Adequate evidence in the record supported the arbitrator’s determination that the employee was guilty of disciplinary charges filed against him
2013 NY Slip Op 08027, Appellate Division, First Department
Supreme Court granted the New York City Department of Education’s motion to confirm an arbitration award terminating Educator’s employment as a New York City schoolteacher.
The Appellate Division affirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling, indicating that there was adequate evidence in the record to support the arbitrator’s determination that Educator was guilty of disciplinary charges and specifications alleging insubordination, neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming his position, and using language that constituted verbal abuse of his students as prohibited by the regulations of the Department of Education.
Further, said the court there was no basis to disturb the Hearing Officer's decision to credit the testimony of multiple students and the assistant principal over that of Educator.
Addressing Educator’s claim that that the arbitration award “was not in accord with due process and was arbitrary and capricious,” the Appellate Division said that Educator was given notice of the charges against him, had the opportunity to defend himself at a hearing at which he testified and presented other evidence, and was able to cross-examine witnesses.
Although thee Hearing Officer acknowledged that there were flaws in the investigation leading to the filing of disciplinary charges against Educator, he noted that it was fair and objective.
With respect to Educator’s challenge to the penalty imposed, termination, the Appellate Dividing said that such a penalty did not shock one's sense of fairness and that the record showed that the Hearing Officer considered mitigating circumstances such as Educator’s lack of and prior disciplinary history during his 14-year career with the Department of Education and the likelihood that Educator would not correct his inappropriate behavior.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_08027.htm