The opinion of the court was delivered by: (judge Caputo)
Presently before the Court is Motion For Summary Judgment on Behalf of Defendants, County of Carbon, Pennsylvania a/k/a Carbon County Board of Commissioners, Tom C. Gerhard, and Wayne E. Nothstein (Doc. 35). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Defendant's motion. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
In 1996, Plaintiff Robert T. Yurchak was appointed by a Democratic majority Board of Commissioners to the position of Chief Public Defender for Carbon County ("Chief PD"). (Doc. 1, ¶ 13.) Plaintiff is a Registered Democrat. (Doc. 1, ¶ 23; Doc. 36, ¶ 34.) Defendants Tom C. Gerhard and Wayne E. Nothstein, as well as Charles W. Getz, were Carbon County Commissioners at the relevant time. Plaintiff alleges that the Carbon County Board of Commissioners terminated him from his position as Chief PD solely for political reasons on January 7, 2002.
Defendants have submitted evidence that as Chief PD, Plaintiff's job description included:
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF JOB:
1. Supervises office staff and operation of Public Defender's office.
2. Counsels and advises public defenders in handling of cases.
3. Prepares department budget and supervises expenditures.
4. Manages caseload and represents those clients at hearings, pre-trial, pleas, bail, trial sentencing, etc. and carries out other duties of a lawyer.
5. Makes departmental policies and procedures.
6. Makes referrals on misdirected requests for assistance.
7. Conducts monthly staff meetings.
8. Performs performance evaluations for staff personnel and supervises other personnel issues. Interviews and recommends the hiring of departmental personnel.
9. Prepares reports and inquiries for Commissioners and Courts.
10. Provides the County and general public with information on the function of the office.
2. Serves on Committees and Task forces ...