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September 21, 2023

Two recent decisions published by the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings

Decision 1.

New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings [OATH] Administrative Law Judge [ALJ] Kara J. Miller considered the Agency's request that a community coordinator [CC] charged with violating a previously issued warning memo* and making threats of harm or violence to agency staff members be terminated from the position.

Judge Miller found that CC made threatening comments to his supervisors and colleagues, including referencing his access to guns and repeated attempts to find out when an office gathering would take place via emails sent to his supervisors and text messages to his personal therapist, which were subsequently forwarded to the Agency’s Equal Employment Opportunities Office. The text message referenced an upcoming office holiday party, instructed CC's therapist to look for him on the news, and stated, “The System has failed me so it will be punished.”

Finding CC guilty of the charge of making threats of harm or violence toward his co-workers, the ALJ recommend the Agency terminate CC’s employment. 

* ALJ Miller dismissed the disciplinary charge alleging CC violated "a warning memo", finding that the Agency failed to properly introduce the warning memo into evidence and failed to allege specifics as to how CC violated the warning memo.

Click HERE to access the text of Judge Miller's decision posted on the Internet.

 

Decision 2. 

OATH Administrative Law Judge Tiffany Hamilton recommended termination of employment for a correction officer [CO] who engaged in "undue familiarity" with individuals in custody and other related misconduct. 

Judge Hamilton found:

[1] CO passed notes between a male person in custody (BL), and a female person in custody (TG), who occupied holding pens across the hallway from one another;

[2] failed to look inside BL’s holding pen when removing TG from that pen approximately 50 minutes later; and

[3] Failed to submit a report regarding sexual contact between the said two persons in custody; and

[4] CO did not deny the alleged misconduct charged but argued that her actions did not warrant termination.

The ALJ, noting that CO's remorse for her conduct and the absence of CO being the subject of any prior disciplinary action in the record, nevertheless concluded that termination was warranted because CO's conduct demonstrated "several fundamental lapses in judgment, an inefficient performance of duties, and untrustworthiness" and recommended CO impose the penalty of dismissal from service as requested by the Appointing Authority.

Click HERE to access the text of Judge Hamilton's decision posted on the Internet.

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 A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty - For information and access to a free excerpt of the material presented in this New York Public Personnel Law e-book, click HERE

 

 

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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.
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