Providing legal representation to public officers and employees being sued
Vitucci v City of New York, 272 AD2d 620
A New York City employee, Jacqueline Vitucci, was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit. He asked Corporation Counsel to defend him in accordance with Section 50-k of the General Municipal Law.
Like similar representation provisions, Section 50-k(2) requires the Corporation Counsel to defend municipal employees in civil actions which the corporation counsel finds occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his [or her] public employment and in the discharge of his duties and was not in violation of any rule or regulation of his [or her] agency at the time the alleged act or omission occurred.
When Vitucci’s request was denied, he filed a petition seeking a court order requiring the Corporation Counsel to defend him. The Appellate Division sustained a lower court ruling dismissing his petition.
The court’s rationale: Whether an employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment and is entitled to legal representation must be determined in the first instance by the Corporation Counsel, whose determination may be set aside only if it lacks a factual basis, and in that sense, is arbitrary and capricious.
The court said that the report prepared by the Special Commissioner for Investigation for the New York City School District provided the Corporation Counsel with a sufficient factual basis to determine that the acts allegedly committed by Vitucci were not within the scope of his employment.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
Copyright 2009-2024 - Public Employment Law Press. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.