A-32978, NOVEMBER 4, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 198

A-32978: Nov 4, 1930

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COMPENSATION - DISMISSALS WHERE A CIVIL EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE WAS DISMISSED FOR HAVING FORCIBLY ENTERED A GOVERNMENT STOREROOM AND UNLAWFULLY REMOVED THEREFROM A QUANTITY OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. WHICH OTHERWISE MIGHT HAVE ACCRUED TO THE DATE OF HIS DISMISSAL. IS OF TOO DOUBTFUL VALIDITY TO WARRANT PAYMENT BY ANY ADMINISTRATIVE OR ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT. WHEREIN THERE WAS DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 16 TO DECEMBER 29. IT APPEARS YOUR APPOINTMENT IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE AS A FIREMAN LABORER AT THAT COMPENSATION WAS APPROVED MARCH 6. THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED FOR DUTY AT THE UNITED STATES COURT HOUSE AND POST OFFICE BUILDING.

A-32978, NOVEMBER 4, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 198

COMPENSATION - DISMISSALS WHERE A CIVIL EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE WAS DISMISSED FOR HAVING FORCIBLY ENTERED A GOVERNMENT STOREROOM AND UNLAWFULLY REMOVED THEREFROM A QUANTITY OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, HIS CLAIM FOR UNPAID SALARY, WHICH OTHERWISE MIGHT HAVE ACCRUED TO THE DATE OF HIS DISMISSAL, IS OF TOO DOUBTFUL VALIDITY TO WARRANT PAYMENT BY ANY ADMINISTRATIVE OR ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO PEARL E. BRIMAGE, NOVEMBER 4, 1930.

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED AN APPLICATION ON YOUR BEHALF FOR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT NO. 0288989, WHEREIN THERE WAS DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 16 TO DECEMBER 29, 1929, AS AN EMPLOYEE IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE AT THE RATE OF $1,320 PER ANNUM, LESS PROPER RETIREMENT DEDUCTION.

IT APPEARS YOUR APPOINTMENT IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE AS A FIREMAN LABORER AT THAT COMPENSATION WAS APPROVED MARCH 6, 1928, AND THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED FOR DUTY AT THE UNITED STATES COURT HOUSE AND POST OFFICE BUILDING, NORFOLK, VA., UNTIL DECEMBER 29, 1929, ON WHICH DATE YOUR DISMISSAL FROM THE UNITED STATES SERVICE BECAME EFFECTIVE. AT THE TIME OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT YOU EXECUTED AN OATH TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, TO BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME, AND TO WELL AND FAITHFULLY DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION IN WHICH YOU WERE APPOINTED. YOUR DISMISSAL WAS BY REASON THAT, WITH THE ASSISTANCE AND CONNIVANCE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES IN A POSITION SIMILAR TO YOURS, YOU HAD "FORCIBLY ENTERED" THE LIQUOR SEIZURE ROOM IN THE BASEMENT OF THE POST-OFFICE BUILDING WHERE YOU WERE EMPLOYED "AND UNLAWFULLY REMOVED A QUANTITY OF LIQUOR THEREFROM," AS TO WHICH UNLAWFUL ACTS, UPON ARRAIGNMENT, YOU PLEAD GUILTY.

THE PERIOD OF YOUR MISCONDUCT, THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY DESTROYED AND/OR PLUNDERED, AND THE DISPOSITION MADE BY YOU THEREOF, ARE NOT DISCLOSED BUT IT IS INGENIOUSLY ARGUED ON YOUR BEHALF THAT THERE IS NOT FOR APPLICATION IN YOUR PARTICULAR CASE THE SETTLED RULE THAT WHERE A CIVIL EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES HAS AVAILED HIMSELF OF HIS EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES TO APPROPRIATE TO HIS OWN PURPOSES, OR TO DESTROY, PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE UNITED STATES, OR PROPERTY OF WHICH THE UNITED STATES HAS CUSTODY, AND HAS BEEN DISMISSED ON THAT ACCOUNT, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO UNPAID COMPENSATION WHICH OTHERWISE MIGHT HAVE ACCRUED SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF THE LAST PAY PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DATE OF DISMISSAL. DECISION A- 15584, DATED MARCH 3, 1927; 7 COMP. GEN. 688; ID. 757; 9 ID. 216; ID. 449. NO REASON IS PERCEIVED WHY YOUR CLAIM SHOULD NOT BE REJECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS RULE BUT, IRRESPECTIVE OF SUCH RULE, WHICH NECESSARILY IS FOR APPLICATION BY REASON OF YOUR OATH OF EMPLOYMENT AND YOUR FIDUCIARY RELATION TO THE UNITED STATES, AND IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION AND STATUTORY LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WHICH YOU SET AT DEFIANCE BY YOUR UNLAWFUL CONDUCT, THE ACTS COMMITTED BY YOU WERE MALA IN SE AND YOUR RIGHT TO UNPAID COMPENSATION WHICH, BUT FOR SUCH ACTS, MIGHT HAVE ACCRUED, IS TOO DOUBTFUL TO WARRANT PAYMENT BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE OR ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT. LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 CT.CLS. 288; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CLS. 316.

REFINEMENTS OF LEGAL REASONING, SUCH AS HAVE BEEN ADVANCED ON YOUR BEHALF, ARE NOT PERSUASIVE THAT AN EMPLOYEE SWORN TO FAITHFULLY OBSERVE AND DEFEND HIS EMPLOYER'S INTERESTS, IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR A PERIOD DURING WHICH HE CONFESSEDLY WAS ENGAGED IN DESPOILING HIS EMPLOYER AND PLUNDERING HIS EMPLOYER'S PROPERTY TO WHICH PROPERTY HE HAD COMPARATIVELY READY ACCESS ONLY BY REASON OF THE CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM AS AN EMPLOYEE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONCEIVE ANY PRINCIPLE OF LAW OR SENSE OF JUSTICE AS COUNTENANCING A CLAIM OF SUCH AN EMPLOYEE FOR PAY AS HAVING RENDERED FAITHFUL SERVICE. YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECTLY DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT AND THAT ACTION WILL NOT BE MODIFIED.