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SELIM A. ELIAS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/13/81)

decided: March 13, 1981.

SELIM A. ELIAS, M.D., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, POLK CENTER, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in the case of Selim A. Elias v. Polk Center, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 2613.

COUNSEL

Barbara L. Smith, Mahany, Roeder & Kirvan, for petitioner.

Marlene W. Jackson, Deputy Attorney General, with her James S. Marshall, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino. Judge Williams, Jr. concurs in the result only.

Author: Palladino

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 504]

This is an appeal by Dr. Selim A. Elias from an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission), dated October 23, 1979, and from the November 14, 1979 reaffirmation of that decision which reinstated Dr. Elias without back pay to his position as Physician

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 505]

II, regular status, at Polk Center, a medical facility administered by the Department of Public Welfare. Dr. Elias challenges only the Commission's refusal to award back pay for the time missed from work as a result of his unwarranted dismissal.*fn1

Dr. Elias was notified of his dismissal on October 3, 1978 by Dr. Joseph F. Stewart, Superintendent at Polk Center. The official reasons for the dismissal were unprofessional conduct and insubordination on the part of Dr. Elias. Specifically, the following three incidents were set forth at the hearing before the Commission as grounds for the decision to dismiss: (1) unprofessional conduct by Dr. Elias in placing statements on a patient's medical chart which were critical of another physician's treatment of that patient; (2) insubordination by Dr. Elias when he photographed a patient in an isolation unit in direct violation of rules which prohibited the photographing of patients for any reason; and (3) a written memorandum from Dr. Elias to the Superintendent attacking the Superintendent's competence.

In concluding that the above incidents did not constitute just cause for removal as required by Section 807 of the Civil Service Act (Act), Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. ยง 741.807, the Commission made the following pertinent findings of fact and conclusions of law:*fn2

[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 5066]

. Appellant was a Civil Service employe in the classification of Physician ...


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