January 11, 2018

Police officer terminated following being found guilty of downloading and possessing child pornography


Police officer terminated following being found guilty of  downloading and possessing child pornography
2017 NY Slip Op 09243, Appellate Division, First Department

A New York City police officer [Petitioner] was found guilty of accessing, downloading, and possessing child pornography. The penalty imposed: termination from his employment.  

The Appellate Division unanimously confirmed the determination that Petitioner was guilty of downloading and possessing child pornography as it was supported by substantial evidence and the Hearing Officer was entitled to consider Petitioner's demeanor during his testimony at the disciplinary hearing into account when assessing Petitioner's credibility

The court also noted that Petitioner's behavior during the execution of the search warrant at his home provided circumstantial evidence of his guilt as to both charges.

As to the possibility of considering mitigating circumstances with respect to the penalty imposed, dismissal from the position, the Appellate Division opined that notwithstanding Petitioner's tenure with the police department since 1999, the absence of any formal disciplinary record, and the fact that he had been awarded several medals, terminating Petitioner for downloading and possessing child pornography did not shock the court's sense of fairness.

Other cases of involving alleged involvement with pornography that resulted in disciplinary action being taken against the employee include:

Ghita v Department of Education of the City of New York, 2008 NY Slip Op 30706(U);
Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD v Nicot, Supreme Court, Ontario County, Index #103465;
Davis v DMNA, 291 A.D.2d 778, Schnaars v Copiague UFSD, 275 A.D.2d 462; and
Shurgin v Ambach, 56 NY2d 700

The decision in chief is posted on the Internet at:

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