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Russo v. Walsh

Decided: August 13, 1954.

LOUIS J. RUSSO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HARRY A. WALSH, CHIEF EXAMINER AND SECRETARY OF STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, NEW JERSEY STATE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE AND WILLIAM F. KELLY, JR., PRESIDENT OF THE STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by Schettino, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).

Schettino

This is a civil action in lieu of prerogative writ brought by plaintiff, against defendant, Harry A. Walsh in his capacity as Chief Examiner and Secretary of the Civil Service Commission of New Jersey, and defendant, Kelly, as President of the Civil Service Commission of New Jersey.

The complaint has attached thereto a copy of Executive Order No. 5 issued by the Governor on June 18, 1954, suspending the plaintiff and stating that such suspension is pending hearing and determination of charges for removal as mentioned. The order reads as follows:

"Whereas, on March 18, 1954, I, Robert B. Meyner, Governor of the State of New Jersey, appointed H. Norman Schwarzkopf to examine and investigate the management and affairs of the Division of Employment Security in the Department of Labor and Industry; and

Whereas, the said H. Norman Schwarzkopf having examined and investigated the management and affairs in the said Division and having obtained evidence of the commission of acts of malfeasance and misfeasance by Louis J. Russo, during the period of his employment as Chief Examiner and Secretary of the Civil Service Commission by illegally obtained and receiving a salary of $1,000 per annum from the said Division of Employment Security; and

Whereas, the said H. Norman Schwarzkopf, as the Governor's Examiner, has prepared and filed charges and specifications alleging the said malfeasance and misfeasance in the office of the said Louis J. Russo; and

Whereas, the Governor having deemed it necessary and desirable in the public interest that the said Louis J. Russo should be suspended from his present office of Assistant Chief Examiner in said Department of Civil Service, pending the service, hearing and the determination of the charges of malfeasance and misfeasance aforesaid; It is therefore on this 18th day of June, 1954

Ordered that Louis J. Russo, Assistant Chief Examiner in the Department of Civil Service be, and he is herewith suspended from such office pending the hearing and determination of charges against him of malfeasance and misfeasance in office.

/s/ Robert B. Meyner

Governor

Dated: June 18th, 1954"

The only issue raised by the complaint is whether or not the Governor of the State of New Jersey has the power to suspend plaintiff from his position as Assistant Chief Examiner in the Department of Civil Service pending hearing and determination of charges of malfeasance and misfeasance brought against ...


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