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BOROUGH CALIFORNIA v. ROBERT L. HORNER (11/13/89)

decided: November 13, 1989.

THE BOROUGH OF CALIFORNIA, AND THE BOROUGH OF CALIFORNIA CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, APPELLANTS,
v.
ROBERT L. HORNER, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Washington County; Honorable Thomas J. Terputac, Judge.

COUNSEL

Louann G. Zemeny, with her, D. Keith Melenyzer, Melenyzer & Tershel, Charleroi, for appellants.

Robert N. Clarke, Robert N. Clarke, P.C., Washington, for appellee.

Barry and McGinley, JJ., and Narick, Senior Judge.

Author: Narick

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 426]

The Borough of California (Borough) and the Borough's Civil Service Commission (Commission) (collectively, appellants),

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 427]

    appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County that reinstated Robert L. Horner (appellee), from April 10, 1985 through February 9, 1987, to his position as a police officer of the Borough. We affirm.

The facts are as follows. On March 27, 1985, appellee submitted a letter of resignation to the Chief of Police, Nelson Horner. Resignation was to be effective April 13, 1985. Subsequently, Chief Horner, who is also appellee's father, presented appellee's letter of resignation to the Borough Council (Council). On April 1, 1985, Council's president wrote to Jason Conaway (Conaway) apprising him of the upcoming vacancy and offering Conaway the position "[p]ending acceptance of said resignation[.] Council must fulfill its obligation in the police contract." A reply was requested within forty-eight hours.

By letter dated April 2, 1985 to Council's president, Conaway replied, "If indeed the police officer position is to be filled then I will accept the position. I will be willing to start work as soon as I am given medical clearance from my doctor."

On April 5, 1985, appellee attempted suicide with a shotgun and was hospitalized. On April 8, 1985, Chief Horner sent a letter to the Borough's mayor and Council withdrawing appellee's resignation. That same day at Council's meeting, the resignation and subsequent withdrawal of the resignation were discussed. The matter was "tabled" pending an opinion from the Borough solicitor. Appellee confirmed the withdrawal of his resignation by undated letter, received by the mayor and Council on April 10, 1985.

On May 10, 1985, Council suspended appellee indefinitely from the force without pay, pending an investigation. On May 28, 1985, Council accepted the appellee's resignation dated March 27, 1985, to be effective April 13, 1985, refusing to accept appellee's withdrawal of the resignation.

On June 3, 1985, appellee requested a hearing before the Commission in regard to his involuntary termination. The Commission declined ...


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