Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County in the case of Robert Polomski v. The Borough of Mount Carmel, No. CV-87-1.
Frank Robert Cori, for appellant.
Robert B. Sacavage, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 118 Pa. Commw. Page 340]
Robert Polomski appeals here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County which affirmed an adjudication of the Borough of Mount Carmel Police Civil Service Commission (Commission) upholding the removal of Polomski as an officer of the Mount Carmel Borough (Borough) Police Department. We affirm.
Polomski, a 17-year veteran of the Borough Police Department, was honorably discharged but involuntarily terminated by the Borough pursuant to the provisions of Section 1190(1) of The Borough Code (Code), Act of February 1, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1656, as amended, 53 P.S. § 46190(1), which provides that a policeman may be removed from service for "[p]hysical or mental disability affecting his ability to continue in service. . . ."
Apparently there is no dispute concerning the underlying facts. On January 7, 1984, Polomski, without advance warning, suffered a grand mal seizure for which he was hospitalized. Although he completely recovered
[ 118 Pa. Commw. Page 341]
from that attack, his physician prescribed the drug Dilantin which Polomski was to take daily, and recommended that Polomski have a regular sleeping and eating schedule. Polomski takes the medication before retiring at night. One of the side effects of the medication is that it induces sleep and drowsiness.
Evidently the Borough officials were not fully aware of Polomski's illness and its effects until a hearing was held in Harrisburg before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in May of 1986 on a matter unrelated to the case now before us.*fn1 At that hearing, Polomski testified regarding his illness and his medication. Thereafter the Borough officials immediately conducted an investigation of the matter and concluded that Polomski should be removed because of physical disability.
Polomski has not suffered a recurrence of the seizure. He has performed his duty as a police officer without incident since returning to service. He continues to take Dilantin and he has seen Dr. Carlson, a neurologist at Geisinger Medical Center, approximately every six months since the seizure occurred.
Dr. Carlson testified that in his opinion Polomski can fulfill his duties at work provided that he keeps a regular schedule and takes his medication regularly. It was the doctor's opinion that Polomski's chances of having another seizure, as long as he is on medication and gets his regular rest, are "very, very low." The physician further opined that although Dilantin would not cure the ...