Statements contained in a disciplinary post-hearing brief may be considered by the appointing authority to support its conclusions
Sisco v Board of Trustees, 288 AD2d 230
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Havestraw dismissed police officer Keith Sisco after finding him guilty of disciplinary charges alleging misconduct filed against him.
Sisco appealed, contending that he had been denied a fair hearing because the Board incorporated portions of the Police Department's written post-hearing brief its determination. In effect, claimed Sisco, the inclusion of such statements indicated that the Board had ceded it decision-making powers to the Department.
The Appellate Division rejected Sisco's arguments, in effect indicating that there was nothing improper in the decision maker referring to, or including, statements set out in a post-hearing brief to support its conclusions.
The court also said that the Board's determination was supported by substantial evidence in the record, including Sisco's admissions in the related criminal charges brought against him. The court did not appear to have difficulty in allowing the use of such admissions in a subsequent administrative disciplinary action based on the same alleged acts of misconduct.Indeed, a guilty verdict in a criminal court automatically serves to establish guilt in an administrative disciplinary hearing involving the same events. In Kelly v Levin, 440 NYS2d 424, the court ruled that is a reversible error for an administrative disciplinary tribunal to acquit an employee if the individual has been found guilty of a criminal act involving the same allegations.