Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Thomas R. Roth v. Borough of Verona; William A. Futules, Mayor et al., No. SA 357 of 1984.
Barbara Ann Mohajery, with her, Bruce D. Campbell, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck, for appellant.
August C. Damian, Damian & DeLuca, for appellees.
Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 551]
Thomas R. Roth (Appellant) is before our Court for the second time, seeking reinstatement as a permanent police officer with the Borough of Verona (Borough). This time Appellant appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which remanded his case against the Borough to the Council of the Borough of Verona (Council) for further proceedings and from that court's order denying Appellant's petition for reconsideration and clarification of the prior order.*fn1
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 552]
Because we have already discussed the factual background of this case in a prior appeal, see Roth v. Borough Page 552} of Verona (Roth I), 74 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 352, 460 A.2d 379 (1983), we will limit our discussion of the facts in this appeal to those which are necessary to our decision.
Appellant was appointed as a probationary police officer with the Borough on September 12, 1978. On March 6, 1980, at the end of his probationary period, Appellant was informed that he would not be given permanent status and was terminated. The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denied Appellant's request for mandamus seeking appointment as a permanent officer and his appeal of the termination under the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. §§ 551-555, 751-754. Appellant appealed to this Court and an order was filed May 17, 1983. See Roth I.
In Roth I, we concluded that Appellant had not demonstrated a clear right to a permanent police officer's position by reason of the Council's extension of his probationary period and, therefore, he was not entitled to mandamus relief. We also held that Appellant, for the purpose of determining whether the Council had correctly determined that he was unqualified for a permanent appointment, had not been granted the procedural protection of the Local Agency Law to which he was entitled because he had a property interest in his employment. We specifically found that Appellant had not been afforded reasonable notice of his Council hearings or an opportunity to be heard and that therefore the Council's adjudication was invalid. Roth I, 74 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. at 359, 460 A.2d at 383, citing Section 553 of the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 553. We remanded the matter to the court of common pleas so that the procedural defects could be corrected whereupon the trial court remanded it to the Council for a new hearing.
As a result of the new hearing, in which Appellant did not participate because he insisted he had not been
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 553]
given adequate notice of the charges against him, the Council decided that Appellant was not qualified to be a permanent police officer. Arguing that the Council's decision had unconstitutionally deprived him of due process and that the requirements of the Local Agency Law had not been complied with, Appellant appealed once again to the court ...