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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Employee’s disciplinary history for rudeness and insubordination considered in determining disciplinary penalty to be imposed


Employee’s disciplinary history for rudeness and insubordination considered in determining disciplinary penalty to be imposed
Admin. For Children’s Services v Berrios, OATH Index #124/16

Giselle Berrios, a child protective specialist, employed by the Administration for Children’s Services [ACS], was served with disciplinary charges alleging that she failed to appear at family court hearing concerning a case under her supervision at the time scheduled and raising her voice at an agency attorney when questioned about the case.

Berrios admitted to having forgotten to appear at family court, but denied yelling at the agency attorney.

ALJ Astrid B. Gloade found that Berrios' testimony was not credible. The ALJ noted that the case had been on the court’s calendar almost every week because the judge was closely monitoring ACS’s response to numerous concerns that had been raised about the family’s well-being.

In contrast, the ALJ found that the attorney's testimony was corroborated by a contemporaneous telephone complaint and an e-mail to Berrios' supervisor after the incident.

In addition, Judge Gloade noted that “even were I to credit [Berrios’] explanation [that she forgot the court appearance], her forgetfulness does not excuse her failure to appear in court.”

Given the nature of the proven misconduct, as well as Berrios’ disciplinary history for rudeness and insubordination, the ALJ recommended that Berrios be suspended without pay for 55-days.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/oath/16-124.pdf
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