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Monday, July 08, 2013

An employee of a BOCES is a State employee for the purposes Public Officers Law §17 when performing his or her duties under the supervision of the State Education Department


An employee of a BOCES is a State employee for the purposes Public Officers Law §17 when performing his or her duties under the supervision of the State Education Department
Formal Opinions of the Attorney General, 2013-F1

The Attorney General advised Richard J. Trautwein, Esq., State Education Department Counsel & Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs, that a member of the staff of a BOCES district superintendent who is serving as an integrity officer under the supervision of State Education Department is eligible for state-provided defense and indemnification in accordance with the provisions of Public Officers Law §17 in the event he or she is sued as the result of an act or an omission flowing from the performance of his or her official duties under such supervision. 

In the opinion of the Attorney General, “… an integrity officer who is a member of the district superintendent's staff also is in the service of the State when performing these duties.” Accordingly, the Attorney General explained, such personnel are eligible for defense and indemnification pursuant to Public Officers Law §17 in the event the individual is sued as the result of his or her investigating test security breaches on behalf of the State.

Subdivision 3 of §17, in pertinent part, provides that: “The state shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employees in any state or federal court, or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, or shall pay such judgment or settlement; provided, that the act or omission from which such judgment or settlement arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his public employment or duties; the duty to indemnify and save harmless or pay prescribed by this subdivision shall not arise where the injury or damage resulted from intentional wrongdoing on the part of the employee."

The text of the opinion is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/opinion/2013-f1_pw.pdf


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