July 30, 2020

Court holds a video of the event, together with the testimony given at his disciplinary hearing, was substantial evidence that the Petitioner was guilty of misconduct


A former New York City police officer [Petitioner] appealed his dismissal from his position with the New York City Police Department [Department] after a disciplinary hearing in which the hearing officer found that Petitioner wrongfully took money in the course of a police operation, concealed his actions from his fellow officers, and then twice made false statements in the course of an investigation into the incident.

The Appellate Division unanimously confirmed the Department's decision and dismissed Plaintiff's petition. The court noted that the Department's determination that Petitioner was guilty of misconduct was supported by substantial evidence as, in addition to video evidence of the incident, Petitioner's own testimony established that he took money and pocketed it during the course of a police operation and then failed to give the money to the arresting officer at the scene.

As the arresting officer had testified that Petitioner never subsequently gave the money in question to him, the Appellate Division said that the Department  "rationally concluded that [Petitioner's] actions as depicted on video, including turning away from the other officers while he pocketed the money, were inconsistent with [Petitioner's  claim he was attempting] merely to safeguard the money."

In addition, the court opined that the Department also rationally concluded that Petitioner's other explanations for his actions were not credible.

Addressing Petitioner's contention that the Department was bias against him, the Appellate Division explained that this argument was unavailing "in the absence of any proof that the outcome of the proceeding flowed from the alleged bias."

The court concluded that, under the circumstances, the dismissal of Petitioner from his employment with the Department did not shock its judicial conscience, citing Matter of Kelly v Safir, 96 NY2d 32, among other decisions.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

CAUTION

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.