without pay, pending a hearing and action by city council. Those letters replaced ten-day suspension notices issued in letters dated the day earlier.

Neither petitioners nor the city took any further action until April 7, 1977, when the city solicitor gave notice, by letters, of hearings to be held by city council on May 2, 1977, setting forth charges in greater detail. After holding the hearings, the city council issued findings and an adjudication which discharged petitioners as of May 1, 1975, which action was affirmed by the lower court.

Here petitioners raise issues concerning (1) the propriety of the indefinite suspensions pending hearing, (2) the two-year period which passed between the indefinite suspension notices and the hearings, (3) alleged absence of notice of the charges, and (4) the credibility of the testimony of alleged co-perpetrators.

The procedural issues are governed by Section 4408 of the Third Class City Code, above cited, which reads in pertinent part as follows:

All employes subject to civil service shall be subject to suspension by the director of the department for ...


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