Monday, January 05, 2015

Status of a public officer upon the expiration of his or her term of office



Status of a public officer upon the expiration of his or her term of office
Auffredou v Board of Trustees of Vil. of Cornwall-on-Hudson, 2014 NY Slip Op 08835, Appellate Division, Second Department

Alleged that improperly removed him from the office of Village Treasurer of the Village of Cornwall-On-Hudson prior to the expiration of his statutory two-year term in violation of Public Officers Law §36, Stephen Auffredou filed a petition pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR challenging the determination of Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Mayor Brendan Coyne’s approving the appointment of Jeanne Mahoney to the office of Village Treasurer.

The Appellate Division held that Auffredou had not been removed from office prior to the expiration of his term but rather Mayor Coyne decided not to reappoint him after his term of office had expired and appointed Jeanne Mahoney to the position instead.

This action was consistent with §5 of the Public Officers Law which addresses holding over after expiration of term. §5, in pertinent part, provides that “Every officer except a  judicial officer, a notary public, a commissioner of deeds and an  officer whose term is fixed by the constitution, having duly entered on the duties of his office, shall, unless the office shall terminate or be  abolished, hold over and continue to discharge the duties of his office, after the expiration of the term for which he shall have been chosen, until his successor shall be chosen and qualified; but after the expiration of such term, the office shall be deemed vacant for the purpose of choosing his successor.”

The court noted that Jennifer Brow had been appointed to the office of Village Treasurer in July 2009 to serve the remainder of a two-year term of office, which term had commenced on April 6, 2009. Brown, however, resigned from her position prior to the expiration of her two-year term of office and on April 5, 2010, Auffredou was appointed to the vacancy. 

As Brown's term had not expired, Auffredou’s appointment was limited to the balance of Brown's unexpired term pursuant to Public Officers Law §38. Auffredou's term of appointment had expired prior to the challenged administrative determination made on April 18, 2011.

Accordingly, the Appellate Division affirmed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of Auffredou’s petition, ruling that the challenged determination had a rational basis, and was not arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. The court explained that the Mayor’s administrative determination was not made after a quasi-judicial evidentiary hearing and thus the standard to be applied was whether the determination was made in violation of lawful procedure, affected by an error of law, arbitrary and capricious, or an abuse of discretion.

The decision is posted on the Internet at: 
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2014/2014_08835.htm





Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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