September 15, 2010

Appealing a Disciplinary Action

Appealing a Disciplinary Action
Podszus v Mt. Vernon, App Div, 246 AD2d 548

The Podszus case demonstrates the importance of selecting the correct forum to hear an appeal.

The Commissioner of Public Safety found William Podszus, a City of Mount Vernon police officer, guilty of charges of insubordination and malicious gossip and imposed as the penalty of the forfeiture of 10 days of pay. Podszus filed an Article 78 action in State Supreme Court challenging both the evidentiary basis for the Commissioner's determination and the penalty imposed. This proved to be the wrong court for such an appeal.

The Appellate Division said that Section 120 of the City's Charter provided that the exclusive vehicle for a police officer seeking review of a determination of the Commissioner is a direct appeal to the Appellate Division within 30 days following the Commissioner's decision.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeal as the Supreme Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to consider Podszus' petition nor authority to transfer it to the Appellate Division.

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If you are interested in learning more about disciplinary procedures involving public officers and employees, please click here: http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

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