Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in the case of Ronald J. Williams v. Allegheny County Children and Youth Services, Appeal No. 4381.
James H. McLean, County Solicitor, with him, Robert L. McTiernan, Assistant County Solicitor, for petitioner.
Joseph S. Hornack, Abes & Begler, P.C., for respondent.
Barbara G. Raup, Chief Counsel, for Amicus Curiae, State Civil Service Commission.
Judges Rogers, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
Allegheny County Children and Youth Services (local agency) appeals an order of the State Civil Service Commission which reversed that local agency's removal of Ronald Williams from his position
as Houseparent II, Regular Status, at the McIntyre Youth Shelter. We must first determine whether the commission was bound by the findings and conclusion of the State Child Line and Abuse Registry, which Williams did not appeal, that he abused a child entrusted to his care; second, if the commission was not so bound, we must decide whether substantial evidence supports its findings and contrary conclusion.
McIntyre Youth Shelter is a non-secured facility for delinquent children. As a houseparent at the shelter, Williams was responsible for the supervision of the juvenile residents assigned to his cottage.
On July 24, 1982, one of those children, Anthony Zebola, refused to follow Williams' instruction to report for dinner. An argument ensued and Zebola tried to run away from Williams. Williams caught the youth and tried to remove his shoes to keep him from running away. The two struggled over the shoes, and Zebola sustained an injury to his mouth. The record contains conflicting evidence as to the extent of Zebola's injuries at that time, and as to the origin of other injuries Zebola exhibited later that evening when taken to the shelter infirmary and North Hills Passavant Hospital.
Zebola stated that his injuries were caused by a "grown-up" who had hit him, and later identified that grown-up as Williams. Shelter personnel reported the child's allegation of abuse to the Commonwealth Child Line and Abuse Registry, which conducted an investigation of the incident and reported that the evidence "indicated" that Zebola's injuries were caused by Williams' abuse. Youth Services removed Williams from his position by a ...