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September 07, 2023

Determining the effective date of resignations submitted by public officers of the State of New York and of its political subdivisions

On September 7, 2023, Albany Times Union Columnist Chris Churchill reported that Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger "submitted [his resignation] to the Vatican on the occasion of Scharfenberger's May 29 birthday ... reflected that bishops are required to submit their resignation when they turn 75."

Mr. Churchill opined, "Pope Francis can now accept Scharfenberger's resignation and name a replacement. But that isn't expected, principally for two reasons: One, Scharfenberger doesn't want to step down just yet, and, two, it is likely the pope will want the bishop to see out an ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy process initiated in response to Child Victims Act claims."

Such is not the case with respect to a resignation submitted by a public officer of the State of New York or a by a public officer of a political subdivision of the State of New York as §31.2 of the New York State Public Officers Law, Resignations,* provides as follows:

"Every resignation shall be in writing addressed to the officer or body to whom it is made. If no effective date is specified in such resignation, it shall take effect upon delivery to or filing with the proper officer or body. If an effective date is specified in such resignation, it shall take effect upon the date specified, provided however, that in no event shall the effective date of such resignation be more than thirty days subsequent to the date of its delivery or filing; except that the effective date of the resignation of a judge or justice of the unified court system may be up to ninety days subsequent to the date on which such resignation is delivered or filed. If a resignation specifies an effective date that is more than thirty days subsequent to the date of its delivery or filing, or more than ninety days subsequent thereto where such resignation is that of a judge or justice, such resignation shall take effect upon the expiration of thirty days from the date of its delivery or filing, or upon the expiration of ninety days therefrom, as appropriate."

The withdrawal of a resignation delivered to the appropriate officer or body typically requires the approval of the appointing authority or body, as the case may be.

* Other state statutes provide for procedures to be followed with respect to the submission of a resignation by particular public officers. In addition, rules and regulations, and provisions set out in a collective bargaining agreement negotiated pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law, the so-called Taylor Law, may control with respect to resignations of employees of the State as the employer or employees of a political subdivision of the State as the employer. Further, although not all public employees in the civil service are public officers, all public officers in the civil service are public employees.

 

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New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. 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 posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
New York Public Personnel Law. Email: publications@nycap.rr.com