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CHRISTOPHER C. QUARLES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/14/81)

decided: September 14, 1981.

CHRISTOPHER C. QUARLES, JR., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Christopher C. Quarles, Jr. v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 2620.

COUNSEL

William M. Overton, Jr., for petitioner.

Louis G. Cocheres, with him Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 573]

The appellant, Christopher C. Quarles, appeals a decision of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) upholding an action of the Department of Transportation (DOT) removing him from his position as a provisional employe.

The appellant, who was an Equal Opportunities Development Specialist IV engaged in working with employer-contractors so as to encourage minority employment on state road contracts, was charged with and arrested for the misdemeanor offenses of misappropriating funds of an agency receiving public funds and violating the firearms laws. A printed newspaper story reported these facts and identified the appellant as an employe of the DOT, and a DOT representative attended the preliminary hearing at which the appellant

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 574]

    was held for court. He then recommended that the appellant be dismissed, and the Secretary of DOT approved this recommendation, removing the appellant as of September 22, 1978.

Because the appellant was a provisional employe, his only entitlement to a hearing before the Commission was pursuant to Section 951(b)*fn1 of the Civil Service Act which requires an allegation that the removal have been discriminatory or based upon non-merit factors. The Commission determined in a May 31, 1979 decision that the appellant's removal was not so based and that he had failed to meet his requisite burden of proof or to establish a prima facie case of Section 905.1*fn2 discrimination. It therefore dismissed his appeal.

Section 905.1 of the Civil Service Act controls in this case and provides as follows:

Prohibition of Discrimination.

No officer or employe of the Commonwealth shall discriminate against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention or any other personnel action with respect to the classified service because of political or religious opinions or affiliations because of labor union ...


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