November 19, 2018

Annulment of a disciplinary termination


Annulment of a disciplinary termination
Suarez v Egginton, 236 A.D.2d 547

Washington M. Suarez was terminated from his position after being found guilty of misconduct. This finding was based entirely on Suarez being convicted of criminal charges based on this misconduct. Suarez asked the Appellate Division to annul the administrative determination dismissing him "upon his assumption that the judgment in the criminal action would be reversed." As the conviction was upheld, the Appellate Division said that "the sole basis for annulment disappeared."

The Appellate Division noted that the disciplinary determination was based on substantial evidence. Even if the criminal conviction were reversed because the misconduct was proved "beyond a reasonable doubt," it would seem that the administrative determination based on substantial evidence would survive. The procedures underlying §30.1.e of the Public Officers Law appears to support such a conclusion.

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