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December 2, 2011

Criminal conviction requires finding of guilt in administrative disciplinary proceeding


Criminal conviction requires finding of guilt in administrative disciplinary proceeding
Kelly v. Levin, 440 NYS2d 424

A school business administrator was charged with larcenies of school funds and bringing discredit upon the school district.

The Education Law Section 3020-a disciplinary panel found the administrator guilty of the charge of bringing discredit upon the district, but not guilty of the larceny charges.

Kelly, however, had been convicted of two counts of grand larceny for theft of school property prior to being charged under Section 3020-a (see People v. Kelly, 72 AD2d 670).

The court held that the fact that the administrator had committed two larcenies of school property was conclusively established under the doctrine of collateral estoppel. As the hearing panel’s decision was based on a finding of guilt of “bringing discredit” charge only, the matter was remitted after the Court reversed the panel’s finding of not guilty of the charges and remanded the matter to the panel for it’s reconsideration of the appropriate penalty to be imposed.

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