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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at forward.ny.gov.

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

June 7, 2012

Police officer dismissed after being found guilty of serving as an active volunteer firefighter while on GML §207-c leave

Police officer dismissed after being found guilty of serving as an active volunteer firefighter while on GML §207-c leave
Kaufman v Wells, 56 AD3d 674

A disciplinary hearing officer found Steve Kaufman guilty of 42 of 122 specifications of misconduct filed against him, which ultimately resulted in Kaufman’s being terminated from his position with the Town of New Castle Police Department.

New Castle, among other things, charged that Kaufman, while on leave pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-c, participated in activities as a volunteer firefighter “which demonstrated his ability to work a light-duty assignment for the police department.”

Kaufman filed an Article 78 action to review New Castle’s determination.

The Appellate Division said that "Judicial review of an administrative determination made after a hearing required by law, and at which evidence was taken, is limited to whether that determination is supported by substantial evidence."

In this instance the court found that the Town Board's determination that Kaufman was guilty of the specified acts of misconduct was supported by substantial evidence.

In addition, said the court, "[a]n administrative penalty must be upheld unless it is so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness,' thus constituting an abuse of discretion as a matter of law," citing Kreisler v New York City Transit Authority, 2 NY3d 775.”

The Appellate Division concluded that ”Considering the repeated and numerous acts of misconduct, and the serious nature of the acts, it cannot be concluded, as a matter of law, that the penalty of [termination] shocks the judicial conscience."

Finally, the court said that “there is substantial evidence in the record to support the hearing officer's determination” that the disciplinary charges were not preferred against Kaufman in retaliation for his commencement of a civil action against the Town and members of the police department.

The full text of the decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_09082.htm

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General Municipal Law§§ 207-a and 207-c- a 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder is available from the Public Employment Law Press. Click on http://section207.blogspot.com/for additional information about this electronic reference manual.

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Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on https://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html