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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/

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 http://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. For more information click on

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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


General Municipal Law §§207-a and 207-c - Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder. For more information click on

http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html


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