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GARY STONE v. STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION AT GRATERFORD (12/08/80)

decided: December 8, 1980.

GARY STONE, PETITIONER
v.
THE STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION AT GRATERFORD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in the case of Gary Stone v. State Correctional Institution at Graterford, Bureau of Correction, Appeal, No. 2393.

COUNSEL

Lawrence J. Roberts, Nemeroff & Roberts, for petitioner.

Jerry I. Drew, Deputy Attorney General, with him John O. J. Shellenberger, Deputy Attorney General, Eastern Regional Director, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Palladino

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 189]

This is an appeal from a decision of the State Civil Service Commission which sustained a prison guard's dismissal for possession of marijuana at a state correctional institution. We affirm.

Appellant contends that his possession of marijuana while on duty at a prison does not constitute just cause for dismissal. Under Section 807 of the Civil Service Act, Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. § 741.807, a Civil Service employee may be validly removed upon a showing of just cause.

This means that any 'personnel action' carried out by the Commonwealth is to be scrutinized in the light of such merit criteria, as has the party failed to properly execute his duties, or has he done an act which hampers or frustrates the execution of same. The criteria must be job-related and in some rational and logical manner touch upon competency and ability.

Corder v. Civil Service Commission, 2 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 462, 467, 279 A.2d 368, 371 (1971). The Civil Service regulations at 4 Pa. Code § 101.21 provide the following examples of behavior which evidences just cause:

(3) misconduct amounting to violation of law, rules or lawful and reasonable departmental orders;

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 190]

(5) scandalous or disgraceful conduct while on or off duty which may bring the service of the ...


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