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WILLIAM R. WARFEL v. YORK COUNTY EARNED INCOME TAX BUREAU (11/29/83)

decided: November 29, 1983.

WILLIAM R. WARFEL, APPELLANT
v.
YORK COUNTY EARNED INCOME TAX BUREAU, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County in case of William R. Warfel v. York County Earned Income Tax Bureau, No. 81-S-4195.

COUNSEL

Thomas E. Brenner, Goldberg, Evans & Katzman, P.C., for appellant.

Michael W. King, with him J. Ross McGinnis, Stock and Leader, for appellee.

Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 529]

This is an appeal from an order of the trial court which sustained the demurrer of the York County Earned Income Tax Bureau (Bureau) to the amended complaint in mandamus filed by William R. Warfel (Appellant) and dismissed the complaint.

The gravamen of the complaint is that Appellant was wrongfully discharged by the Bureau from his position as Director of the Bureau. Specifically, Appellant complains that his termination was in violation of his rights under Section 514 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 5-514*fn1 and Art. I, § 1 of the Constitution

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 530]

    of Pennsylvania*fn2 because he was not afforded a hearing regarding his discharge.

Unless the allegations in Appellant's complaint are sufficient to show a property right in his employment, he would not be entitled to a due process hearing and could be terminated at will. Hoffman v. Montour County, 50 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 101, 411 A.2d 1319 (1980) and Amesbury v. Luzerne County Institution District, 27 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 418, 366 A.2d 631 (1976).

Appellant argues here as he did in the trial court that inasmuch as the Bureau*fn3 collects and disburses earned income taxes for school districts and other municipalities, he thereby acquires the status of a public employee and enjoys the protection of the provisions of the Code. We cannot agree. Appellant's citation to case law which holds that non-professional employees of school districts may have a property interest

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 531]

    in their employment misses the mark here because there is no allegation in the amended complaint that Appellant was an employee of a school district. Appellant urges that since the Bureau was created by a delegation of the power and functions of school districts and that the Bureau is governed by a Board of Directors consisting, inter alia, of representatives of school districts, he acquires the status of an employee of those school districts. While the argument is unique, it is not persuasive. According to Appellant's complaint beyond which neither we nor the trial court may explore, it was the Board of Directors of the Bureau that passed a resolution calling for his discharge and it was the ...


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