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SHIRLEY J. RUCKER v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION CITY PITTSBURGH (04/24/85)

decided: April 24, 1985.

SHIRLEY J. RUCKER, APPELLANT
v.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Shirley J. Rucker v. Civil Service Commission of the City of Pittsburgh, No. SA 408 of 1982.

COUNSEL

Larry P. Gaitens, Gaitens & Tucceri, P.C., for appellant.

Richard J. Joyce, Assistant City Solicitor, with him, D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 647]

Shirley Rucker appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County affirming the City of Pittsburgh Civil Service Commission which in turn had affirmed a recommendation of a police trial board that the city suspend Rucker for one year and seek restitution because Rucker allegedly obtained and cashed a city payroll check belonging to Darla Kozak without Kozak's authorization. Rucker questions the order on several grounds.

Because we find that the commission's order is supported by substantial evidence and that the trial court correctly affirmed the commission, we affirm.

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 648]

First, Rucker contends that the commission's order is not supported by substantial evidence. In the proceedings before both the trial board and the commission, the teller who cashed the paycheck, Pat Rini, testified that she saw Rucker, in uniform sitting in the passenger seat of a city police car, next to the driver, when it stopped at Rini's teller window. The payee of the paycheck in question, Darla Kozak, testified that she never gave anyone permission to pick up or cash her paychecks. Rini's identification of Rucker is substantial evidence to support the finding that Rucker wrongfully cashed a city payroll check not belonging to her.

Rucker cites various contradictions in Rini's testimony given at city court, trial board, criminal court and the commission, in an effort to show that Rini was "confused and unclear" regarding her identification of Rucker. However, none of Rini's testimony contradicts the positive identification of Rucker as the policewoman who cashed the paycheck.

Second, Rucker alleges that the departmental authorities did not certify the trial board recommendation to the mayor until over six months after the trial board rendered its decision and that this delay violated the provisions of the Act of August 10, 1951, P.L. 1189, § 8, as amended, 53 P.S. § 23538. That section provides, in pertinent part, that:

[A]fter a full and complete hearing, the court of trial or inquiry shall determine its decision which shall be promptly certified in writing to the mayor. After approval by ...


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