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GLORIA GEISSLER v. BOARD COMMISSIONERS UPPER DUBLIN TOWNSHIP AND UPPER DUBLIN TOWNSHIP (08/18/83)

decided: August 18, 1983.

GLORIA GEISSLER, APPELLANT
v.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF UPPER DUBLIN TOWNSHIP AND UPPER DUBLIN TOWNSHIP, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Gloria Geissler v. Board of Commissioners of Upper Dublin Township and Upper Dublin Township, No. 82-4388, Local Agency Appeal.

COUNSEL

Edward J. Hughes, Kaufman & Hughes, for appellant.

Michael F. Smith, with him Raymond Jenkins, Jenkins, Tarquini & Jenkins, for appellees.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 427]

Mrs. Geissler's (Appellant) employment as financial director for the Township of Upper Dublin (Township)*fn1 was terminated as of December 28, 1981 for alleged irregularities regarding the purchase of certain

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 428]

    office furniture for the Township. A timely appeal was filed with the Township under the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. §§ 551-555, 751-754. After a hearing, the Township's Personnel Review Board (Board) found that Appellant's termination was just, proper and with cause. A further appeal from that decision to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas was denied. This appeal followed.

It appears from the record made before the Board that Appellant executed a purchase order*fn2 for certain furniture for Township offices which was ultimately delivered. The seller submitted two series of invoices. One series was dated October 1, 1981 and the other October 2, 1981. Each invoice in each series was for a sum less than $2,500. Appellant issued two hand-drawn checks*fn3 one in the amount of $13,069.50 for the total of the first series of invoices and the other for $5,134.10 for the total of the second series of invoices. No bids were solicited for any of the items purchased. The Township undertook an outside audit regarding these matters since the transactions appeared to be in violation of Section 1802 of The First Class Township Code, Act of June 24, 1931, P.L. 1206, as amended, 53 P.S. § 56802, which provided that all purchases in excess of $2,500,*fn4 with certain exceptions, must be made from the lowest responsible bidder after proper advertising.

At the hearing before the Board, Appellant testified that she was aware of the statutory limit for no-bid contracts and that there was no bidding for the

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 429]

    purchases in question. She justified her actions, however, on the basis that the furniture was unique and was for "proprietary" purposes and because she was instructed to make the purchases by the Township manager in the manner she employed. She claims that the manner of invoicing was instigated by the supplier without her knowledge, but she admits that she never questioned the supplier concerning the manner of invoicing.

The Board found, inter alia, that the transactions were in violation of the law, that Appellant knew they were in violation of the law and that this ...


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