Thursday, April 28, 2011

Appointing authority may reject a proposed disciplinary settlement

Appointing authority may reject a proposed disciplinary settlement
Tetro v Safir, App. Div., First Dept

It is not uncommon for an employee to offer to, or to agree to, “settle” disciplinary charges that have been filed against him or her.

Is the appointing officer bound to accept the “negotiated settlement?” Not necessarily, as the Tetro decision by the Appellate Division demonstrates.

In Tetro, the Appellate Division affirmed the appointing authority’s rejection of the terms of the settlement of a disciplinary action previously agreed to by the employee and impose a harsher penalty -- termination -- upon the individual.

Anthony Tetro, a New York City police officer, was dismissed from his position after he was found guilty of giving “false testimony at the criminal trial of a former police officer.”

Tetro testified that his partner discovered a gun in their patrol car while he was removing a prisoner from the vehicle.

The evidence showed that Tetro and his partner failed to check underneath the back seat of the patrol car and that other police officers later found the weapon.

Tetro had “negotiated a plea agreement” in order to settle the disciplinary charges filed against him but the Commissioner rejected it and decided that the appropriate penalty to impose was dismissal from the department.

The Appellate Division ruled that Tetro’s “contract rights were not violated” when the Commissioner declined to accept the settlement agreement and imposed a different penalty. The court cited Silverman v McGuire, 51 NY2d 228, in support of its ruling.


Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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