05Dec 2014

Partner, Robyn McGrath, obtained summary judgment in an action by a ranking police officer seeking an order of mandamus directing a Pennsylvania municipality to restore him to a higher rank. The officer had been Chief of Police but was demoted when a new mayor was elected. The officer argued that, under the Pennsylvania statutory scheme, he was entitled to a rank no lower than that of Deputy Chief of Police.

The case presented a novel theory, as no prior Pennsylvania cases had decided the issue. The court agreed with the defense argument that the Third Class City Code and the civil service system rendered the statute relied upon by plaintiff inapplicable. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants.