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STEVEN MULHOLLAND v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (03/21/86)

decided: March 21, 1986.

STEVEN MULHOLLAND, APPELLANT
v.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Steven Mulholland v. Civil Service Commission, City of Philadelphia, No. 793 March Term, 1983.

COUNSEL

Richard G. Freeman, Bloom, Ocks and Fisher, for appellant.

Ralph J. Teti, Divisional Deputy City Solicitor, for appellee.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 125]

Steven Mulholland (Appellant) appeals here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 126]

    affirming the decision of the Civil Service Commission of Philadelphia (Commission) which dismissed Appellant from his position as a firefighter with the Philadelphia Fire Department (Department). We vacate and remand.

On June 16, 1982, Philadelphia Police Officers arrested Appellant and the female with whom he was living (cohabitant) on charges of knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled substance, knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver and conspiracy. The arresting officers confiscated, inter alia, marijuana plants and plastic bags allegedly containing hashish and marijuana which they found in the residence jointly occupied by Appellant and his cohabitant.

On July 9, 1982, the Department notified Appellant of its intention to dismiss him from his position with the City of Philadelphia. Appellant filed an appeal with the Commission. At the hearing, Appellant stipulated that he was arrested while off-duty; that the house belonged to his cohabitant's parents; and that the search warrant named only his cohabitant. Appellant testified that he did not know that his cohabitant had controlled substances in the home or that she used controlled substances in the home. Although Appellant testified that no controlled substances were found in his possession, he also admitted that he had previously been arrested for possession of drugs and that he had unlimited use of the house in which he lived with his cohabitant.

On October 14, 1982, Appellant was found not guilty on criminal charges brought by the Commonwealth in Philadelphia Municipal Court; nevertheless, the Commission denied Appellant's appeal from his dismissal, holding that he had engaged in conduct unbecoming

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 127]

    an officer.*fn1 As we have noted, that adjudication was upheld by the trial court and ...


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