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AL AMBRON v. PHILADELPHIA CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (11/07/80)

decided: November 7, 1980.

AL AMBRON, ROBERT BARRETT, OSCAR BOWEN AND JOSEPH KELLY, APPELLANTS
v.
PHILADELPHIA CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, APPELLEE. AL AMBRON, ROBERT BARRETT, OSCAR BOWEN AND JOSEPH KELLY, APPELLANTS V. LEWIS TAYLOR, PERSONNEL DIRECTOR, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND EDWARD G. RENDELL, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEES



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of Al Ambron, Robert Barrett, Oscar Bowen and Joseph Kelly v. Philadelphia Civil Service Commission, No. 120 July Term, 1978, and in the case of Al Ambron, Robert Barrett, Oscar Bowen and Joseph Kelly v. Lewis Taylor, Personnel Director, City of Philadelphia, and Edward G. Rendell, District Attorney, City of Philadelphia, No. 4774 October Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

John W. Morris, Pierson, Jones, Nelson & Shalita, for appellants.

Sheldon L. Albert, City Solicitor, with him Edward G. Rendell, Julian Wessell and Gayle R. Smith, Assistant City Solicitors, for appellees.

Judges Blatt, Craig and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 489]

This case represents the consolidation of two separate appeals filed in this Court by the same joint appellants, Al Ambron, Robert Barrett, Oscar Bowen and Joseph Kelly. The four appellants were county detectives in the office of the Philadelphia District Attorney until "transferred" from that position to the Philadelphia Police Department to be uniformed officers. The four detectives contested the validity of the

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 490]

"transfers" and appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County under the Local Agency Law.*fn1 The two appeals now before this Court are from two separate orders of the court below denying relief to the detectives.

Prior to their appointments as county detectives, the four appellants were members of the Philadelphia police force. Bowen was appointed in 1971, and the other three were appointed in 1977. Their appointments to the position of county detective were pursuant to Section 1 of the Act of June 3, 1919, P.L. 369, as amended, 16 P.S. ยง 7741.

The apparent effect of the appointments was to separate the four men from the Philadelphia Police Department and to place them under the authority and control of the District Attorney's office. In their capacity as county detectives each of them was classified as a permanent civil service employee under the job title of "Prosecution Detective I."

In June, 1978, the four detectives were informed that they were to be "transferred" back to the Police Department as uniformed police officers. Under protest they complied with the requirements for separation from the District Attorney's office, completed application forms for the Police Department, and were sworn in as police officers.*fn2

When the appellants were initially notified of their "transfer" back to the Police Department, they lodged complaints with the District Attorney and the Police ...


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