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PHILADELPHIA COUNTY BOARD ASSISTANCE v. CHARLES VINSON (07/19/83)

decided: July 19, 1983.

PHILADELPHIA COUNTY BOARD OF ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, PETITIONER
v.
CHARLES VINSON, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Civil Service Commission in case of Charles Vinson v. Philadelphia County Board of Assistance, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 3400, dated January 29, 1982.

COUNSEL

Carl Vaccaro, Deputy Attorney General, with him LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for petitioner.

Terry L. Fromson, for respondent.

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

Author: Barbieri

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 519]

The Philadelphia County Board of Assistance (Board) appeals here from an adjudication of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) ordering the reinstatement of Charles Vinson to his position as an Income Maintenance Worker I, probationary status. We reverse.

On January 30, 1981, the Board dismissed Mr. Vinson from his position as an Income Maintenance

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 520]

Worker I, probationary status, because of convictions he had received on charges of robbery and conspiracy in 1979. Although the Board had been aware of Mr. Vinson's convictions when it hired him in August of 1980, the Board apparently felt that it had to offer Mr. Vinson the position since the Commission had rejected a Board request to have Mr. Vinson's name removed from the Commission's eligibility list for this position. After receiving additional legal advice, however, the Board concluded that it could dismiss Mr. Vinson from his position, and did so. In response to this dismissal Mr. Vinson requested, and received, a hearing on this matter before the Commission. After evaluating the evidence adduced at this hearing, the Commission issued an adjudication in which it made the following statement:

[T]he relationship between appellant's conviction and his job responsibilities is tenuous. The acts underlying appellant's conviction occurred off-duty and are not likely to be duplicated on the job. Moreover, appellant occupied an entry level position with the appointing authority under close supervision, rather than a sensitive position with independent responsibilities.

The Commission then concluded that Mr. Vinson's appeal had to be sustained since "[t]he appointing authority discriminated against appellant by its use of a non-merit factor (i.e., the prior criminal conviction) as the basis for removal." The present appeal followed.

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 521]

"Our review of adjudications of the Civil Service Commission is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, or necessary findings of fact are unsupported by substantial evidence." Brown v. Department Page 521} of ...


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