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Monday, May 07, 2012

An appointing authority has broad discretion in determining if an omission in the probationer’s application form is material to his or her qualifications for the position


An appointing authority has broad discretion in determining if an omission in the probationer’s application form is material to his or her qualifications for the position

The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed a Supreme Court ruling that dismissed a probationary police officer’s challenge to his termination during his probationary period.

The court said that the appointing authority was “entitled to discharge a probationary police officer ‘for almost any reason, or for no reason at all' as long as it is not in bad faith or for an improper or impermissible reason," citing Duncan v Kelly, 9 NY3d 1024.

The probationer alleged that he was terminated because of his “inadvertent” failure to disclose the psychological treatment he underwent at the age of six. The Appellate Division held that even if the probationer was "ignorant or unaware of or oblivious to his personal history,” the appointing authority was entitled, given the broad discretion vested in it, to deem "such omissions a[s] material to his qualifications."

Citing Talamo v Murphy, 38 NY2d 637, the decision notes that even assuming the truth of the probationer's allegations, his petition failed to allege any facts that would, if proven to be true, constituted a violation of "statute or policies established by decisional law."

As the probationer failed to allege facts supporting a conclusion that his termination was in bad faith, the Appellate Division ruled that “Given this failure, a hearing to resolve the truth of the facts alleged is unnecessary.”

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_03516.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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