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MAX H. HOMER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/27/83)

decided: April 27, 1983.

MAX H. HOMER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Education in case of In Re: Petition of Max H. Homer, dated June 26, 1981.

COUNSEL

James L. Cowden, with him Jerome H. Gerber, Handler and Gerber, P.C., for petitioner.

Phillip A. Ayers, Counsel, with him Michael A. Davis, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 624]

Max H. Homer (Petitioner) appeals here from an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) which reinstated Petitioner's Instructional I teaching certificate and granted permission to Petitioner to seek reinstatement of his Instructional II certificate, Administrative I certificate and Administrative II certificate upon satisfactory completion of certain specified conditions.

The background of this case is as follows. On March 12, 1976, Petitioner was adjudged guilty of the charges of perjury and extortion and sentenced to a term of imprisonment and assessed a fine.*fn1 On September 27, 1977, the Secretary entered a final order revoking Petitioner's letter of eligibility to serve as

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 625]

    a district superintendent and on October 16, 1979, entered a final order revoking the rest of Petitioner's teaching and administrative certificates because of Petitioner's conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude pursuant to the provisions of Section 2 of the Act of May 29, 1931, P.L. 210, as amended, 24 P.S. ยง 1225.*fn2 In March of 1979, Petitioner was employed as a substitute teacher in the Pittsburgh School District and continued to teach there until his teaching certificate was revoked by the Secretary. Petitioner did not appeal from the Secretary's orders of September 27, 1977 and October 16, 1979 but did file a petition for reinstatement.*fn3 That petition was referred to an examiner for a hearing and recommendation.

The examiner, finding that Petitioner had carried his burden of showing that he presently possessed the moral qualifications to hold the certificates that were revoked, recommended that an order be entered reinstating

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 626]

    all of Petitioner's certificates and letters of eligibility. The Secretary, without substantial change of any of the examiner's specific findings of fact, entered an order which directed that (1) an Instructional I certificate be issued to Petitioner; (2) after three years of instruction, Petitioner could apply for an Instructional II certificate; (3) after five years of teaching, Petitioner would be issued an Administrative I certificate; (4) Petitioner could apply for an Administrative II certificate after three years of satisfactory administrative experience; and (5) after Petitioner serves three years as a teacher and three years as an administrator, he could apply for a letter of eligibility to serve as a district superintendent or an assistant district superintendent. It is from that order that Petitioner filed the instant appeal.

Much of Petitioner's brief is devoted to case law which holds that conduct such as that which was involved here does not bear upon Petitioner's fitness to teach. Petitioner has argued that he has demonstrated through his teaching in Pittsburgh and his exemplary conduct since his release from prison as attested to by the many witnesses who appeared on his behalf at the hearing before the examiner, that the ...


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