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May 10, 2011

The court’s fact-review power of an administrative agency's determination is limited to whether substantial evidence supports the determination

The court’s fact-review power of an administrative agency's determination is limited to whether substantial evidence supports the determination 
Matter of Jenkins v Israel, 2011 NY Slip Op 03604, Appellate Division, Second Department

The Westchester Medical Center filed disciplinary charges against Lisa Jenkins alleging insubordination and misconduct pursuant to §75 of the Civil Service Law. The disciplinary hearing officer found Jenkins guilty of the charges and Westchester adopted the hearing officer’s findings. It then imposed the penalty of dismissal and terminated her employment as a nursing aide.

In response to Jenkin’s appeal challenging her termination, the Appellate Division said that its fact-review powers of an administrative agency determination “are limited to whether substantial evidence supports the determination"
In this instance the court found that there was substantial evidence in the record to support a finding that Jenkins committed insubordination and misconduct.

Further, said the Appellate Division, “we cannot conclude that the penalty of dismissal imposed by the hospital was ‘so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness’ so as to constitute an abuse of discretion as a matter of law,” citing Matter of Kelly v Safir, 96 NY2d at 32.

The decision is posted on the Internet at: 

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