Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of In Re: Appeal of Lawrence James Danner from the Decision of the Bristol Township Civil Service Commission, No. 75-9502.
Francis J. Sullivan, Jackson, Sullivan & Beckert, for appellant.
Leonard Sokolove, with him, Clyde W. Waite, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 471]
Lawrence James Danner (petitioner) has appealed from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County which affirmed his suspension and subsequent dismissal from the Bristol Township Police Department by the Bristol Township Civil Service Commission (Commission). We vacate and remand.
The petitioner was arrested on Friday, July 13, 1973, while off duty and not in uniform, and charged with various criminal offenses arising out of his management of a "luncheonette" which was in dire financial straights. These criminal charges involved various allegations of fraud. As a result, the petitioner was suspended from the police force on July 17, 1973. This suspension was appealed to the Commission, but the appeal was continued pending disposition of the criminal charges.
On July 10, 1974, the petitioner was notified that he was dismissed from the police force, effective July 12, 1974, because of the July 13, 1973 arrest. The petitioner
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 472]
appealed his dismissal to the Commission, and the matter was consolidated for hearing with the suspension appeal. The criminal charges were later dropped, and the Commission subsequently conducted hearings of the two appeals on March 10, 17, 18, and 22 and April 1, 1975.
The Commission made only the following four findings of fact in its adjudication:
1. Appellant was arrested while off duty and not in uniform.
2. There was no evidence that the arrest was the result of any improper motive.
3. There was no attempt to determine whether appellant committed any ...