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Friday, July 05, 2013

A $12,500 fine imposed as the disciplinary penalty held shocking to one's sense of fairness and reduced to $1,250


A $12,500 fine imposed as the disciplinary penalty held shocking to one's sense of fairness and reduced to $1,250
2013 NY Slip Op 04278, Appellate Division, First Department

An arbitrator found a New York City Department of Education teacher guilty certain charges filed against her pursuant to Education Law §3020-a and imposed a fine of $12,500.

Supreme Court denied the teacher’s CPLR Article 75 petition* seeking to vacate the award and confirmed the arbitrator’s decision and penalty imposed. The teacher appealed.

The Appellate Division modified the Supreme Court’s ruling “on the law” only as to the fine imposed, reducing the fine to $1,250. 

The court said that the arbitrator found that the teacher was negligent in dealing with a stray kitten in her backyard rather than guilty of “intentional misconduct” as charged by the Department. Further, the arbitrator found that the teacher had “a 15 year unblemished record” and the conduct for which she was charged was completely unrelated to her professional work.

The Appellate Division found that the fine imposed, $12,500, was so “disproportionate to the offense, in the light of all the circumstances, as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness” and reduce it accordingly.

The decision is posted on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_04278.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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