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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. FRANK C. HILTON (12/06/83)

decided: December 6, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, BY ROBERT P. KANE, ATTORNEY GENERAL, PLAINTIFF
v.
FRANK C. HILTON, DEFENDANT



Original jurisdiction in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by Robert P. Kane, Attorney General v. Frank C. Hilton.

COUNSEL

Gregg H. S. Golden, Deputy Attorney General, with him Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Attorney General, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for plaintiff.

Louis G. Feldmann, with him Joseph F. Kulwicki and Frank C. Hilton, for defendant.

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

Author: Doyle

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 630]

Before this Court is a motion for a partial summary judgment by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against Frank C. Hilton (Defendant). The motion must be denied.

Defendant, as Secretary of Property and Supplies, was a cabinet level officer of the Commonwealth from January 25, 1971 until September 13, 1974. While

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 631]

    employed in that capacity, Defendant was authorized and required to perform as a licensed insurance broker for the purpose of negotiating all insurance policies and surety bonds for the Commonwealth. Fees and commissions derived from the performance of those duties were earmarked for payment into the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Fund (PHEAF).*fn1

In 1975, Defendant was twice convicted in Federal District Court of acts of extortion engaged in while performing his duties as insurance broker for the Commonwealth. The first of these convictions,*fn2 involved a scheme whereby Defendant selected David N. Oppenheim, trading as the Oppenheim Co., to act as an insurance broker for the procurement of employee liability insurance for the Commonwealth from the Gulf Insurance Co. of Texas. In exchange for the selection of his company, Oppenheim paid to Defendant, from the $78,351.91 commission he, Oppenheim, received from the Gulf Insurance Co., the sum of $31,587.13. Defendant's second extortion conviction*fn3 derived from payments of a similar type made to Defendant by Charles W. Ohle in exchange for Defendant's selecting Ohle to act as broker in obtaining automobile liability insurance for the Commonwealth from the Reserve Insurance Co. The amount of these payments is as yet undetermined.

The Commonwealth has come before this Court in our original jurisdiction seeking to recover from Defendant the damage to the Commonwealth resulting

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 632]

    from his extortionate practices. In the matter currently before us, the Commonwealth seeks a partial summary judgment to the effect that Defendant is liable to the Commonwealth for the $31,587.13 extorted from Oppenheim and any funds extorted from Ohle, the amount of which the ...


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