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RICHARD W. HENRY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/06/84)

decided: March 6, 1984.

RICHARD W. HENRY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Background Investigation Appeal Board of Pennsylvania State Police in case of Richard W. Henry, dated July 19, 1983.

COUNSEL

Jeffrey F. Bahls, for petitioner.

Joseph S. Rengert, with him Francis X. O'Brien, Jr., for respondent.

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

Author: Rogers

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 596]

Richard W. Henry has filed a Petition for Review of a decision of the Background Investigation Screening Board (Screening Board) of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) permanently disqualifying him for employment as a state police officer because of an offense committed when he was a juvenile and because he failed to reveal this offense on his employment application. The offense is described as the construction with other minors of an explosive device and exploding it in an abandoned house, with the consequence

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 597]

    that Henry and the other minors were arrested, processed through the juvenile system and subjected to reprimand and counseling.

PSP has filed a motion to dismiss the Petition for Review on the ground that the Screening Board's decision was not an adjudication because Henry had no right to employment with PSP. By this we assume that PSP means that the Screening Board's ruling was not an adjudication because it did not affect any "personal or property rights, privilege, [or] immunities" enjoyed by Henry. See the definition of an adjudication at 2 Pa. C.S. ยง 101. We conclude that PSP's motion to dismiss should be overruled.

The Screening Board and the Background Investigation Appeal Board (Appeal Board) to which Henry unsuccessfully appealed the Screening Board's decision are creatures of a final judgment, in the form of a consent decree, entered in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in an action by nonwhite and Spanish surnamed persons complaining that there were insufficient such minority persons members of PSP. The decree ordains in great detail the hiring procedures PSP must follow in selecting new members, called cadets, from first interview to final selection. Henry alleges that he passed his interview, his written examination and all other requirements for selection until his application reached the last step, investigation by the Screening Board, which, as we have seen, found him permanently disqualified.

The consent decree provides that an applicant rejected by the Screening Board shall be notified of his right to appeal to the Appeal Board consisting of the Deputy Commissioner of PSP, the Deputy Director of the Civil Service Commission and the Director or Deputy Director of the Governor's Office of Personnel.

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 598]

Henry appealed the Screening Board's action to the Appeal Board, with requests for an evidentiary hearing and oral argument on the matter of the grounds asserted for his disqualification. By letter to Henry from the PSP personnel director Henry was informed that the Appeal Board had reviewed the report of the Screening Board and his appeal papers and had decided that he is permanently disqualified ...


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