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February 11, 2019

An appointing authority may formulate and implement procedures to be used to promote its employees

An appointing authority may formulate and implement procedures to be used to promote its employees
Sinopidis v Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 2019 NY Slip Op 00830, Appellate Division, First Department

A candidate for promotion from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Sergeant to Lieutenant  [Petitioner] received a failing grade he received based on his performance at a Qualifications Review Meeting [QRM]. Supreme Court denied his petition seeking a court order directing the Port Authority to effect his  promotion to Lieutenant and to award him back pay and benefits, or, in the alternative, to order the Port Authority "to reconvene [Petitioner's]  interview on a pass-fail basis".  

Petitioner appealed the Supreme Court's ruling. The Appellate Division, however, affirmed the lower court decision, explaining that Petitioner:

1. failed to demonstrate that the Port Authority lacked the discretion to formulate and implement the promotional procedures it had used;

2. failed to show that on its face the procedures were unlawful or arbitrary; and

3. did not demonstrate that the failing grade he received based on his performance at a QRM was arbitrary and capricious.

In the words of the Appellate Division the Port Authority had "broad discretion to select individuals for civil service appointment and promotion."

The Appellate Division said that it would not interfere with Port Authority's  exercise of that discretion "unless there is evidence of arbitrary or unlawful conduct by the appointing officer" and insofar as Petitioner's claim that he was "essentially informed" by his superior officers that he had performed well on the QRM is concerned, this representation "does not raise an issue as to the propriety of the failing grade [Petitioner] actually received."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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