A individual must be a “whistleblower” within the meaning of New York City’s Administrative Code to claim its protection against adverse personnel action
2014 NY Slip Op 03921, Appellate Division, First Department
A New York City School District employee [Petitioner] retired alleging that he was subjected to disciplinary action because he was a “whistle blower.” He claimed that he lost in excess of $27,000 in stipends from a fellowship program as a result of School District’s adverse personnel actions, which actions he contended were in violation of New York City’s Administrative Code §12-113.
Supreme Court, New York County dismissed Petitioner’s Article 78 complaint seeking to annul the determination of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District that Petitioner was not a whistleblower within the meaning of the Administrative Code and dismissed the proceeding.
The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the lower court’s ruling, noting however, that the matter was not moot notwithstanding Petitioner’s retirement because of his claimed loss of $27,000 or more.
However, said the court, it found that  Petitioner’s initial complaints had not been reported to the appropriate officials by Petitioner as set out in Administrative Code 12-113(a)(6)* and  the School District’s determination regarding Petitioner’s subsequent compliant did not result in adverse personnel actions as it was rational and neither arbitrary nor capricious, explaining that the filing of an inaccurate report of misconduct against an employee is not an adverse personnel action.
The Appellate Division also held that Petitioner's temporary reassignment to another position prior to his retirement resulted from earlier sustained charges of misconduct.
* §12-113, captioned “Protection of sources of information,” provides that the relevant information is to reported to the agency head, a deputy agency head or such other person designated by the head of the agency to receive a report by an employee of the agency relating “information concerning conduct which [the employee] knows or reasonably believes to involve corruption, criminal activity, conflict of interest, gross mismanagement or abuse of authority by another city officer or employee, which concerns his or her office or employment, or by persons dealing with the city, which concerns their dealings with the city..