Employer’s failing to promulgate rules of conduct addressing prohibited conduct a mitigating factor in setting disciplinary penalty
NYC School Construction Authority v Ray, OATH Index # 2188/11
The New York City School Construction Authority alleged that one of its project managers purchased unapproved equipment for his own use and misusing the purchasing process.
Although the manager contended that all the purchases he made were for legitimate business use, OATH Administrative Law Judge Tynia D. Richard found that a number of the purchased items, including a notebook computer, a DVD read/write multi-recorder, an Internet radio, and a Keurig coffee maker, were purchased without authorization and for the manager’s personal benefit.
Judge Richard also found that, although all of the items remained in the work trailer, they were unreasonable purchases for administration of a city contract.
Concluding that the manager’s actions constituted serious misconduct, she recommended a 60-day suspension without pay but did not recommend termination, as sought by the agency.
Judge Richard explained that the agency had failed to adopt rules of conduct that would put project officers on notice that such acts constituted misconduct that could result in termination and the manager’s contrition showed that such rules would have deterred him from undertaking such misconduct.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/11_Cases/11-2188.pdf