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CARL M. ALLEN ET AL. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/06/80)

decided: August 6, 1980.

CARL M. ALLEN ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, RESPONDENT. J. ROBY BACKENSTO ET AL., INTERVENING PETITIONERS



Original jurisdiction in case of Carl M. Allen, et al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Police.

COUNSEL

John R. White, for petitioners.

John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Irving L. Bloom, for intervening petitioners.

Harold I. Goodman, with him Germaine Ingram, for Amicus Curiae, Minority Enlisted Members and Applicants of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Judges Mencer, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Mencer

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 387]

One Hundred and five Pennsylvania State Policemen have filed a petition for review in an attempt to invoke both the appellate and original jurisdictions of this Court. They seek to appeal the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner's refusal, on the ground of untimeliness, to entertain their grievances filed in 1979. They also request us to invoke

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 388]

    our equitable power to grant them relief similar to that afforded ten of their fellow officers in the case of Roberts v. Wade, 39 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 379, 395 A.2d 661 (1978).

The background for this litigation can be summarized as follows: In 1969, the State Police Commissioner instituted the new rank of Crime Investigation Specialist, together with a special training program, and invited state policemen to apply for it. The Petitioners here applied and were admitted to the new program. They were immediately advanced to a pay scale equivalent to that of Corporal and were removed from the normal competitive ranks and restricted to competition for promotion within the Crime Investigation Specialist class series. On March 23, 1972, a new Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, Rocco P. Urella, issued Personnel Order 72-11, the effect of which was to consolidate the former Criminal Investigation Specialist class series with the regular State Police ranks. On September 7, 1972, the Commissioner issued Personnel Order 72-34 which consolidated the former Technical Specialist class series with the regular ranks. Petitioners here are 103 of the 273 Criminal Investigation Specialists and two of the four Technical Specialists who, as a result of these 1972 personnel orders, were demoted to the regular rank they held at the time they were admitted to their respective programs. In August of 1979, the petitioners filed a grievance, to which the present Commissioner responded in writing and stated that the grievance was denied because it was "untimely by several years."

The significant aspect of this case is that it was the personnel orders entered in 1972 that demoted or reverted the petitioners herein to their former ranks in the State Police which constituted the adjudication from which petitioners had a right of ...


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