October 17, 2014

Off-duty misconduct

Off-duty misconduct
OATH Index No. 1460/14

A research assistant [RA] was served with charges that alleged he was guilty of off-duty misconduct that resulted in his arrest among other misdeeds.  .

The employer presented certificates of conviction, which proved that RA committed the crimes of assault, resisting arrest, intentional property damage and public intoxication. 

OATH Administrative Law Judge Kevin F. Casey found RA could be disciplined for such off-duty conduct, which fundamentally conflicted with the agency's mission. In determining whether a criminal conviction for off-duty activity constitutes employee misconduct, Judge Casey said that “this tribunal has also looked to whether there is a sufficient nexus between the underlying act and the employee’s position.”*

The ALR also found that RA failed to notify the agency of his arrest and conviction and was absent without leave.

Also in the record was evidence showing that RA violated an order of protection in April 2013 and used disrespectful language in an email to an agency attorney

Judge Casey recommended that the employer terminate RA from employment, which recommendation was adopted by the appointing authority.

* In Tessiero v Bennett, 50 A.D.3d 1368, the Appellate Division sustained the termination of an employee found guilty of off-duty misconduct that brought discredit upon the employer.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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