Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Department of Education in the case of In the Matter of William Harr v. Carmichaels Area School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal, No. 18-78.
James Hook, Hook & Hook, for petitioner.
Ronald N. Watzman, Watzman & Elovitz, for respondent.
Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 192]
The petitioner, Carmichaels Area School District (school district), appeals from an order of the Secretary of Education which overturned its dismissal of William Harr (respondent) and ordered him reinstated with back pay.
The respondent was employed by the school district as principal of the Carmichaels Area Junior-Senior High School in Greene County. On January 19, 1978, at a school board meeting, the respondent was informed that he had been suspended without pay as of the beginning of the second semester of the school year for having used funds from a student activity account to purchase a clock, a stereo and a butler's-tray table for his personal use. On February 10, 1978, however, he was informed that he faced dismissal as a result of his alleged misconduct.
After its dismissal hearing on February 28, 1978, the school board concluded that the respondent had misappropriated money from the student activity fund and converted school property to his personal use and was therefore subject to the termination of his contract under Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1122.
The Secretary of Education, without conducting an additional hearing, concluded on appeal to him that the respondent had not misappropriated school property and ordered him reinstated, making the following findings concerning the items purchased from the school activities fund:
10. In the fall of 1977, Appellant, in his capacity as principal, received an advertisement for a grandfather clock kit from Emperor Clock Company.
11. In January 1977, Appellant ordered the clock kit using a check drawn on the high school
[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 193]
Activities Account and signed by the bookkeeper ...