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E. BYRON WOODBRIDGE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/08/81)

decided: October 8, 1981.

E. BYRON WOODBRIDGE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in the case of E. Byron Woodbridge v. Department of Revenue, Appeal No. 2876.

COUNSEL

Ralph B. Pinskey, for petitioner.

Nicholas J. Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harvey A. Bartle, III, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Mencer, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Mencer

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 141]

E. Byron Woodbridge, a civil service employee, has appealed from an order of the State Civil Service Commission which dismissed his appeal from his removal from Management Analyst IV, regular status, and sustained the action of the Department of Revenue in his removal from that position.

The facts which led to this appeal are neither complicated nor disputed. Woodbridge was employed in the classified service as a Management Analyst IV, regular status, and he occupied the position of Assistant Administrator of the Bureau of Administrative Services in the Department of Revenue. As a result of an investigation initiated by the Secretary of Revenue, Woodbridge and five other employees of the Bureau of Administrative Services were accused of using Department of Revenue duplicating equipment for personal use.

Woodbridge admitted that he had utilized Department materials and personnel at various times to (1) make approximately 500 copies of a golf course

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 142]

    layout, (2) copy a plan for the construction of a new house, (3) copy a golf recap sheet, and (4) make several hundred school dance tickets.

When reflecting upon these facts, the mind of the writer of this opinion is instantly drawn to the admonition repeatedly offered long ago to him and his classmates by a wise grade school teacher.*fn1 That admonition was that "honesty in little things is not a little thing." Yet, it would seem that even public service can accommodate de minimis lapses from absolute husbandry.*fn2

However, we are required to affirm the Commission's order unless it is not consonant with the law, constitutional rights have not been observed, or necessary findings are not supported by substantial evidence. Fleming v. State Civil Service Commission, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 421, 319 A.2d 185 (1974). Testing the record in this case by this standard of review, we must affirm.

Although one might have considered the admitted offenses here as of insufficient consequence to justify the discharge of a capable employee,*fn3 we cannot state that the Commission erred or was at variance with the law when it ...


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