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March 16, 2018

Administrative Law Judge finds correction officer exercised reasonable and prudent judgment under the circumstances

Administrative Law Judge finds correction officer exercised reasonable and prudent judgment under the circumstances
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, Index No. 0005/18

A New York City Correction Officer was served with disciplinary charges alleging that the officer [1] had abandoned his station to confront an inmate; [2] failed to anticipate a use of force; [3] used excessive force against an inmate and [4] filed a false report.

The officer testified that he had left his post because he was unable to communicate with the inmate through "the window slot;" he did not contact a supervisor because believed he could use interpersonal skills to obtain the information; and it was not until the inmate struck the officer did the situation quickly escalate.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti held that the officer’s testimony, which was corroborated by the video tape of the event, was credible. 

Finding that the officer exercised reasonable and prudent judgment under the circumstances, Judge Zorgniotti recommended that the appointing authority dismiss the disciplinary charges filed against the correction officer.  

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/oath/18_cases/18-005.pdf

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