ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL

March 14, 2011

Hearing officer rejects motion to seal disciplinary hearing records but redacts the name of the victim of the employee's misconduct

Hearing officer rejects motion to seal disciplinary hearing records but redacts* the name of the victim of the employee's misconduct
Fire Department v Palleschi, OATH Index #551/11

In this Civil Service Law §75 disciplinary action, an EMT Lieutenant was charged with “bringing the agency into disrepute and showing disrespect to the public.” OATH Administrative Law Judge Joan Salzman said that the Lieutenant admitted the charges “in all material respects” and that the critical issue was her recommendation to as to the appropriate penalty for such misconduct.

Judge Salzman recommended the termination of an EMS lieutenant who admitted that he had posted private and confidential patient information on his Facebook page, "where 460 of his friends could see it for their amusement."

Significantly, Judge Salzman rejected a motion made after the close of the evidence whereby the parties jointly asked to have the Administrative Law Judge “seal the entire record.”

The ALJ explained her reason as follows:

I declined, because this was a public hearing, 48 RCNY §1-49 (Lexis 2009), and there was no reason to seal the entire record. See Mosallem v. Berenson, 76 A.D.3d 345, 348-49 (1st Dep’t 2010) (“Under New York law, there is a broad presumption that the public is entitled to access to judicial proceedings and court records”; public right to access is not absolute, and confidentiality is the exception, not the rule). However, I did indicate to the parties that I was not going to identify the patient in my decision and directed them to review the transcript and exhibits and to redact her identity (meaning name, address, and phone number) from this record should it be sought for publication or filed in court. Even though that information was on the Internet, I see no reason to republish it.

* Remove or black out material in a document prior to its publication or release.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/11_Cases/11-192.pdf
..

CAUTION

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.
New York Public Personnel Law. Email: publications@nycap.rr.com