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Monday, March 21, 2016

Administrative determination annulled after being found to be arbitrary and capricious and in violation of the relevant regulation


Administrative determination annulled after being found to be arbitrary and capricious and in violation of the relevant regulation
Niang v New York City Dept. of Educ., 2016 NY Slip Op 01770, Appellate Division, First Department

The New York City Department of Education permanently revoked Babacar Niang’s certification to drive a school bus because he failed to submit to a drug test on the day on which he was involving in an accident. The Appellate Division unanimously annulled, the Department’s decision, reinstated Niang’s certification and  remanded the matter “for a determination of incidental damages, if any.”

The Appellate Division, noting that the appropriate test in this action was  “the arbitrary and capricious standard of review,” held that the Department’s determination revoking Niang's certification to drive a school bus was “arbitrary and capricious and contrary to its own regulation.”

The court explained that Chancellor's Regulation C-102, reflecting its new policy, does not provide for revocation where a bus driver fails to take a nonrequired drug test. The C-102 provisions requiring a postaccident test explicitly apply only when the accident involves loss of life, bodily injury, disabling damage to the vehicle, or after a third accident within any twelve month period. However, said the Appellate Division, that provisions does not apply here in that it was Niang’s first accident and that no one was injured and no vehicle was disabled.

The decision also notes that Niang “took a drug test within 24 hours and that the test was negative.”

Accordingly, said the court, Niang “is entitled to a hearing to determine whether any incidental damages resulted” as a result of the Department’s revocation of his certification to operate a school bus.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2016/2016_01770.htm

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

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