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KUMA K-9 SECURITY (03/19/86)

filed: March 19, 1986.

IN RE KUMA K-9 SECURITY, INC. RENEWAL OF DETECTIVE LICENSE. APPEAL OF COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA


Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, criminal Division, No. Misc. Docket A-33 Page 315 - 1976

COUNSEL

W. Wayne Punshon, Media, for appellant.

Jeffrey M. Sherman, Media, for appellee.

Olszewski, Tamilia and Kelly, JJ.

Author: Tamilia

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 473]

In 1976, Kuma K-9 Security Inc. (hereinafter Kuma) was granted a license to operate a private detective agency under the "Private Detective Act of 1953", 1953, Aug. 21, P.L. 1273 § 1, 22 P.S. § 11 et seq. Two renewals were filed and the license reissued in 1978 and 1980. In 1983, the renewal application was opposed by the District Attorney of Delaware County. This opposition was based on an alleged conflict of interest and potential for abuse involving John Morris, the president and one-third stockholder of Kuma, who also held the position of lieutenant in the Upper Darby police department.

The Court of Common Pleas granted the license to Kuma and the District Attorney appealed to this Court. In a Memorandum Opinion, we reversed on public policy grounds finding that although no statutory bar exists to issuing licenses to those engaged in full-time police work, case law indicates a strong disapproval of issuing licenses to those in a position of public trust. In Re: Kuma K-9 Security, 339 Pa. Super. 624, 488 A.2d 1170 (1984).

Subsequent to this decision, John Morris resigned his position with Kuma and transferred his stock to his wife. The board of directors of Kuma (Mrs. Morris, James Fleming and Elizabeth Fleming) then elected new officers and reapplied for a detective's license.

In accordance with the statute, Kuma submitted two certificates with its application stating that the vice president,

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 474]

James Fleming, had been regularly employed as a detective for at least three years.

At the hearing on the application, the district attorney continued to oppose the granting of the license. It was established that although Mr. Morris, now a captain with the Upper Darby police department, had resigned his position with Kuma and transferred his stock, he was being retained as a consultant, performing similar duties as he previously had done at the same salary. (N.T. 3/4/85 p. 66-69) The district attorney contended that under these facts a conflict still existed. In addition, it was argued that none of the applicants met the ...


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