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ALLEGHENY HOUSING REHABILITATION CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/24/89)

decided: April 24, 1989.

ALLEGHENY HOUSING REHABILITATION CORPORATION, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, in the case of Faith L. Hodge v. Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, No. E-14987.

COUNSEL

James Anthony Prozzi, with him, Stanley M. Stein, Feldstein, Grinberg, Stein & McKee, for petitioner.

Vincent A. Ciccone, with him, Diane Blancett-Maddock, and Elisabeth S. Shuster, for respondent.

Judges Colins and McGinley, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 345]

Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (AHRC) appeals the July 7, 1988 final order of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (Commission), which adopted the June 16, 1988 recommendation of the Hearing Examiner, who found that AHRC violated Section 5(a) of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act*fn1 (Act) in terminating Faith L. Hodge's (Hodge) employment as a security manager.

Issues presented for review are whether the Commission erred in failing to hold an additional evidentiary hearing and in entering a substantially similar order as that originally issued after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court remanded this matter and stated, inter alia, that the record was "woefully inadequate"; and whether the

[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 346]

Commission erred in permitting a Hearing Examiner, who was not present at the public hearing, to assess the credibility of witnesses and formulate new findings on the basis of a cold record. Since we must remand on the first issue, we do not reach the second.

AHRC, a limited profit corporation that manages non-profit and low-income housing developments, served as management agent of Second East Hills Park (Housing Development), a Pittsburgh housing development, for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD operated the Housing Development as mortgagee-in-possession upon the owner's default.

HUD regulations required AHRC to provide security services for the Housing Development within HUD-imposed budgetary constraints. AHRC thus elicited several bids from security firms but rejected them as too high and thereafter hired individuals as independent contractors to serve as security guards for the Housing Development.*fn2

In mid-August 1978, Hodge was hired as a security guard for the Housing Development by AHRC's resident manager and, within one month, was promoted to security manager.*fn3 By letter dated November 2, 1978, ...


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