decided: August 4, 1986.
POLICE OFFICER ROBERT B. LAMB, APPELLANT
CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEE
Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of City of Pittsburgh v. Police Officer, Robert B. Lamb, No. SA 134 of 1984.
Bryan Campbell, Mansmann, Beggy & Campbell, for appellant.
Richard J. Joyce, Assistant City Solicitor, with him, D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judges Rogers and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 425]
Robert B. Lamb appeals an Allegheny County Common Pleas Court order reversing a City of Pittsburgh Police Trial Board decision and finding that his actions violated two police procedural rules. We reverse and remand.
Lamb, a fifteen year veteran of the Pittsburgh Police Force, received notice of a three-day suspension for failure to properly deliver recovered stolen property to the desk sergeant*fn1 and neglect of duty.*fn2 Pursuant to Section
[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 4267]
of the Policeman's Civil Service Statute,*fn3 Lamb requested that a trial board be convened. The trial board acquitted Lamb of the charges forming the basis for the suspension. However, the Mayor of Pittsburgh refused to endorse that determination, whereupon the City appealed the trial board decision to the common pleas court pursuant to the Local Agency Law.*fn4
In Gildea v. City of Pittsburgh, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 364, 290 A.2d 878 (1972), this Court held that a police officer could not appeal a trial board decision issued under Section 7 until it had been approved by the Mayor. Where a mayor disagrees with a trial board's decision, the remedy provided in Section 7 is the prompt convening of a new trial board. Id. at 376, 290 A.2d at 88.
The City argues that Gildea does not control its remedy when the Mayor disapproves a trial board decision and, in the alternative, that the 1978 enactment of the Local Agency Law grants to it an independent right to appeal.
We believe that Gildea controls both the City's and a police officer's remedies under Section 7. In McDonough v. City of Pittsburgh, Civil Service Commission, 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 137, 139, 358 A.2d 763, 764 (1976), we stated:
[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 427]
[T]he primary purpose behind the creation of police trial boards was to insure that officers charged with disciplinary infractions or misconduct are afforded review by individuals who are intimately aware of both the environment in which a police officer must work and the high standard of conduct which is expected of police officers.
The City would frustrate this purpose if it were permitted to litigate an officer's compliance with police regulations in common pleas court. We hold that neither the City nor a police officer may appeal a Section 7 determination until there is a trial board decision approved by the Mayor.
Mayoral approval is also required for a trial board determination to be a "final" decision which is appealable under Section 752 of the Local Agency Law.*fn5
Although the Local Agency Law expanded the rights of parties to appeal local agency decisions, the act does not permit parties to prematurely raise non-final decisions. Section 751(b) of the Local Agency Law.*fn6
[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 428]
The common pleas court order is reversed. This case is remanded to the common pleas court, and it is directed to enter an order dismissing the City's appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
The Allegheny County Common Pleas Court order, No. SA 134 of 1984 dated August 7, 1984, is reversed. This case is remanded to the common pleas court, and it is directed to enter an order dismissing the City of Pittsburgh's appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
Reversed and remanded.