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CONTROLLER'S SUBPOENA CONCERNING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION FUND ALLEGHENY COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE. FRANK J. LUCCHINO (09/25/81)

decided: September 25, 1981.

IN RE: CONTROLLER'S SUBPOENA CONCERNING THE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION FUND OF THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE. FRANK J. LUCCHINO, CONTROLLER OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT. IN RE: ALLEGHENY COUNTY CONTROLLER'S 1979 ANNUAL REPORT. FRANK J. LUCCHINO, CONTROLLER OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT


Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in cases of In Re: Controller's Subpoena concerning the Professional Education Fund of the Allegheny County Coroner's Office, No. 11 Miscellaneous Docket, April Term, 1979, and In Re: Allegheny County Controller's 1979 Annual Report, No. GD80-2600.

COUNSEL

Doris A. Smith, for appellant.

John M. Feeney, Baskin and Sears, for appellee, Cyril H. Wecht, M.D.

Mark F. Geary, for appellee, Ralph J. Stalter, M.D.

Harry H. Stump, for appellee, William R. Hunt, M.D.

James H. McLean, County Solicitor, with him Loraine S. Tabakin, Assistant County Solicitor, for County of Allegheny, Interpleaded Party.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Blatt, MacPhail, Williams, Jr. and Palladino. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Crumlish

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 60]

This is a consolidated appeal taken by the Allegheny County Controller*fn1 from three Allegheny County Common Pleas Court orders sustaining in part and overruling in part preliminary objections filed by three former Allegheny County Coroners*fn2 and denying the Controller's petition to open the 1979 Controller's Annual Report. We reverse and remand.

On October 29, 1979, the Controller filed a surcharge report in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, in accordance with Section 1901 of the Second Class County Code, 16 P.S. § 4901,*fn3 alleging that certain county officers collected and received fees in performance of their official duties and failed to account for the funds or deposit them in the county treasury.*fn4 The surcharge asserted claims to recover fees collected and retained from 1966 through 1978 by the Coroners while in office for services performed in connection with toxicology specimen testing and post-mortem examination for counties other than Allegheny.*fn5

After hearings on the Coroners' preliminary objections, the court below held that a two-year statute of limitations applied to the surcharge claims which began

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 61]

    to run from the date of discovery of the activities in question. Accordingly, that court barred all claims against former Coroners Hunt and Stalter, and any claim ...


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