Appeal from the Order of the Civil Service Commission in case of Francis E. Goodridge v. State Correctional Institution at Graterford, Bureau of Correction, Appeal No. 4247.
Susan F. Forney, Associate Counsel, with her, John G. Knorr, III, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Allen C. Warshaw, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Litigation Section, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.
Mark C. Clemm, High, Swartz, Roberts & Seidel, for petitioner.
Judges Rogers, Doyle and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 528]
The Bureau of Corrections appeals from an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) reinstating Francis E. Goodridge (respondent) to his civil service position of Corrections Officer Trainee, Probationary Status. The respondent's work was as a prison guard at Graterford State Correctional Institution.
The issue is that of whether the Commission erred in determining that the Bureau of Corrections, which dismissed the respondent for falsifying his employment application, did so on the basis of a non-merit factor within the meaning of Section 905.1 of the Civil Service Act.*fn1
On his application for work, the respondent answered no to the following questions:
Have you ever resigned (quit) after being informed that your employer intended to discharge (fire) you for any reason?
[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 529]
Are there any circumstances in your past life which would, if they became known, disqualify you for a position in a Corrections Institution?
After the respondent began training, the appointing authority investigated his background and received information upon which it concluded that ten years earlier when the respondent was a policeman with the Nassau County New York Police Department, his commanding officer had asked him to resign after he had taken overdoses of sedatives and accidently discharged a firearm.
On the basis of the background report, the Bureau of Corrections conducted an informal hearing and ...