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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Court permits tape-recorded statements provided by informants to be admitted into evidence in an administrative disciplinary hearing

Court permits tape-recorded statements provided by informants to be admitted into evidence in an administrative disciplinary hearing
Matter of Safir, 261 AD2d 153

A police officer was dismissed from his position after he was found guilty of conspiring with a “chop shop owner” to have at least one car stolen on his behalf. The evidence presented against the officer consisted of the testimony of the investigating officers and a tape recording containing statements by three informants.

The police officer challenged his termination, contending that the police commissioner’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence. The Appellate Division disagreed, holding that the record made during the disciplinary proceeding contained substantial evidence of the officer's guilt of the charges filed against him.

The court said that the tape-recorded statements, although hearsay, were properly received as part of the evidence against the officer. The decision noted that the reliability of the informants’ statements was corroborated by their internal consistency, by facts disclosed in the investigation and, in part, by the officer’s own testimony.
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