Appeal from the Order of the Civil Service Commission in the case of State Civil Service Commission v. Michael L. McCormick, Appeal No. 3483.
Paul S. Foreman, for petitioner.
Earl R. Dryer, Deputy Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 498]
Michael McCormick appeals from a decision of the State Civil Service Commission, which removed McCormick from his civil service job with the Altoona Housing Authority because he had engaged in prohibited political activity. We must decide whether the Civil Service Act prohibition of political activity*fn1 applies
[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 499]
to housing authority employees and whether McCormick's unawareness of that prohibition precludes the commission from removing him for its violation.
McCormick began his employment with the housing authority as comptroller before the 1975 amendment to the Housing Authorities Law*fn2 instituted the requirement that all housing authorities establish a civil service merit system for their employees. Although McCormick was aware of his civil service status after the housing authority had, by contract, derived its merit system from the State Civil Service Act, he did not receive any information concerning the prohibition of political activity contained in that Act. On March 9, 1981, McCormick submitted a signed petition to place his name on the primary election ballot as a candidate for the office of auditor of Logan Township, a measure which § 904 of the Civil Service Act*fn3 clearly prohibits.
McCormick contends that because the Housing Authorities Law*fn4 does not expressly incorporate the prohibitions and penalties segment of the Civil Service Act,*fn5 the legislature intended to exempt housing authority employees from those sections. Although there is no clear indication that McCormick raised
[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 500]
this question before the commission, we nevertheless conclude that the Civil Service Act applies to housing authorities in its entirety.
McCormick argues that § 1567(b),*fn6 which provides that the housing authority employees may be removed only in accordance with § 807 of the Civil Service Act,*fn7 indicates that the legislature intended to disallow removal of ...