Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of George Conyer, Theodore Hunsicker, Norman Tulone & Daniel Abate v. Borough of Norristown and Borough Council of the Borough of Norristown, No. 79-12287.
Norman Ashton Klinger, for appellants.
Paul C. Vangrossi, for appellees.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 630]
George Conyer, Theodore Hunsicker, Norman Tulone and Daniel Abate (Appellants) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County*fn1 which affirmed the decision of the Borough of Norristown Civil Service Commission (Commission) that the Borough Council of Norristown (Borough Council) acted properly and in accordance with applicable law when it furloughed the Appellants for reasons of economy. We affirm.
Appellants were employed as police officers by the Borough of Norristown (Borough) when, on June 20, 1978, Borough Council passed a resolution providing that Appellants would be furloughed, effective June
[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 63123]
, 1978, for reasons of economy. Appellants received notice that they had been furloughed and appealed the action to the Commission. Pertinent to the instant appeal is the fact that at the initial hearing before the Commission, Appellants' attorney stipulated that each of the Appellants was eligible for retirement at the time they were furloughed.*fn2 After two hearings the Commission affirmed the action of the Borough Council. Appellants ultimately appealed to this Court.
The issues presently before us are, 1) whether the stipulation entered into before the Commission is valid and 2) whether the Borough Council may furlough police officers absent a finding that the officers are "unneeded."
The Appellants were furloughed pursuant to Section 1190 of the Borough Code (Code), Act of February 1, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1656, as amended, 53 P.S. § 46190, which provides in pertinent part:
If for reasons of economy or other reasons it shall be deemed necessary by any borough to reduce the number of paid employes of the police or fire force, then such borough shall apply the following procedure: (i) if there are any employes eligible for retirement under the terms of any retirement or pension law, then such ...