Wednesday, March 01, 2017

An administrative disciplinary hearing, in whole or in part, may be closed to the public under certain, and limited, circumstances


An administrative disciplinary hearing,  in whole or in part, may be closed to the public under certain, and limited, circumstances 
2017 NY Slip Op 01473, Appellate Division, First Department

Although an administrative disciplinary hearing typically is open to the public, there are limited exceptions to this general rule as is demonstrated by this decision by the Appellate Division, First Department.

A New York City police officer was alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor. In the course of the disciplinary hearing that followed, the Deputy Commissioner, as an  exercise of discretion, closed the hearing to the public during the minor's testifying concerning the police officer's alleged sexual misconduct.

The Appellate Division sustained the Deputy Commissioner's action in closing the hearing to the public while the minor testified "[g]iven the sensitive nature of the case and the victim's desire not to testify in front of her mother."

Noting that the Deputy Commissioner's findings of misconduct, sexual and otherwise, were supported "a preponderance of the credible evidence — namely, the forensic computer records, text messages, controlled calls, and [the police officer's] own statements upon his arrest — supported the minor victim's version of the events" the court, citing Tighe v Kelly, 305 AD2d 274, leave to appeal denied 100 NY2d 513, said that the penalty imposed on the police officer, termination, "does not shock the judicial conscience," given the findings that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2017/2017_01473.htm

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