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January 04, 2011

Reinstatement to his or her former position and salary grade after a disciplinary demotion constitutes all the relief to which an employee is entitled

Reinstatement to his or her former position and salary grade after a disciplinary demotion constitutes all the relief to which an employee is entitled
Matter of Neeley v Town of Colonie, 2010 NY Slip Op 09606, Appellate Division, Third Department

William Neeley was appointed to the position of Public Works Operation Supervisor in 1998, while Thomas Romano was appointed to the position of Highway Maintenance Supervisor in 2005.

Both Neeley and Romano worked for the Town of Colonie Department of Public Works and both were suspended from their respective positions in July 2008 pending the resolution of certain disciplinary charges that had been filed against them.

Found guilty of misconduct, the penalty imposed on both Neeley and Romano was demotion in title and grade.

Neeley and Romano appealed to the Town's personnel officer and ultimately their respective demotions were rescinded and a new penalty - suspension without pay for 30 days - was imposed on each.

Although Neeley and Romano were reinstated to their titles, grades and salaries, they appealed contending that certain of their former duties had been curtailed and, therefore, they had been subject to a de facto demotion.

Supreme Court dismissed their Article 78 petition as moot and the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s action.

The Appellate Division said that as it was “undisputed” that both Neeley and Romano had been restored to their original titles, grades and salaries in compliance with the decision issued by the Town's personnel officer, they had received “all the relief to which they were entitled.”

Accordingly, said the court, Supreme Court’s dismissal of their petition as moot was correct.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_09606.htm

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