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BROWNING: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 27. YOU FILED CLAIM FOR AND WERE ENTITLED TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR THREE DAYS' TRAVEL TIME IN THE SUM OF $63.58. THIS AMOUNT WAS APPLIED TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS OF $2. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT SINCE YOU WERE PAID BY A HOSPITAL WHICH WAS SUPPORTED BY MUNICIPAL FUNDS YOUR CASE COMES WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF 18 U.S.C. SINCE YOU WERE PAID FROM COUNTY FUNDS YOUR CASE WOULD APPEAR TO COME WITHIN THE EXCEPTION IN THE STATUTE. THAT MEANS SIMPLY THAT YOU ARE NOT SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. THAT STATUTE OR ITS APPLICABILITY TO YOUR CASE DOES NOT AFFECT THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES TO COLLECT IN A CIVIL ACTION MONEYS WHICH YOU RECEIVED FROM THE HOSPITAL WHILE YOU WERE AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AND RECEIVED PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS SUCH AN OFFICER.

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B-129272, OCT. 12, 1956

TO DR. GEORGE G. BROWNING:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 27, 1956, CONCERNING YOUR REPORTED INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,404.30, REPRESENTING THE BALANCE OF THE AMOUNT RECEIVED BY YOU FROM THE WAYNE COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL AND INFIRMARY, ELOISE, MICHIGAN, WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE NAVAL RESERVE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DURING YOUR TOUR OF DUTY AS AN INTERN AT THE WAYNE COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL AND INFIRMARY, ELOISE, MICHIGAN, FROM JULY 13, 1949, TO JUNE 30, 1950, THE HOSPITAL FURNISHED YOU SUBSISTENCE IN KIND AND, IN ADDITION, PAID YOU A STIPEND OF $2,467.88. UPON YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND ARRIVAL HOME, YOU FILED CLAIM FOR AND WERE ENTITLED TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR THREE DAYS' TRAVEL TIME IN THE SUM OF $63.58. THIS AMOUNT WAS APPLIED TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS OF $2,467.88, LEAVING A BALANCE OF $2,404.30 DUE THE UNITED STATES.

IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT SINCE YOU WERE PAID BY A HOSPITAL WHICH WAS SUPPORTED BY MUNICIPAL FUNDS YOUR CASE COMES WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF 18 U.S.C., SUPP. 11, 1914 (ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, 62 STAT. 793). THIS STATUTE MAKES IT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO RECEIVE ANY SALARY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS SERVICES FROM ANY SOURCE OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT EXCEPT AS MAY BE CONTRIBUTED OUT OF THE TREASURY OF ANY STATE, COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY. SINCE YOU WERE PAID FROM COUNTY FUNDS YOUR CASE WOULD APPEAR TO COME WITHIN THE EXCEPTION IN THE STATUTE. THAT MEANS SIMPLY THAT YOU ARE NOT SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. HOWEVER, THAT STATUTE OR ITS APPLICABILITY TO YOUR CASE DOES NOT AFFECT THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES TO COLLECT IN A CIVIL ACTION MONEYS WHICH YOU RECEIVED FROM THE HOSPITAL WHILE YOU WERE AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AND RECEIVED PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS SUCH AN OFFICER. THE AMOUNTS WHICH YOU RECEIVED FROM THE HOSPITAL WERE, IN EFFECT, RECEIVED FOR THE UNITED STATES. THIS IS BASED ON THE WELL ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE OF LAW THAT THE EARNINGS OF AN EMPLOYEE IN EXCESS OF HIS REGULAR COMPENSATION GAINED IN THE COURSE OF, OR IN CONNECTION WITH, HIS SERVICES BELONG TO THE EMPLOYER. SEE VAN MOY V. WILLIS, 14 SO.2D 185; CONNELLY V. SPECIAL ROAD AND BRIDGE DISTRICT NO. 5, 126 SO. 794.

YOU ALSO CONTEND THAT THE NAVY ADVISED YOU THAT YOU COULD DRAW PAY FROM BOTH THE HOSPITAL AND THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE LIABILITY FOR SUCH PAYMENT RESTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT. WHILE WE DO NOT QUESTION THAT YOU MAY HAVE RECEIVED SUCH INFORMATION FROM A GOVERNMENT OFFICER, THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE BOUND BY THE NEGLIGENT OR ERRONEOUS ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS OR AGENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING. SEE ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE AGAIN REQUESTED TO MAKE PROMPT PAYMENT OF YOUR DEBT BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDERS PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON, D.C. ..END :

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