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BOROUGH BALDWIN v. CLARENCE SCHMIDT (05/30/84)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 30, 1984.

BOROUGH OF BALDWIN, APPELLANT
v.
CLARENCE SCHMIDT, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Borough of Baldwin v. Clarence Schmidt, No. SA 625 of 1982.

COUNSEL

John R. Luke, Luke & Anthony, for appellant.

Robert J. Donahoe, with him, William F. Manifesto, Manifesto & Doherty, P.C., for appellee.

Judges Craig, Barry and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 588]

In this appeal the Borough of Baldwin (Borough) seeks review of the decision of the Civil Service Commission (Commission) of the Borough of Baldwin with regard to the sanction imposed upon Clarence Schmidt (cross-appellee). More specifically, the Borough would have this Court vacate the one year suspension ordered by the Commission and mandate the permanent dismissal of the cross-appellee from the Baldwin Police Force.

The factual and procedural histories of this case are contained in the companion case of Clarence Schmidt v. Borough of Baldwin, 82 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 580, 477 A.2d 572 (1984).

The Borough concedes, as indeed it must, that the Commission has the power to amend or modify the decision of the governing body of a borough or township. Extensive citation of authority for this proposition is not necessary.*fn1

Rather, the Borough contends that the Commission made its determination without giving full consideration to all of the evidence as well as misinterpreting the evidence and the conclusions which should have been drawn therefrom.

The charges leveled by the Borough Council were as follows:

(2) Neglect or violation of any official duty.

(3) Violation of any law which provided that such violation constitutes a misdemeanor or felony.

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 589]

(4) Inefficiency, neglect, intemperance, immorality, disobedience of orders, or conduct unbecoming an officer.

(5) Intoxication while on duty.*fn2

Of the charges listed the Commission found Schmidt guilty of only two:

(2) Neglect of an official duty, and

(4) Neglect and disobedience of orders.*fn3

Upon examination, the record reveals that the most serious charges lodged by the Borough Council against Schmidt, commission of a misdemeanor or felony and intoxication while on duty, were specifically rejected by the Commission.

This Court must review the decision of the Commission, as affirmed by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, under the guidelines set forth in Section 8(b) of the Local Agency Law.*fn4

We believe the decision of the Commission to modify the Council's sanction is fully supported by substantial evidence. We therefore affirm without modification, the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

Order

And Now, May 30, 1984, the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the above-captioned matter is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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