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Friday, August 16, 2013

Hearsay evidence coupled with nonhearsay evidence held to constitute substantial evidence sufficient to support the appointing authority’s disciplinary decision


Hearsay evidence coupled with nonhearsay evidence held to constitute substantial evidence sufficient to support the appointing authority’s disciplinary decision
2013 NY Slip Op 05630, Appellate Division, Second Department

The appointing authority terminated the employee [Petitioner] following a Civil Service Law §75 disciplinary hearing. Petitioner was found guilty of “misconduct and/or incompetence” and was terminated from her position. Petitioner appealed.

The Appellate confirmed the appointing authority’s determination, explaining that the review of administrative determinations in employee disciplinary cases made after a hearing pursuant to Civil Service Law §75 is limited to a consideration of whether the appointing authority's determination was supported by substantial evidence.

Although much of the evidence against Petitioner offered by the employer was hearsay, the Appellate Division said that this hearsay evidence, in conjunction with the nonhearsay evidence presented at the hearing, constituted substantial evidence sufficient to support the determination that Petitioner was guilty of the charges brought against her.

As to the penalty imposed, termination, the court said that the penalty was “not so disproportionate to the offense committed as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness,” citing Pell v Board of Educ. of Union Free School Dist. No. 1 of Towns of Scarsdale & Mamaroneck, Westchester County, 34 NY2d 222.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_05630.htm
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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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