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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

January 10, 2011

Concealing misconduct may result in a hasher penalty than might otherwise be imposed

Concealing misconduct may result in a hasher penalty than might otherwise be imposed
Application of Gonzalez, 273 AD2d 140

The lesson in the Gonzalez case is that an employee’s efforts to suppress his or her misconduct may result in a harsher penalty than might otherwise be imposed.

The Appellate Division, First Department, sustained the dismissal of New York City police officer Antonio Gonzalez after he was found guilty of wrongfully discharged his firearm and thereafter lying about the event and attempting to conceal evidence of his misconduct. Citing Berenhaus v Ward, 70 NY2d 436, the court said that under the circumstances, “[t]he penalty of dismissal does not shock our sense of fairness.”

In La Chance v Erickson, 522 US 262, the US Supreme Court said that federal employees being investigated for alleged employment-related misconduct who knowingly give false answers to the investigators may be given stiffer penalties than might otherwise be imposed on them for such misconduct.

The court said that “an individual may decline to answer the question, or answer it honestly, but he [or she] cannot with impunity knowingly and willfully answer with a falsehood.”

As to a Fifth Amendment defense in such cases, in Brogan v United States, 522 US 398, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a former union official who falsely answered a federal investigator’s questions. The Court held that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination does not bar prosecuting an individual who answers questions falsely in contrast to his or her refusing to answer the same inquiries.

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. For more information click on

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

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on