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Brickett v. Lagay

Decided: January 31, 1946.

LOUIS F. BRICKETT, PROSECUTOR-APPELLEE,
v.
FRANK LAGAY, THEODORE K. FERRY, EDWARD P. R. MCNAMARA, JOSEPH GIULIANO, ROBERT J. NEILLEY, PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMMISSIONERS, A BODY POLITIC AND CORPORATE OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS



On appeal from the Supreme Court, whose opinion is reported in 133 N.J.L. 155.

For the prosecutor-appellee, Foley & Francis (Gerald T. Foley, of counsel).

For the respondents-appellants, Louis Auerbacher, Jr.

Freund

The opinion of the court was delivered by

FREUND, J. The prosecutor, Louis F. Brickett, was allowed a writ of certiorari to review a certain resolution of the appellants, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, dated May 22d, 1944, removing the prosecutor from his employment with the appellants, as river inspector. The Supreme Court

set aside the resolution under review and appellants appeal to this court alleging that the Supreme Court erred in setting aside said resolution.

The prosecutor is an honorably discharged veteran of the First World War and claims to have tenure by virtue of the provisions of R.S. 38:16-1, as amended, Pamph. L. 1942, ch. 83, p. 326, which provides that:

"No person now holding any employment, position or office under the government of this State, or the government of any county or municipality, including any person employed by a school board or board of education, or who may hereafter be appointed to any such employment, office or position, whose term of employment, office or position is not now fixed by law, and receiving a salary from such state, county or municipality, including any person employed by a school board or board of education, who has served as a soldier, sailor, marine or nurse, in any war of the United States * * *, and has been honorably discharged from the service of the United States, * * * shall be removed from such employment, position or office, except for good cause shown after a fair and impartial hearing, but such person shall hold his employment, position or office during good behavior, and shall not be removed for political reasons."

Prosecutor was not given a hearing, nor was cause shown for his dismissal. Prosecutor contends that he could not be removed from his employment with appellants "except for good cause shown after a fair and impartial hearing," and further maintains that he was entitled to hold his position "during good behavior."

The appellants contend that Brickett, as an employee of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, does not hold a position "under the government of this state, or the government of any county or municipality, including any person employed by a school board or board of education" and does not receive a salary "from such state, county or municipality." Vide R.S. 38:16-1. That is the determinative question.

The Supreme Court held that, since the Sewerage Commission is "an 'arm of the state' wielded for the achievement of public purposes in which ...


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