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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 4, 2011

Judicial review of a disciplinary action

Judicial review of a disciplinary action
Horgan v Safir, 273 AD2d 135; Motion for leave to appeal denied, 95 NY2d 765

A court’s review of an administrative decision following a hearing is significantly more limited than would be the case when a higher court considers an appeal from a trial court’s ruling. This limitation proved critical in the Appellate Division, First Department’s consideration of the Horgan case.

New York City police officer John Horgan was found guilty of using discourteous and disrespectful remarks concerning race following an administrative disciplinary hearing. The penalty imposed: forfeiture of 20 days of vacation. Horgan appealed the Police Commissioner’s determination.

The Appellate Division dismissed Horgan’s appeal. The court, however, specifically commented that it had to dismiss the appeal despite the fact that if the Commissioner’s determination was reviewed under the standards applicable to a trial court decision, it would have been disposed to annul it as against the weight of the credible evidence.

The Appellate Division said that courts have very limited review powers over administrative agency determinations. Accordingly, it said that it was constrained to confirm [the Commissioner’s] findings in the disciplinary hearing, citing Berenhaus v Ward, 70 NY2d 436.

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