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JAMES M. DEGORE v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ALLEGHENY COUNTY (03/23/89)

decided: March 23, 1989.

JAMES M. DEGORE, APPELLANT
v.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of James M. DeGore v. Civil Service Commission of Allegheny County, No. S.A. 2004 of 1985.

COUNSEL

George C. Entenmann, Entenmann & Shreve, for appellant.

Norman Paul Wolken, with him, Caroline Liebenguth, Assistant County Solicitor, and James J. Dodaro, County Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Barry and Palladino, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 376]

James DeGore (DeGore) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County affirming a decision of the Civil Service Commission of Allegheny County (Commission) which dismissed his appeal from his discharge by Sheriff Eugene L. Coon from his position as a deputy sheriff. We vacate and remand.

DeGore was discharged by the Sheriff on August 15, 1985, following an internal investigation of an incident which occurred on August 2, 1985. DeGore appealed his discharge to the Commission pursuant to Section 10 of the Deputy Sheriff's Act (Act), Act of May 31, 1974, P.L. 296, as amended, 16 P.S. ยง 4221.10. Following hearings on the matter the Commission dismissed DeGore's appeal. DeGore appealed the Commission's decision to the trial court which affirmed on the record from the Commission.

DeGore now appeals to this Court arguing that the trial court erred in failing to accept the additional evidence he sought to introduce. We agree with DeGore and vacate the trial court's order and remand the case to the trial court for the purpose of taking additional evidence and the entry of a new decision.

Section 10 of the Act provides in pertinent part:

(f) If the commission sustains the party who preferred the charge, the party against whom the charge was made shall have an immediate right of appeal to the court of common pleas of the county. Such appeal shall be taken within the period of ninety days from the date of entry by the commission of its final order and shall be by petition.

[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 377]

Upon such appeal being taken and docketed, the court of common pleas shall fix a day for the hearing and proceed to hear the appeal on the original record and such additional proof or testimony as the parties concerned may desire to offer in evidence. The decision of the court affirming or revising the decision of the commission shall be final and the employee shall be suspended, discharged, demoted or reinstated in accordance with the order of the court. (Emphasis added.)

We interpret the language emphasized above as providing an absolute right for the parties to present additional evidence before the trial court, which then is required to conduct ...


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