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DANIEL E. BRANCHICK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/06/81)

decided: November 6, 1981.

DANIEL E. BRANCHICK, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, AND C. J. LIEBERTH, APPELLEES



No. 80-2-331, Appeal from the Order of Commonwealth Court of November 25, 1980, entered at No. 314 C.D., 1980.

COUNSEL

Gregory M. Kerwin, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Richard L. Cole, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellees.

Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, and Kauffman, JJ. Nix, J., files a dissenting opinion. O'Brien, C. J., and Wilkinson, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Flaherty

[ 496 Pa. Page 281]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On February 14, 1980, the appellant, Daniel E. Branchick, filed a complaint in mandamus alleging that he had been wrongfully discharged from his position of employment in the Commonwealth's Department of Labor and Industry.

[ 496 Pa. Page 282]

Commonwealth Court treated the complaint as a petition for review,*fn1 and, following an evidentiary hearing, dismissed the petition.*fn2 The instant appeal ensued.*fn2a

Appellant was first employed by the Commonwealth in 1971 as a supervisor for the State Tax Equalization Board, and, in 1975, was promoted to the position of Administrative Officer III in the Department of Labor and Industry's Division of Prevailing Wage. In January of 1979, Governor Thornburgh assumed office; subsequently, Myron L. Joseph was appointed Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry. Secretary Joseph, via the following letter dated April 11, 1979, provided notice that appellant's employment would be terminated:

Dear Mr. Branchick:

This is to advise you that in the course of my continuing review of key personnel and operations in the Department, I find that I am unable to retain you beyond close of business April 24, 1979.

Concerning your group life policy, Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage, your earned unused annual leave and other matters, please contact the Personnel ...


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