ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL

June 23, 2013

Introduction of evidence of a finding of guilt in a prior disciplinary action in the course of a disciplinary hearing

Introduction of evidence of a finding of guilt in a prior disciplinary action in the course of a disciplinary hearing
OATH Index No. 300/13*

As a general rule, evidence of prior disciplinary action taken against an employee may not be admitted at his or her disciplinary hearing to show that the employee “has a propensity to commit the charged misconduct.”

In this case, where the employee was charged with threatening and assaulting a supervisor, OATH Administrative Law Judge Faye Lewis admitted evidence that the employee had earlier pled guilty to prior charges of time and leave violations for the purpose of impeaching or rebutting the employee’s claim that he his supervisor was “scapegoating” him for “non-existent time and leave issues.”

ALJ Lewis noted that there is an exception to the rule barring the introduction of evidence of  “prior disciplinary action” taken against the individual. Such evidence may be may be admitted and considered when [1] it is offered for a different reason or another purpose; [2] where prior violations have independent relevance and [3] the fact-finder is an attorney or a judge trained to consider potentially prejudicial evidence introduced for limited purposes.

Judge Lewis also observed that “four different sets of charges, each with multiple specifications,” were served on the employee. Some of the charges, said the ALJ, were duplicative in that they alleged the same misconduct while citing an alleged violation of  a different rule.

Such duplicative pleadings are “confusing and verbose” said the ALJ. The better practice is to plead misconduct as “a single factual allegation, with citation to the agency rules that are alleged to have been violated

* The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/13_Cases/13-300.pdf

CAUTION

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
Copyright 2009-2024 - Public Employment Law Press. Email: n467fl@gmail.com