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STUART ROSS v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (07/08/86)

decided: July 8, 1986.

STUART ROSS, APPELLANT
v.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of Stuart Ross v. Civil Service Commission, No. 1215 February Term, 1984.

COUNSEL

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Jr., with him, Michael A. Tier, for appellant.

John P. Straub, Deputy City Solicitor, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 566]

Stuart Ross was dismissed from the Philadelphia Police Department for conduct unbecoming an officer. The City Civil Service Commission and the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court order upheld Ross' discharge. Ross appeals the common pleas court order; we vacate and remand.

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 567]

Ross was discharged for (1) making a false arrest, (2) knowingly making a false entry in a department report, (3) failing to report the existence of an illegal activity and (4) being arrested and charged with bribery and related criminal counts.*fn1

On August 25, 1982, Ross, on his seventh day of assignment to the vice squad in the 18th Police District, arrested Tyrone Rowland for participating in an illegal lottery operation. Upon his release from detention the following day, Rowland telephoned police authorities and stated that his arrest was part of a pre-arranged agreement between Vincent Garrett, the proprietor of an illegal lottery operation, and certain unnamed local police officers. The Police Internal Affairs Bureau initiated an investigation into these allegations and subsequently arrested Ross. Upon his arrest, Ross was notified that he would be dismissed from the police force. A Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court Judge acquitted Ross of all criminal charges.*fn2

The Commission, after hearings, upheld Ross' discharge because it found the testimony of Rowland and the Internal Affairs investigator to be credible and the testimony of Ross to lack credibility.

This Court must affirm a Commission adjudication unless an employee's constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, any procedural irregularities exist, or the findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence. Foley v. Civil Service Commission, City of Philadelphia, 55 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 594, 423 A.2d 1351 (1980).

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 568]

Ross contends that the Commission erred as a matter of law in permitting the results of a lie detector test administered to Rowland to be introduced into evidence and that the Commission abused its discretion in ...


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