September 24, 2010

Employee terminated after testing positive for drug

Employee terminated after testing positive for drug
McGovern v Safir, App. Div. First Dept., 266 AD2d 94

New York City police officer John McGovern appealed his termination from the force after testing positive for marijuana.

McGovern had been selected for a random drug test. He did not dispute the fact that he had tested positive for marijuana but explained that his “ingestion of marijuana was unknowing and involuntary.” The deputy police commissioner rejected this excuse as incredible, resulting in McGovern’s dismissal.

The Appellate Division said that the positive drug test constitute substantial evidence supporting the determination that McGovern possessed and ingested marijuana. Further, the court said that under the circumstances, “[t]he penalty of dismissal does not shock our sense of fairness.”

In another disciplinary action involving a New York City police officer, the Appellate Division upheld the officer’s termination after he was found guilty of orally and physically assaulting, without provocation, a detective he thought was involved in undercover Internal Affairs investigations [McGaughey v Safir, App. Div., First Dept., 266 AD2d 100, motion for leave to appeal denied, 94 NY2d 760.
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