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SAMUEL B. GINSBERG v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/11/80)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: December 11, 1980.

SAMUEL B. GINSBERG, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS AND PENNSYLVANIA STATE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION, RESPONDENTS

Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission in the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of the Licenses to Do Business as Sherwood Realty Company and to Practice as a Real Estate Salesman of License Nos. RB-01 8106-A and RS-072640-A, Issued June 16, 1959 and March 6, 1972, Respectively to Samuel B. Ginsberg and Paul E. Justice, File No. 78-RE-1251.

COUNSEL

Alan M. Bredt, of Joseph H. Weiss Associates, for petitioner.

Joseph S. Rengert, Assistant Attorney General, with him James J. Kutz, Chief Counsel and Harvey Bartle, III, Attorney General, for respondents.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 256]

This is an appeal by Samuel B. Ginsberg (Petitioner) from an Adjudication and Order of the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission (Commission) dated December 10, 1979 revoking Petitioner's license as a real estate broker pursuant to Section 10(a)(1), (3), (7), and 11(b) of the Real Estate Brokers License Act (Act).*fn1

On September 25, 1978 the Petitioner pled guilty in the United States District Court, Eastern District

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 257]

    of Pennsylvania, to twelve counts of submitting false statements to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1010 and one count of conspiracy in violation of 18

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 258]

U.S.C. § 371. These crimes were committed in his capacity as a real estate broker and are within the scope of Section 11(b) of the Act.

At the hearing before the Commission, the Commonwealth produced as evidence a certified copy of Petitioner's guilty plea. Petitioner was given an opportunity to challenge the validity of the Commonwealth evidence. Petitioner's license was revoked. Petitioner filed a Petition for Review with this Court.

Petitioner alleges that he was denied due process in the revocation of his license pursuant to the statutory provision mandating such revocation when the licensee has been convicted or has pled guilty to one or more of the crimes described therein. We disagree.

This case is factually similar to and is clearly controlled by our decision in Meth v. Commonwealth State Real Estate Commission, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 203, 321 A.2d 221 (1974). In that case, the Commission relied on nolo contendere pleas in the Federal Court in revoking two real estate brokers licenses. The brokers argued that they had been denied due process. In refuting this argument, Judge Crumlish (now President Judge Crumlish) said, "we find it clear that the Commission has no duty to look beyond the nolo contendere plea to determine the substance of the allegations. Once a plea to offenses outlined in Section 11(b) has been taken, Appellants are at that moment in violation." Id. at 207, 321 A.2d at 223.

Accordingly, the order of the Commission revoking Petitioner's broker's license is affirmed.

Order

And Now, this 11th day of December, 1980, the order of the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission,

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 259]

    dated December 10, 1979, revoking the real estate brokers license of Samuel B. Ginsberg is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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