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Friday, April 25, 2014

Civil Service Commission's decision in an appeal to the employer's disciplinary determination is reviewable by the court


Civil Service Commission's decision in an appeal to the employer's disciplinary determination is reviewable by the court
City School District of Lockport v. Cappola, 83 A.D.2d 751, motion for leave to appeal denied, 57 N.Y.2d 607

An employee appealed the employer’s finding that the individual was guilty of certain disciplinary charges it filed against the worker pursuant to §75 of the Civil Service Law and the penalty it imposed, suspension without pay for two days, to the Civil Service Commission as provided by §76.1 of the Civil Service Law.

§76.1, in pertinent part, provides as follows:  “Any officer or employee believing himself aggrieved by a penalty or punishment of demotion in or dismissal from the service, or suspension without pay, or a fine, or an official reprimand, unaccompanied by a remittance of said officer or employee's prehearing suspension without pay, imposed pursuant to the provisions of section seventy-five of this chapter, may appeal from such determination either by an application to the state or municipal commission having jurisdiction, or by an application to the court in accordance with the provisions of article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.”

The Commission vacated the employer’s determination, ruling that there was insufficient evidence in the record to support the findings of the hearing officer.

The Employer appealed the Commission’s determination.

Noting that although the text of the Civil Service Law §76.3 states, in pertinent part, “The decision of such [state or municipal] civil service commission shall be final and conclusive, and not subject to further review in any court.” the Appellate Division ruled that the Commission’s decision was, indeed, reviewable by the court, explaining that “Despite the language which seems to preclude judicial review, a CPLR article 78 proceeding will lie where it is alleged that the Commission's decision was ‘purely arbitrary’ or where the penalty imposed by the Commission is challenged as an abuse of discretion.”

The court then sustained the Commission’s decision as reasonable.

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Electronic books [e-books] focusing on New York State and Municipal Public Personnel Law:

The Discipline Book, - a concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State. A 1900+ page e-book. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - a 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 600+ page guide to penalties imposed on public employees in New York State found guilty of selected acts of misconduct. For more information, click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html

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