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October 15, 2013

Teacher terminated after being found guilty of filing a fraudulent affidavit to obtain a free New York City education for her non-resident child


Teacher terminated after being found guilty of filing a fraudulent affidavit to obtain a free New York City education for her non-resident child
Matter of the Department of Education of the City of New York, 2013 NY Slip Op 06615, Appellate Division, First Department

A New York City School teacher was served with disciplinary charges pursuant to §3020-a of the Education Law alleging that she had “fraudulently obtained a free New York City public school education for her son during the 2009-2010 school year.”

Finding the teacher guilty of certain charges and specifications filed against her and not withstanding the teacher’s efforts to mitigate the penalty to be imposed by noting her previously “unblemished record as a teacher” and her offering to pay the appropriate tuition for her child’s education, the arbitrator imposed the penalty of termination for her misconduct.

The teacher then filed a petition pursuant to Article 75 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in an effort to have Supreme Court vacate the penalty imposed. Supreme Court sustained the arbitrator's determination and dismissed the teacher's petition.*

The Appellate Division sustained the Supreme Court's ruling, noting the arbitrator’s decision was supported by adequate evidence in the record. Further, said the court the teacher “did not urge the hearing officer to apply a heightened standard in finding fraud.”

The Appellate Division said that under the circumstances “the penalty of termination is not shocking” in view of the teacher’s using “a fraudulent affidavit to obtain a free New York City education for her non-resident child.”

* The Supreme Court's ruling on the teacher's Article 75 petition is posted on the Internet at: http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/pdfs/2011/2011_33408.pdf

The Appellate Division’s decision is posted on the Internet at:
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