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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recent decisions reported by the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings



Recent decisions reported by the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings [OATH]
Issued during January 2014 [Click on text highlighted in color to access the text of the decision.]


OATH Administrative Law Judges making findings of fact and recommendations as to the disposition of the matter.
 
Correction officer was arrested as a result of a drug bust operation. After criminal charges against the officer were dismissed, Department of Correction (DOC) brought a disciplinary proceeding against the officer accusing him of knowingly driving a family friend to a drug transaction and subsequently possessing cocaine in his car. ALJ Kevin F. Casey found that DOC failed to prove that the officer knew he was driving a family friend to purchase drugs or that the officer knowingly possessed the drugs later found in his car. ALJ Casey recommended the dismissal of the charge.
OATH Index No. 265/14 [Comm’r Decision - pending] http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/13_Cases/14-265.pdf


Correction officer admitted to using excessive force by stomping on an inmate's head after the inmate had been subdued with his face to the floor and his hands cuffed behind his back. Respondent's actions caused the inmate to sustain lacerations to his chin and loss of a front tooth. As mitigation, respondent asserted that on his way to work, he learned that his best friend had been murdered, and that this news upset his equilibrium. Finding that neither disruptive behavior by the subdued inmate nor the murder of respondent's friend, if true, was mitigation for respondent's conduct, ALJ Ingrid M. Addison recommended termination of his employment.
OATH Index No. 156/14, Comm'r Decision - adopted, http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/13_Cases/14-156.pdf


The Department of Environmental Protection brought disciplinary charges against a project manager for working longer than his 7-hour shift, reporting late to a storehouse, and falsely stating that he made a vehicle damage report. ALJ John B. Spooner found that respondent worked longer than a 7-hour day and recommended a one-day suspension. ALJ Spooner dismissed the other charges, noting that petitioner’s counsel displayed some animus toward respondent and his efforts to defend himself. ALJ Spooner noted that discipline of one of respondent's witnesses for appearing early at the tribunal on the day of her testimony was “extraordinary” and may have been intended to punish the witness or to discourage her from testifying.
OATH Index No. 181/14, Comm’r Decision - rejected in part, (adopting sustained charge, rejecting dismissal of other charges, and increasing penalty to 30-day suspension without pay). http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/14_Cases/14-181.pdf
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The Discipline Book, - a concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State. This more than 2,100 page e-book is now available from the Public Employment Law Press. Click on http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/for additional information concerning this electronic reference manual.
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Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

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