Skip to code content (skip section selection)
If any officer or employee of the City shall wilfully refuse or fail to appear before any court, or before the Council or any committee thereof, or before any officer, department, board, commission or body authorized to conduct any hearing or inquiry, or having appeared, shall refuse to testify or to answer any question relating to the affairs or government of the City or the conduct of any City officer or employee on the ground that his testimony or answers would tend to incriminate him, or shall refuse to waive immunity from prosecution on account of any matter about which he may be asked to testify before such court or at any such hearing or inquiry, he shall forfeit his office or position, and shall not be eligible thereafter for appointment to any position in the City service.
Sources: Cf. Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article III, Section 32, Article VII, Section 1. A Model State Civil Service Law, Section 18.
Purposes: Neither the holding of a City office nor City employment are constitutionally guaranteed rights; they constitute privileges in return for which the City may exact reasonable obligations such as loyalty, trust and confidence. It would be incongruous to permit one holding a City office or position to obstruct any official inquiry, investigation or examination relating to the affairs of the City government or to the conduct of any City officer or employee on the ground of his personal right against self-incrimination. Under such circumstances the City cannot compel him to waive his constitutionally protected right but it may refuse him the privilege of holding office or employment under it.