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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 25, 2011

Providing legal representation to public officers and employees being sued

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.

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