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INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FIREFIGHTERS v. THOMAS LOFTUS (02/17/84)

decided: February 17, 1984.

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS, LOCAL 2493 ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
THOMAS LOFTUS, TREASURER, TOWNSHIP OF UPPER DARBY, PA., ET AL., RESPONDENTS



Original Jurisdiction in case of International Association of Firefighters, Local 2493, by its Trustee Ad Litem, Harry Lott, and Jule Niemeyer v. Thomas Loftus, Treasurer, Township of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and Volunteer Firemen's Relief Association of Upper Darby Township; and R. Budd Dwyer, State Treasurer, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Al Benedict, Auditor General, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Township of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

Robert Tim Brown, with him Stuart W. Davidson and Jonathan W. Walters, Kirschner, Walters, Willig, Weinberg & Dempsey, for petitioner.

George A. Pagano, with him Bruce A. Irvine and Alvin S. Ackerman, for respondent, Thomas Loftus, Treasurer of Upper Darby Township.

Karen L. Galli, Deputy Counsel, with her Charles Shields, Jr., Counsel, and Francis Mazzola, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Al Benedict, Auditor General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Vincent X. Yakowicz, for respondent, R. Budd Dwyer, State Treasurer.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Barry. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 331]

This case is brought to our original jurisdiction pursuant to Section 761 of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S. ยง 761. The International Association of Firefighters, Local 2493 and Jule Niemeyer (Petitioners) seek, inter alia, equitable relief, restitution, legal interest, attorneys' fees, costs of suit and punitive damages. At issue is the propriety of the disbursement by the Respondent Treasurer of Upper Darby Township (Township Treasurer) of monies received under Section 2 of the Act of June 28, 1895, P.L. 408, as amended (Act).*fn1

Petitioners allege that from at least prior to 1962 the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (State Treasurer)*fn2 has distributed monies to the Township Treasurer as required by Section 2 of the Act. The Respondent Township of Upper Darby (Township) employs paid full-time firefighters, as it has since at least 1962. These paid firemen are covered by a pension fund. In addition, volunteer fire companies provide fire protection service to the Township. The Respondent Volunteer Firemen's Relief Association (Relief Association), an organization designed to afford financial protection to volunteer firemen serving within the Township, has been the sole recipient from at least 1962 until 1979 of all monies received from the State Treasurer and disbursed by the Township Treasurer. This is not in accordance with Section 2 of the Act, which provides that the monies shall be divided equally between the relief fund

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 332]

    association of the volunteer firemen and the pension fund of the paid firemen.*fn3

Petitioners further allege that the Relief Association has refused to reimburse the paid firefighters' pension fund for monies improperly received. The Petitioner International Association of Firefighters, Local 2493 has made demand upon the Township and the Township Treasurer to disburse monies received in accordance with the provisions of Section 2, which demands have been refused. Additionally, Petitioners allege that the Respondent Al Benedict, Auditor General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Auditor General), has failed to make required audits of the books and records of the Township and the Relief Association.

Petitioners seek to enjoin the State Treasurer from disbursing any foreign fire insurance funds to the Township Treasurer unless the Township Treasurer disburses the monies in accordance with the law, and seek a full accounting from the State Treasurer of all funds previously disbursed to the Township Treasurer pursuant to Section 2. Petitioners also seek restitution of monies lawfully due the ...


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