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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Court directs the reopening of the disciplinary hearing after finding that a key witness recanted the testimony he gave at the hearing

Court directs the reopening of the disciplinary hearing after finding that a key witness recanted the testimony he gave at the hearing
Matter of Alarcon v Board of Educ. of S. Orangetown Cent. School Dist., 2011 NY Slip Op 05055, Appellate Division, Second Department

The Board of Education of the South Orangetown Central School District adopted the findings and recommendation of the disciplinary hearing officer who found Marco Alarcon guilty of certain charges of misconduct and incompetence, and terminated Alarcon's employment. 

Alarcon appealed and the Appellate Division annulled the Board’s determination on the law and remitted the matter to the Board “for a hearing at which the evidence of recantation of testimony by witness” against Alarcon is to be received and considered and a new determination made.

The Appellate Division found that the hearing officer's recommendation was largely based upon the testimony of the eyewitness, one Ramon Reyes, who, after testifying, but prior to the issuance of the hearing officer's report and recommendation, recanted his testimony.

Reyes alleged, in a sworn affidavit, that the testimony he had given at the disciplinary hearing was false and that he gave such false testimony because his supervisor directed him to lie.

The court said that under the circumstances Alarcon should be given the opportunity to recall Reyes to testify and directed that the Board receive “this newly discovered evidence” and make a new determination thereafter.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2011/2011_05055.htm

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/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances 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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