Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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


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
2015 NY Slip Op 03075, Appellate Division, First Department

The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health adopted an Administrative Law Judge's recommendation to sustain the three charges alleging patient abuse and/or neglect by a certified nurse's aide [Aide]. The Aide appealed the Commissioner's determination but the Appellate Division sustained the Commissioner’s finding that the Aide was guilty of these three charges alleged in the notice of discipline.

The Appellate Division said that there was no basis for disturbing the ALJ’s determination with respect to the credibility of witnesses, citing Berenhaus v Ward, 70 NY2d 436.

The court found that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the ALJ’s findings including:

1. Consistent testimony from several witnesses;
2. Photographs of the patient’s bruises; and
3. The facility's clinical records.

Further, the Appellate Division said that the Aide’s right to administrative due process was not violated as the result of the patient's absence at the hearing as the record supports the ALJ’s finding that the patient was intimidated and was afraid to testify.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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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