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December 9, 2011

That no injury resulted from a school bus driver's unsafe acts does not diminished the severity of the employee's misconduct

That no injury resulted from a school bus driver's unsafe acts does not diminished the severity of the employee's misconduct
Ronkese v. Highland Central School District, 82 A.D.2d 1011

A school bus driver was disciplined pursuant to Section 75 of the Civil Service Law for unsafe driving.

Found guilty of seven incidents of unsafe driving, the employee was dismissed.

On appeal the Appellate Division held repetition of unsafe acts endangering the safety of school children cannot be diminished because no accident or injury occurred.

The decision noted that Ronkese had received a number of reprimands for such conduct previously and the punishment was not shocking to one’s sense of fairness.

The driver’s claim that the Section 75 determination was based on a large measure of hearsay evidence was rejected as compliance with the technical rules of evidence was not mandated by Section 75. The court then determined that the record contained sufficient evidence to support the appointing authority’s determination.

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