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April 30, 2015
A probationary teacher may be terminated from his or her position absent a showing that his or her dismissal was made in bad faith, in violation of law, or for a constitutionally impermissible purpose.
April 29, 2015
Employer has the burden of proving an individual cannot perform the essential functions of the position regardless of any reasonable accommodation provided
April 28, 2015
An employee, as an active participant in a work-related tragedy rather than as a bystander, is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits
April 26, 2015
Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending April 25, 2015
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced his office completed audits of the
Town of Champion Great Bend Fire District – Controls Over Financial Operations (Jefferson County)
The district has not submitted the required annual financial reports to the Office of State Comptroller for the 2011 through 2013 fiscal years. The district did not submit its tax levy limit calculations for 2015 or the three prior years. Auditors calculated the levy limit for 2015 and found the district’s proposed 2015 tax levy exceeded the statutory limit by $4,394 and the board did not pass a resolution to override the limit.
Chenango County – Departmental Cash Receipts (2015M-21)
County officials have ensured cash receipts are properly collected, recorded and deposited. Department officials have implemented effective controls including issuing duplicate receipts, segregating key financial duties, performing monthly reconciliations and cross-checking their records with the monthly treasurer’s report.
Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District – Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (2014M-171)
The board was not provided with the necessary financial reports and information to properly oversee operating and grant activities or to develop realistic or structurally balanced budgets. As a result, the district borrowed $669,000 from grant funds to help pay operating costs.
Village of Woodsburgh – Claims Processing and Information Technology (Nassau County)
The board did not perform an effective claims audit to ensure transactions were properly authorized and approved or claims were for proper village purposes. The board also did not adopt a comprehensive IT policy or establish procedures addressing crucial aspects of IT security.
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the
Campbell-Savona Central School District – Budget Review (Steuben County)
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget are reasonable. The district consistently appropriates fund balance that is not needed to fund operations. Two of the district’s reserves totaling $1.14 million appear to be overfunded. The district’s tentative budget complies with the property tax levy limit.
Cortland City School District – Budget Review (Cortland County)
The district has overestimated appropriations for payroll, health insurance, retirement, debt and utilities by $3.2 million. After the district’s planned use of $500,000 in fund balance, the remaining unassigned fund balance is only $200,000, or 0.4 percent, of the ensuing year’s appropriations. The district’s preliminary budget complies with the tax levy limit.
Fort Edward Union Free School District – Financial Condition (Washington County)
Although the board adopted reasonable budgets that included realistic estimates based on historical or known trends, the district relied on the appropriation of fund balance to finance recurring expenditures and, as a result, the budgets were not structurally balanced. As of June 30, 2014, the district reported an unrestricted fund balance that totaled $35,463, or .33 percent, of the ensuing year’s budgeted appropriations. District officials have developed a multiyear financial plan to address current and long-term financial trends.
Glens Falls Common School District – Financial Condition (Warren County)
The board did not adopt structurally balanced budgets that funded recurring expenditures with recurring revenues for the general fund for 2012-13, 2013-14 or 2014-15 fiscal years. Furthermore, the district’s general fund operating cash balance decreased by approximately $370,000 in one year. As a result, the district had to issue a tax anticipation note to meet cash flow needs during the 2014-15 fiscal year.
West Seneca Central School District – Financial Condition (Erie County)
The district had no operating cash on hand and very little fund balance at the end of 2013-14 fiscal year. The district incurred significant operating deficits in fiscal years 2010-11 through 2012-13. In addition, the district issues short-term debt to provide temporary cash flow and has improperly used a total of $7.5 million in reserve fund cash to help with cash flow in fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Audit finds an additional $150,000 was stolen by an official of the Town of Beekman
Former Beekman Comptroller Frederick D. Knapp Jr. pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second degree last Friday in Dutchess County Court after an audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli uncovered a second theft of $150,000 in town funds, following an earlier admission by Knapp of stealing $390,000 while in office.
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued fiscal stress scores for the 17 cities in New York that have fiscal years ending between March 31 and July 31.
April 25, 2015
Eleven individuals nominated, recommended for appointment or appointed to Governor Cuomo’s administration
Eleven individuals nominated, recommended for appointment or appointed to Governor Cuomo’s administration
On April 23, 2015Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the following nominations for appointment, recommendations for appointment and individuals appointed to his administration with the Departments and Agencies indicated.
Gerrard P. Bushell will be nominated to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Mr. Bushell is an accomplished investment advisor who counsels some of the nation’s leading institutional investors on their private and public investment strategies. He is currently a Senior Relationship Advisor in BNY Mellon's alternative and traditional investment management businesses. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, he held a number of Senior Advisory roles, including Director in the Client and Partner Group at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Managing Director in Business Development at Arden Asset Management and Head of Institutional Sales at the Legg Mason affiliate ClearBridge Advisors (formerly Citi Asset Management). Gerrard has deep experience working in New York State Government, having served as a Senior Officer to New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, a sole trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund and a leading institutional investor. Mr. Bushell is a graduate of Columbia University, where he received a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Sciences. This nomination requires Senate confirmation.
Jerry Boone will be nominated to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance. His nomination replaces that of Kenneth Adams, who will return to the private sector in June. Mr. Boone currently serves as President and Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission, overseeing New York’s workforce as principal human resources partner and employee benefits manager for the Executive Branch of state government, which employs 150,000 people. He previously served as Managing Principal of Boone Consulting and, prior, was President and Founder of Pride Properties, LLC, owning a portfolio of rental and company-financed properties in the Mid South. He held a number of roles at Caesars Entertainment, Inc./Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., from legal counsel to head of gaming operations at a major subsidiary, culminating in the role of corporate Senior Vice President and HR, Integration & Internal Communication Leader. He also served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Solicitor General in the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Boone has a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. This nomination requires Senate confirmation.
Sabrina Ty has been recommended to serve as President and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corporation. This recommendation must be approved by the EFC Board of Directors. Ms. Ty most recently served as Special Counsel to the Commissioner in the Office of General Services, where she oversaw several of the Governor’s Enterprise initiatives for achieving savings, supervised the implementation of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Program and managed the agency’s MWBE program. She previously served as Governor Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs and, prior, held a number of positions for the New York State Assembly, culminating in Legislative Counsel to the Speaker. Ms. Ty has a B.A. from McGill University in Montreal and a J.D. from Albany Law School.
Margaret A. Tobin has been appointed Senior Vice President of Development for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Ms. Tobin most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of Empire State Development, where she oversaw the $1.6 billion bond financing of World Trade Center 3. Ms. Tobin joined the Cuomo administration in 2012 as Executive Director of the New York Works Task Force, leading the Governor’s initiative to overhaul the capital investment process for New York State. In that role she led the development of New York State’s first-ever, 10-year, Statewide Capital Plan, coordinating $174 billion in capital investment across 47 agencies and authorities, and oversaw more than 600 projects valued at more than $1.5 billion, while achieving a 100% on-time, on-budget performance. During her distinguished career, Ms. Tobin has served as a Principal at Cherry Tree Development, as Executive Vice President of Development for Thor Equities, a Vice President of Development at Vornado Realty Trust, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Hudson River Park Conservancy, and Director of Economic Development for the Mayor’s Office of Finance & Economic Development. Ms. Tobin earned a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School.
Axel Bernabe has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Health. Mr. Bernabe most recently served as a Partner with Constantine Cannon, P.C., where for over 10 years he specialized in healthcare, antitrust and complex commercial litigation, as well as on providing corporate compliance advice to companies in the healthcare and insurance industries. He previously served as an associate at Coudert Brothers, LLP, and articled with the Canadian Department of Justice. Mr. Bernabe has both a Bachelor of Laws (J.D. equivalent) and a Bachelor of Civil Laws from McGill University Faculty of Law, and a B.A. from the University of Ottawa.
Mehul J. Patel has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at Empire StateDevelopment. Mr. Patel currently serves as Chief of Staff at ESD and will be adding the COO role to his responsibilities. He previously served as Vice President of the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, working with public and private stakeholders to expand New York’s Penn Station into the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building. Prior to this role, he was a Senior Project Manager for The Hudson Companies and was a Senior Analyst at HR&A Advisors. Mr. Patel was recently named to the Global 40 Under 40 by Urban Land. He has a B.A. from Yale University and an M.S. from Columbia University.
Heriberto (Ed) Vargas has been appointed Director of Labor Relations for the Department of Labor. He is a veteran New York City labor leader with more than 30 years of experience working on economic, political and social justice issues affecting working families in New York State, nationally, and internationally. He previously served as a consultant to Amalgamated Life Insurance Company and as Assistant to the President of Workers United, SEIU. He also served as Director of Mobilization at UNITE HERE and in various posts at the former International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). Mr. Vargas served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War, from which he was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. He attended Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York.
Shareema Abel has been appointed Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for Homes and Community Renewal. She currently serves as Litigation Attorney in the Teacher Performance Unit of the New York City Department of Education, where she was lead counsel on disciplinary hearings of tenured pedagogues. She previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Gangs/Major Case/Homicide Bureau of the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Abel has a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and a B.A. from Binghamton University.
Linda Donahue has been appointed Special Counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Ms. Donahue currently serves as Senior Counsel for the New York City Law Department, where she litigated and managed federal civil rights class actions and wrongful conviction cases. She was previously a partner at Kostelantetz & Fink, LLP, and Counsel at Frankel & Abrams. Ms. Donahue has a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. in Social Work from Florida State University.
Nika Milbrun has been appointed Assistant Director of Constituencies for African American and Women’s Affairs for the Executive Chamber. Ms. Milbrun most recently served as Regional Field Director for Terra Strategies on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She previously was the Field Director for Dell Smitherman’s 2014 State Senate campaign and, prior, was a Special Assistant for the UN Child Rights & Business Workshop. She was also a Community Outreach Coordinator for the New York State Senate Democratic Conference. She served as Regional Field Organizer for One Nation Working Together as well as David Yassky's campaign for New York City Comptroller. Ms. Milbrun attended Baruch College.
Matthew L. Ossenfort has been appointed to serve on the State Workforce Investment Board. Mr. Ossenfort was elected Montgomery County Executive in November 2013. At 33, he is the youngest sitting county executive in New York State. He was born and raised in Amsterdam, attended Amsterdam City Schools and is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. Upon graduation, he began work in the New York State Assembly, where he worked for various members in different capacities. In 2007, he became Chief of Staff to Assemblyman George Amedore. He is also the founding member and president of Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County NY. Prior to being elected as Montgomery County’s first Executive, he worked as a Senior Legislative Analyst with the New York State Senate. Mr. Ossenfort holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and History from the University at Albany.
April 24, 2015
Identify legal requirements that apply to public employers;
Recognize unique federal income, social security and Medicare taxes and public retirement system obligations;
Gain awareness of potential compliance issues; and
Understand the most common tax issues
April 23, 2015
Unscrupulous conduct or gross dereliction of duty warrants the removal of an officer of a town, village and other political subdivisions of the State pursuant to Public Officers Law §36
Public Officers Law §36 provides that certain officers of a political division of the State may be removed from his or her office for misconduct, maladministration, malfeasance or malversation in office. Loosely defined, these terms are used to describe, respectively,  acting unlawfully;  administer or manage badly or inefficiently;  commission of an act that is unequivocally illegal; and  corrupt behavior while serving in a position of trust.
April 22, 2015
A disciplinary penalty consisting of a “51 days' forfeiture” deemed already served while on prehearing suspension without pay, found appropriate under the circumstances
2015 NY Slip Op 02913, Appellate Division, First Department
Supreme Court annulled the New York City’s Police Commissioner finding an employee [Employee] of the New York City Police Department [NYPD] guilty of multiple disciplinary charges filed against Employee and the penalty imposed by the Commissioner: 51 days' forfeiture, deemed already served while on pretrial suspension.”
April 21, 2015
Rules and regulations of the Department of Civil Service reviewed.in accordance with §207 of the State Administrative Procedure Act
§207 of the State Administrative Procedures Act, in pertinent part, provides that any rule adopted on or after its effective ion for the rule, provided that at a minimum every rule shall be initially reviewed no later than in the fifth calendar year after the year in which the rule is adopted, and, thereafter, every rule shall be re-reviewed at five-year intervals.
The April 15, 2015 issue of the New York State Register reports the publication of the Five Year review of certain existing rules and regulations set out in 4 NYCRR and the conclusion of the forty-five (45) day public comment period. No public comments were received regarding any of the rules and regulations listed below during this forty-five day comment period.
Individual’s right to due process in a disciplinary hearing was not violated when the complaining witness was absent from the hearing due to intimidation and feared to testify
April 20, 2015
General Municipal Law §207-c Hearing Officer entitled to weigh conflicting medical opinions and determine which expert’s testimony to credit.
Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - a 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html
April 19, 2015
Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending April 18, 2015
Department of Motor Vehicles – Case Advance Accounts
Department of Transportation – Lease and Permit Revenues
DeVry College– Tuition Assistance Program
City Universityof New York – Time and Attendance for Public Safety Staff
Village of Hempstead– Budget Review
City of Lackawanna– Police and Fire Department Work Hours
Town of Willing – Justice CourtOperations
Town of Wright – Financial Operations
Alfred-Amond CSD – Financial Software Access and Monitoring
Beachon City School District – Budget Review
Clhaarlotte Valley CSD – Budget Review
Chenango Valley CSD – Budget Review
East Moriches UFSD – Budget Review
Eldred CSD – Budget Review
Favius-Pompey CSD – Budget Review
Green Tech High Charter School – Resident Tuition Billing
Niagara-Wheatfild CSD – Financial Condition
Public Personnel Law E-books
The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html
A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. For more information click on
The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html
General Municipal Law §§207-a and 207-c - Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder. For more information click on
SELECTED REFERENCES and BLOGS
- A Handbook addressing disciplining public employees
- A Handbook focusing on imposing reasonable disciplinary penalties
- A Handbook focusing on layoff and reinstatement
- A Handbook on Disability Benefits for public employees
- A sample personnel handbook
- Blogging Civil Rights Law
- Blogging Constitutional Law
- Blogging Disability Law
- Blogging Education Law
- Blogging Human Rights Law
- Blogging Legal Information
- Blogging Military Law
- Blogging public libraries
- Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions
- COVID-19 - New York State maps and data
- Delaware Employment Law Blog
- Gotham schools newsroom - A NYC school news blog
- New York City ERS blog - by John Murphy
- NY Municipalities - NYMUNIBLOG
- St. Lawrence County Civil Service Web Site
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or additions or amendments to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed or otherwise have had an impact on the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, REMEMBER THAT CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG.
THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that the publisher, editor, contributors or members of the staff are not providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.