On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Middlesex County.
Fritz, Gaulkin and Long. The opinion of the court was delivered by Fritz, P.J.A.D.
Robert Pawlyzyn and his union appeal from the dismissal by the trial judge of their complaint to compel arbitration in the matter of the termination of Pawlyzyn. We affirm, noting especially that we have only considered issues raised by the parties. Cannon v. Krakowitch, 54 N.J. Super. 93, 96 (App.Div.1959).
Pawlyzyn was a toll collector for defendant New Jersey Turnpike Authority (Authority). Upon a discovery of his possession of cash drawer money he had reported missing he was first suspended and later discharged. As a part of a plea bargain Pawlyzyn pleaded guilty to one count of a two-count indictment charging him with violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9, theft by failure to make required disposition of property received.*fn1 Although arbitration had been scheduled prior to the entry of the plea, it had been adjourned and had not been undertaken at the time the plea was entered. Following the plea, the Authority rejected requests for arbitration. This action resulted.
On the return date of the order to show cause, the trial judge announced his satisfaction respecting the applicability of N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2, opining that ". . . the penalty prescribed in 2C:51-2 is appropriately applied in all these circumstances to the employees and all office and position holders of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The Statute applies to them. The Authority therefore had to fire the employee, and there is no occasion for arbitration." Consistently with this view, he dismissed the complaint.
Expressed in eight points in their brief, plaintiffs' appeal focuses wholly on issues respecting the applicability of N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2. In pertinent part this disenfranchises a person from
holding any public office, position, or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof, who is convicted of an offense . . . if:
He is convicted under the laws of this State of an offense involving dishonesty or of a crime of the third degree or above or under the laws of another state or of the United States of an offense or a crime which, if committed in this State, would be such an offense or crime;
He is convicted of an offense involving or touching such office, position or employment; . . . .
Plaintiffs argue that neither the Authority nor the individual plaintiff is included within the identified classes. They insist that the statute is "too vague for enforcement . . . since said statute fails to define with sufficient clarity that class of persons who are amenable thereto and included therein." They suggest that there are no compelling public policy reasons for the inclusion within the statutory ambit of such as Pawlyzyn. They ask this court to deny enforcement of the statute in any event "since such penal provision violates the property and liberty interests of Pawlyzyn as created by the collective bargaining agreement." We find none of this persuasive.
Plaintiffs argue, not without superficial appeal, that Garden State Pky. Emp. v. N.J. Highway Auth., 105 N.J. Super. 168 (App.Div.1969) stands for the proposition that in statutes such as the one here in question, reference to state agencies does not ...