Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Appointing authority's decision to terminate an employee for “serious misconduct” found appropriate under the circumstances



Appointing authority's decision to terminate an employee for “serious misconduct” found appropriate under the circumstances
2013 NY Slip Op 03560, Appellate Division, First Department

A New York City police officer was served with disciplinary charges alleging that [1] he left a loaded firearm unsecured in his backpack on a desk in a library and subsequently made an unauthorized call to a witness in an investigation that followed concerning the incident and [2] made vulgar statements and exposed his genitals to an arrestee while on duty in the precinct.

New York City’s Police Commissioner determined that the officer was guilty of serious acts misconduct and terminated his employment.

The Appellate Division*sustained the Commissioner’s decision noting that the officer had admitted the allegations with respect to the firearm incident and that there was substantial evidence to support the hearing officers determination with respect to the precinct incident.

As to the Commissioner’s decision to terminate the police officer, citing Kelly v Safir, 96 NY2d 32, the Appellate Division said that “The penalty imposed does not shock the conscience since [the Commissioner] is accountable to the public for the integrity of the Department."

* Supreme Court transferred the CPLR Article 78 petition filed with it by the police officer to the Appellate Division in accordance with CPLR §7803.4.with respect to the issue of whether substantial evidence supported the administrative determination made as a result of a hearing held at which evidence was taken.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 600+ page guide to penalties imposed on public employees in New York State found guilty of selected acts of misconduct. For more information, click on http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com/

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/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions 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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