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June 15, 2021

Hearing officer recommends dismissal of disciplinary charges after finding the employee did not used his position with his employer for personal or financial gain

New York City Office of Administrative Tribunals and Hearings [OATH] Administrative Law Judge Faye Lewis recommended that disciplinary charges against a Human Resources Administration [HRA] employee [Respondent] be dismissed as HRA failed to establish that the Respondent used his position in the agency for personal or financial gain.

HRA contended that the Respondent, a case manager assigned to a center in the Bronx, violated HRA rules and the City Charter by asking former colleagues to give his phone number to public assistance clients who might be interested in renting an apartment from him.

ALJ Lewis determined that HRA employees are permitted to rent property that they own or manage to public assistance recipients if they first submit a questionnaire for approval and that they do not work at the center providing the client’s benefits.

Respondent, said Judge Lewis, followed that procedure in that Respondent did not work at the center providing the client's benefit, and HRA had approved Respondent's request.

In addition, the ALJ noted that Respondent presented "unrefuted evidence that landlords who are not HRA employees have regular contact with case managers and could tell a case manager that they have available apartments to rent."

Accordingly, the Administrative Law Judge concluded that HRA did not establish that Respondent had violated its rules, nor those set out in the City Charter with respect to the rental of the property in question, that triggered the disciplinary charges served on the Respondent.

To access the text of Judge Lewis' decision, click HERE!

 

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