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April 30, 2014

Post-hearing conduct of the employee not considered by the hearing officer in making an administrative decision


Post-hearing conduct of the employee not considered by the hearing officer in making an administrative decision
OATH Index No. 1233/14

OATH Administrative Law Judge Tynia D. Richard presided at a Civil Service Law §72 disability proceeding initiated by the appointing authority. The employer alleged that the individual was “mentally unfit to perform the duties of his position.” The employee denied the allegation.

Judge Richard found the evidence supported the medical opinion of a board certified psychiatrist that the individual was unfit to perform the duties of his position due to a psychotic condition, known as delusional disorder of a persecutory nature, that impeded his ability to make basic engagements with reality and recommended that the employee be placed on leave pursuant to Civil Service Law §72.

The employer subsequently submitted an e-mail requested an “expedited decision” based on the employee’s conduct after the hearing had been closed. The employee’s attorney sent an e-mail objecting to the employee’s post hearing conduct being made a part of the record in this case so as to form the basis for expediting a decision.

The ALJ advised the parties that “it was not proper to put additional facts before me as the record of the case is closed.”  Judge Richard also noted the procedure that the parities were to use in seeking an expedited decision. However, said Judge Richard, a formal request for an expedited decision was never filed.

Although Judge Richard entered the e-mails into the record, she advised the parties that she had not taken the new allegations into account in her analysis of the case nor in making her determination.

The determination: Judge Richard found that the employee was unfit to remain in his position and recommended that he be placed on leave pursuant to §72 of the Civil Service Law, which recommendation was adopted by the appointing authority.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
 http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/11_Cases/14-1233.pdf
.

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