January 31, 2024

Attorney's citing a non-existent state court decision acquired using "a generative artificial intelligence tool" without reading or otherwise confirming the validity of the citation was the genesis of a referral to the Circuit Court of Appeals' Grievance Panel

In this action the United Court of Appeals, Second Circuit said it would "separately address the fact that Plaintiff's attorney [Counsel] admitted citing a non-existent state court decision in her reply brief to this Court." 

Counsel told the Circuit Court that she relied on a generative artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT, to identify precedent that might support her arguments and did not read or otherwise confirm the validity of the (non-existent) decision she cited. The Circuit Court said "Because this conduct falls well below the basic obligations of counsel, we refer [Counsel's name] to the Court’s Grievance Panel, and further [order Counsel] to furnish a copy of this decision to her client."

The Circuit Court noted a District Judge of the Second Circuit recently held when presented with non-existent precedent generated by ChatGPT, “A fake opinion is not ‘existing law’ and citation to a fake opinion does not provide a non-frivolous ground for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law, or for establishing new law. An attempt to persuade a court or oppose an adversary by relying on fake opinions is an abuse of the adversary system.”*

In the words of the Circuit Court, "[Counsel’s] submission of a brief relying on non-existent authority reveals that she failed to determine that the argument she made was 'legally tenable.' Cooter & Gell, 496 U.S. at 393. The brief presents a false statement of law to this Court, and it appears that [Counsel] made no inquiry, much less the reasonable inquiry required by Rule 11 and long-standing precedent, into the validity of the arguments she presented."

The Circuit Court opined "If a lawyer chooses to employ technology in representing a client, the lawyer continues to be bound by the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, Local Rule AT-3, and all other applicable standards of practice and must review and verify any computer-generated content to ensure that it complies with all such standards.”

* See Mata v. Avianca, Inc., No. 22CV01461(PKC), 2023 WL 4114965 at 12 (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2023).

Click HERE to access the Circuit Court's opinion posted on the Internet.


January 30, 2024

Administrative adjudications must be supported by substantial evidence to survive a judicial challenge

A correction officer [Petitioner] initiated this proceeding pursuant to CPLR Article 78 to challenge to a determination of the County of Rockland Sheriff's Office [Rockland] denying Petitioner's application for benefits pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-c.

Petitioner had applied for benefits after allegedly sustaining an injury to his lower back during a "defensive tactics training session". His application for benefits was denied "due to a lack of medical documentation". Petitioner appealed and subsequently underwent "an independent medical examination" [IME] and the examiner issued a report and thereafter an addendum to the report. 

Rockland issued a second denial of benefits on the ground that Petitioner did not sustain a causally related injury based on the IME report and addendum. Petitioner appealed Rockland's determination and requested a hearing. 

A hearing officer was appointed and ultimately the hearing officer issued a determination rejecting Petitioner's application for General Municipal Law §207-c benefits due to a lack substantial evidence. Petitioner appealed Rockland's denial of his application for §207-c benefits.

Appellate Division annulled the hearing officer's determination and granted Petitioner's application for benefits pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-c, opining that the hearing officer's determination was not supported by substantial evidence

Explaining that "Judicial review of the subject determination is limited to whether the determination is supported by substantial evidence" and, citing Matter of Solano v City of Mount Vernon, 108 AD3d 676, the Appellate Division said that "Substantial evidence means more than a 'mere scintilla of evidence,' and the test of whether substantial evidence exists in a record is one of rationality, taking into account all the evidence on both sides".

The Appellate Division noted that "the hearing officer relied on the conclusions set out in the IME report and addendum, and determined that they constitute substantial evidence supporting the denial of the petitioner's application for General Municipal Law § 207-c benefits." Although the IME report indicated that the alleged incident exacerbated Petitioner's preexisting lumbar spine condition, the IME examiner opined that the incident did not result in the Petitioner being disabled from work. 

The Appellate Division, however, held that the IME examiner's opinion was conclusory and unsupported by the evidence. The court noted "upon being questioned as to whether [the IME examiner] had an opinion about whether the [Petitioner] experienced a causally related period of disability relative [to the] incident, [the IME examiner] responded that he could not say with certainty."

Accordingly, the Appellate Division held that the denial of Petitioner's application for General Municipal Law §207-c benefits "was not supported by substantial evidence" and granted the petition at issue, annulled the hearing officer's determination and, in effect, approving Petitioner's application for benefits pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-c.

Click HERE to access the Appellate Division's decision posted on the Internet.


Public health in New York City and New York State - COVID-19 tracking, sports data, Medicaid enrollment, environmental data, hate crimes, and more. Click HERE to access Michaels' site on the Internet.

January 29, 2024

Judicial review of an administrative determination denying an application for disability retirement benefits

Petitioner, a teacher's aide responsible for supervising special needs children in various activities for a school district, was involved in an incident in which two students reportedly "collided with her" and she suffered injuries as a result. Petitioner returned to work approximately one year later, without restrictions.

About one month later, students again ran into Petitioner causing her to fall and sustain injuries. 

Petitioner did not return to work and applied for disability retirement benefits pursuant to Retirement and Social Security Law §605. Petitioner alleged she was permanently incapacitated from performing her job duties due to the two incidents and residual problems after back surgery. Petitioner's application was denied by the Retirement System on the it finding that she was not permanently incapacitated from the performance of her job duties following a hearing at which conflicting medical opinions were offered.

The Appellate Division confirm the Comptroller's decision denying Petitioner's application for disability retirement benefits, noting to be entitled to disability retirement benefits, the applicant had the burden of proving the injured party is "physically ... incapacitated for the performance of gainful employment, and that [the applicant] was so incapacitated at the time [the applicant] ceased [performing the duties of the position]" and "ought to be retired for disability"*.

In finding that Petitioner was not permanently incapacitated from performing the duties of the teacher's aide position, the Hearing Officer and Comptroller credited the opinion of the orthopedic surgeon who examined applicant on behalf of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System. In contrast, Petitioner treating neurologist concluded that the surgery had been unsuccessful and that Petitioner was permanently incapacitated from performing the duties of the position as a result of the incidents. 

The Comptroller credited the opinion of the Retirement System's orthopedist, which he found to be rational and fact-based, over that of Petitioner's treating neurologist, explaining in detail the reasons for that credibility determination.

Notably, the Appellate Division said the record indicated "Petitioner's treating neurologist conceded that he had not reviewed Petitioner's job description, relying on her account," while the Retirement System's orthopedist took into consideration a detailed description of her job duties, which did not support her testimony that she was required to break up fights, chase students or move furniture.

Further, the Appellate Division's decision notes the Comptroller "properly considered and relied upon" the medical testimony of Petitioner's treatment providers recommending that she have a second lumbar surgery, which was considered reasonably safe, to alleviate the pain in her lower back and left leg and that Petitioner had refused to undergo such surgery, the first surgery having "been difficult".**

Citing DeFazio v DiNapoli, 211 AD3d at 1255, the Appellate Division opined "Where, as here, there is conflicting medical evidence, [the Comptroller] is vested with the exclusive authority to weigh such evidence and credit the opinion of one medical expert over another". 

The court concluded the Comptroller's decision was "based upon physical examinations and review of relevant medical records and test results" and that the Petitioner failed to meet her burden of proof of establishing that she was "permanently incapacitated from her teacher's aide job duties", which determination "was supported by substantial evidence and will not be disturbed".

* See Matter of DeFazio v DiNapoli, 211 AD3d 1254, and Matter of Frederick v New York State Comptroller, 204 AD3d 1292.

** See Matter of Pirrone v Town of Wallkill, 6 AD3d 447, in which the Appellate Division addressed the recommendation of a hearing officer's finding that the individual was required to undergo spinal fusion surgery or forfeit General Municipal Law §207-c disability retirement benefits.

Click HERE to access the Appellate Division's decision posted on the Internet.


Disability Benefits for New York State and municipal public sector personnel - an e-book focusing on administering the Retirement and Social Security Law, the General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and similar laws providing disability benefits to employees of the State of New York and its political subdivisions. For more information and access to a free excerpt of the material presented in this e-book, click here:


January 27, 2024

Selected links to items focusing on government operations posted on the Internet during the week ending January 26, 2024


8 Features of the Best Audit Management Software for Public Sector The shift to electronic working papers in the audit community fosters collaboration but inadvertently generates dark data. Audit management software offers solutions to access, analyze and maximize audit data's value. READ MORE


AI-Powered Robotic Glove Could Help Recovering Stroke Victims Using the complex task of playing the piano, a high-tech glove gives feedback to the wearer in real time as they work to re-establish mobility after experiencing a stroke. READ MORE


An Arizona City Is Folding New Tech into Its Recycling Program An innovative solution is being piloted in Surprise, Ariz., leveraging 3D-printing technology to reduce and reuse plastic waste. The ultimate goal is to help enable a circular economy in the region. READ MORE


Are Public Universities Spending Too Much Outside the Classroom? Critics argue that schools are spending too much on administrative costs at the expense of instruction. One group found that administrative spending increased 6.3 percent from 2016 to 2021. READ MORE


As AI Transforms Work, Will Pennsylvanians Adapt? Pennsylvania is the first state to formalize a partnership with OpenAI, and Gov. Josh Shapiro says the state will explore how AI can streamline government without eliminating workers. READ MORE


Benton County, Wash., Sheriff May Use AI Photo Searches A new software service could save Benton County investigators hundreds of hours searching for potential suspects, but opponents say the tool could be used to intimidate and violate civil liberties. READ MORE


California AG Calls on Feds to Help Crack Down on Robocalls, AI California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined 25 other top state attorneys to ask the federal government for an inquiry into how AI technology could make it more difficult to protect consumers from illegal scam calls and texts. READ MORE


California Wants to Improve State Call Centers With AI The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is looking for a solution capable of using generative AI to generate potential responses to taxpayers via telephone and live chat. READ MORE


Can AI-Powered Virtual Assistants Crack the Language Barrier? Minnesota leveraged Google AI to create a multilingual virtual assistant. Data from a records request reveals how it’s really being used by a diverse population and potential limitations with the technology. READ MORE


Can AI-Powered Virtual Assistants Crack the Language Barrier? Minnesota leveraged Google AI to create a multilingual virtual assistant. Data from a records request reveals how it’s really being used by a diverse population and potential limitations with the technology. READ MORE

CIOs Sound Off: What Makes a Vendor a Good Partner? The relationship between government agencies and the companies they work with is key to successful outcomes for IT projects, so we asked state and local CIOs what they look for in a partner. READ MORE


Comprehensive Guide for Communicating During a Disaster Share this safety education information with your community throughout the year to keep disaster awareness top-of-mind Read the eBook


CoSN Report: States Prioritizing K-12 Data Protection A new report by the Consortium for School Networking on recent legislation passed by states indicates a 250 percent increase in the number of cybersecurity bills affecting education since 2020. READ MORE


Could Bay Area Ferries Be Entering Their Golden Age? The Water Emergency Transportation Authority wants to change the San Francisco Bay Ferry’s reputation from luxury transit to go-to commuter service by lowering fares, providing more direct routes and adopting off-peak travel schedules. READ MORE


Cybersecurity Challenges at the World Economic Forum The 54th Annual Meeting of The World Economic Forum took place in Davos, Switzerland, this past week, and cybersecurity and AI were again top topics. Here are some highlights. READ MORE


Delaware CIO Talks Recruiting, Single Sign-On and Generative AI As Delaware confronts some of the perennial — and growing — problems that face state government, it’s turning to cloud transitions and identity management while developing new guidance. READ MORE


Electric Car-Share Operation Expands in California Míocar, a nonprofit car-sharing platform, is expanding its reach across the rural California Central Valley, bringing electric vehicles and expanded transportation options to low-income communities. READ MORE


Federal Agencies Team Up to Tackle AI Democratization The U.S. National Science Foundation and other collaborating federal agencies are launching a national pilot to research, and ultimately bolster investment in, the area of artificial intelligence. READ MORE


GSA Partners With Local, State Agencies on Notification Platform The U.S. General Services Administration has chosen to collaborate with four states to pilot a text notification platform geared toward enhancing internal and external communication surrounding federal benefits services. READ MORE


Hawaii Seeks $60M to Upgrade Finance System After Botched Job The Department of Accounting and General Services wants to spend the funds to essentially restart an attempt to modernize its antiquated accounting and management system, after a failed $8 million effort. READ MORE


Hydrogen Is Still a Heavy Lift for Clean Transportation A new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that the economies of producing green hydrogen at scale will be difficult to overcome as the governments and the private sector search for non-fossil fuel energy sources. READ MORE


Is Combining 27 Transit Agencies into One a Good Idea? California state Sen. Aisha Wahab has proposed legislation that would combine all of the transit agencies that oversee public transit in the nine-county Bay Area into one in hopes of more seamless service. Would it work? READ MORE


Keeping Deepfakes Out of Court May Take Shared Effort Court officials anticipate having messy debates over whether evidence is authentic or fabricated, with deepfakes skewing jurors’ decisions and digital forensics analysts helping to find the truth. READ MORE


Los Angeles D.A. to Settle Failed Election Conspiracy Prosecution The county district attorney’s office will pay $5 million to Konnech, a tiny Michigan software company that sued District Attorney George Gascón last September for civil rights violations and negligence. READ MORE


Maine Homeless Shelters Could See Funding Quintuple There are 42 homeless shelters in Maine with a total of about 1,170 beds run by various nonprofits throughout the state. READ MORE


Nonprofit Aims to Help Govt Consider Risks of Generative AI CivAI is creating a toolkit that will help state and local government leaders address the risks as they start using the rapidly evolving technology for more use cases. READ MORE


North Carolina Is Spending Millions on a Flood Blueprint The state’s Flood Resiliency Blueprint will be an online tool that compiles research and data about flooding in North Carolina in one place. This can be used to inform future plans. READ MORE


Public Sector Tech Trends: A Modernization Guidebook Learn how to build a more resilient, data-driven organization so you can meet demands like remote work, digital services, and risk management. GET THE GUIDE


Recycled Roadways That Charge EVs Are Closer Than You Think Technology and policy leaders discussed the highway infrastructure of the future at the recent Transportation Research Board annual meeting, offering up the benefits of using recycled materials and sending electricity through the pavement. READ MORE


Showcasing the Startups at State of GovTech — ICYMI Leaders from Orijin, Medex Forensics, Societal and — gov tech startups singled out by judges at the State of GovTech event — discuss their innovative solutions and their companies’ visions. READ MORE


Special: Securing America's Digital Infrastructure A round up industry best practices on topics such as security, threats, and privacy. See how companies are helping state and local agencies tackle and prepare for all things cybersecurity. NEWS, CONVERSATIONS AND RESOURCES


The 12 Cities Being Recognized for Strong Data Work Results for America has awarded a dozen new cities for the quality of work with data to inform policy, engage residents, allocate funding and improve municipal services. READ MORE


The Perils of Broadcasting Law Enforcement Frequencies There’s a big audience for it. But people listening to police radio creates serious privacy challenges. They can also hamper law enforcement. READ MORE


Transforming Community Infrastructure for Water Conservation Local governments can drastically improve water conservation with a comprehensive approach to water management. READ MORE


Universal Basic Income Is Not a Solution for What Ails Society Providing guaranteed cash with no spending restrictions is massively expensive, and the public doesn’t support the idea. Policymakers should focus on reforms that maximize labor-force participation and make work more worthwhile. READ MORE


Virginia Governor Signs Another Executive Order on AI Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s latest executive order on artificial intelligence targets the use of the technology in the classroom and offers standards to safeguard state databases and individual data. READ MORE


What Are the Biggest Issues Facing States and Localities This Year? From artificial intelligence to international affairs, state and local leaders will have to make decisions on a variety of policy issues this year. READ MORE


Why did this company AI chatbot start swearing and criticizing the company? READ MORE


January 26, 2024

State Comptroller Dinapoli Releases School Audits

On January 24, 2024, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following school audits were issued.

Click on the text highlighted in color to access both the summary and the complete audit report


East Aurora Union Free School District – Procurement (Erie County)

The board and district officials did not always procure goods and services in a competitive manner. Officials did not update the procurement policy or ensure that employees followed state law when procuring goods and services. As a result, goods and services were purchased without the benefit of competition, resulting in the increased risk that taxpayer dollars were not expended in the most prudent and economical manner. The board and district officials did not request proposals within the last five years for 43 professional service contracts (91% of contracts audited) totaling $1.8 million and did not obtain competitive pricing or retain documentation to demonstrate quotes were obtained for 48 purchase and public works contracts (100% of contracts audited) totaling $443,734.


Holland Patent Central School District – Fuel Inventory (Oneida County)

District officials did not adequately manage and monitor fuel access and usage or account for fuel inventory. As a result, seven enabled fuel user accounts were not needed and authorized transportation department employees completed 117 usage transactions during the audit period by sharing personal identification numbers or vehicle fobs to fuel buses. Officials also did not develop written procedures to help ensure fuel inventories were adequately managed or review fuel usage reports to monitor user access and vehicle fuel use for reasonableness.


Brockport Central School District – Financial Management (Monroe County)

From the 2017-18 through 2021-22 fiscal years, the approved budgets made it appear as though the board needed to appropriate fund balance and reserves and increase real property taxes by 13% to close projected budget gaps. However, the district incurred operating surpluses in each of those five years, totaling $20.9 million. The board overestimated appropriations by more than $30 million (8%) and underestimated revenues by a total of $8.7 million (4%). In addition, five reserves had unreasonably high balances totaling $24.5 million that were not needed or used in many years, and the debt reserve in the debt service fund had $700,000 in unidentified money that should be returned to the general fund. The district also did not have comprehensive written reserve reports or plans, or written multiyear financial and capital plans, inhibiting effective financial management.


Garrison Union Free School District – Information Technology (IT) (Putnam County)

District officials did not adequately secure the district’s network user accounts, establish physical controls, maintain complete and accurate inventory records for IT equipment or develop an IT contingency plan. In addition to sensitive IT control weaknesses, the district staff did not have sufficient documented guidance or plans to implement following an unexpected IT disruption or disaster. As a result, district officials have an increased risk they may not recover data and resume essential operations in a timely manner. Also, 40 of the 115 enabled nonstudent network user accounts (35%) were no longer needed. Unneeded user accounts could be used to inappropriately access and view personal, private and sensitive information or disable the network. In addition, 10 IT assets, including nine laptops and one printer, were not properly recorded in the district’s inventory listing.



New York State Comptroller DiNapol reports 16 school districts in fiscal stress for the school year ending June 30, 2023

Sixteen school districts were designated in some level of fiscal stress under New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System for the school year ending June 30, 2023. 

In a report posted on the Internet dated January 25, 2024, the Comptroller indicated that the number of school districts currently identified as being in fiscal stress is well below the 33 designated in fiscal stress in 2019. Increased temporary federal aid and growth in state aid have contributed to the declining number of school districts designated in fiscal stress.

Click HERE to access the Comptroller's fiscal stress report on the Internet.

Commissioner of Education asked to conduct an investigation, audit a school district election, terminate certain school district personnel from their postition and reimburse Petitioner her costs in bringing the proceeding

In the appeal to the Commissioner of Education submitted pursuant to pursuant to Education Law §310 Petitioner sought a review of a school district's [BOE] election procedures, the votes cast during the 2023 election (personally or through an independent “auditor”) for the three candidates seeking election to the Board; “open[ing] all 2023 BOE seats for reelection in 2024”; and orders directing the BOE to review its election procedures.  In addition, Petitioner sought the removal of the district clerk, two board members, and reimbursement for her costs in bringing this proceeding.

BOE contended that Petitioner failed to establish any wrongdoing in connection with the election. Further, even assuming that the alleged irregularities occurred, BOE contended "they did not affect the outcome of the election or impugn its fairness."*

The Commissioner ruled that Petitioner's appeal must be dismissed and the application denied.

The Commissioner noted that an appeal to the Commissioner is appellate in nature and does not provide for investigations and that the Commissioner has no authority to award monetary damages, costs or reimbursements in an appeal pursuant to Education Law §310 , citing Appeal of D.B., 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,244 and Application of Kolbmann, 48 id. 370, Decision No. 15,888).  Accordingly, the Commissioner dismissed Petitioner’s requests for an investigation, the appointment of an “auditor,” and financial reimbursement.

As to the merits of Petitioner's efforts to invalidate the results of a school district election, the Commissioner explained that a petitioner seeking the invalidation of a school board election must either:

(1) Establish not only that irregularities occurred but also that any irregularities actually affected the outcome of the election or were so pervasive that they vitiated the electoral process; or

(2) Demonstrate a clear and convincing picture of informality to the point of laxity in adherence to the Education Law.

Noting earlier Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Commissioner of Education Rosa said "[implicit in those decisions] is a recognition that it is a rare case where errors in the conduct of an election are so pervasive as to vitiate the fundamental fairness of the election, citing in particular Appeal of Casey-Tomasi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,301; Appeal of Lanzilotta, 48 id. 428, Decision No. 15,905; and Appeal of Thomas, 47 id. 442, Decision No. 15,748.

Initially, many of the issues of which Petitioner complains are explained by BOE’s utilization of poll registration in lieu of personal registration, noting that in the event "a Board of Education of a district does not adopt personal registration ... any qualified voter[s] of the district may present [themselves] to the meeting and, after [their] name[s] ha[ve] been placed on the poll list, ... cast [a] ballot”.

Significantly the Commissioner indicated that Petitioner "fails to even allege sufficient voter irregularities to affect the outcome of the election" and sets out in her decision the facts supporting BOE explanation of the numerical discrepancies about which [Petitioner] complains such "five voters 'signed the poll book but their barcode[s] [were] not scanned" and due to an oversight, certain voter’s information was not “manually entered into the election software program voter list.”

The Commissioner also addressed the procedure to be followed upon a challenge to a voter’s qualifications set out in Education Law §2019, observing that the record reflects that the BOE complied with this statutory procedure.

Holding that Petitioner has not met her burden of establishing that any election irregularities occurred, "let alone those significant enough to warrant overturning the election", the Commissioner concluded that there was no basis to remove the school officers identified in the caption of the Petitioner's appeal. Further, opined the Commissioner, "A school officer may only be removed based upon a willful violation or neglect of duty under the Education Law or willful disobedience a decision, order, rule, or regulation of the Board of Regents or the Commissioner", citing Education Law §306.

Addressing a final issue, the Commissioner noted that the individual named respondents had requested certification that they acted in good faith pursuant to Education Law §3811(1), which section authorizes a board of education to indemnify a respondent for costs incurred in defending against a proceeding arising out of the exercise of the respondent’s powers or the performance of the respondent’s duties as a board member or other official listed in section 3811(1)."

Pointing out that the Commissioner will issue such a certification unless the record establishes that the requesting respondent acted in bad faith, the Commissioner certified that "for the purpose of Education Law §3811(1) that the individual respondents are entitled to the requested certification" with respect to the instant proceeding.

* Two candidates in the election received 598 and 566 votes respectively while the third candidate, Petitioner, received 351 votes. A request to preserve the ballots in the 2023 election as interim relief was determined to be unnecessary.

Click HERE to access the Commissioner's decision posted on the Internet.


January 25, 2024

Recent Decisions by New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings' Administrative Law Judges

On January 24, 2024, the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings [OATH] posted the selected summaries of decisions involving disciplinary actions initiated by the appointing authority issued by OATH Administrative Law Judges set out below.


Conduct unbecoming of a member in the service of the New York City Department of Correction

Administrative Law Judge Charlotte E. Davidson recommended termination of employment for a correction officer [Respondent] charged with conduct unbecoming of a member of service and of a nature to bring discredit upon the Department, and undue familiarity with a person in custody.

The ALJ found that Respondent, while escorting a person in custody, permitted him to visit another cell where he obtained contraband. Respondent also permitted the person in custody to violate numerous rules while under her supervision, including touching her on several occasions, repeatedly ignoring her commands, and wearing prohibited clothing.

The ALJ credited the correction officer’s explanation that her behavior was driven by a desire to avoid physical harm to herself but found that Respondent violated the rules against undue familiarity by permitting the person in custody to engage in the misconduct. However, the evidence did not support a finding of repeated interactions in a sexual manner, and the ALJ dismissed a charge related to sexual contact.

The ALJ also found that Respondent inefficiently performed her duties by failing to note infractions in the facility logbook.

Despite respondent’s minimal disciplinary history, the ALJ found that by indulging the inappropriate behavior of a person under her custody, respondent committed misconduct warranting a penalty of termination.

Click HERE to access Judge Davidson's findings and recommendation posted on the Internet.


New York City correction officer charged with excessive absences

Administrative Law Judge Julia Davis recommended dismissal of charges served on a correction officer [Respondent] alleging "excessive absences".

Respondent reported sick on approximately 92 days from January 2021 to December 2021, and approximately 114 days from January 2022 to September 2022. Respondent’s August 25, 2021 through June 13, 2022 sick leave was the first time Respondent reported sick for injuries he sustained in a September 11, 2020 use of force incident. Under the Department’s rules, when calculating sick days, an officer’s first absence for a line of duty injury sustained as a direct result of a use of force incident is excluded.

The ALJ rejected the Department’s argument that the first absence must be taken immediately following the use of force incident, finding the Department’s rule does not contain the word “immediately” nor impose any time period. After excluding the sick days from August 25, 2021 to June 13, 2022, the ALJ found the Department  failed to prove Respondent was excessively absent.

Click HERE to access Judge Davis' findings and recommendation posted on the Internet.


Discourteous and insubordinate conduct alleged

Administrative Law Judge Michael D. Turilli recommended dismissal of disciplinary charges for served on an administrative procurement analyst [Respondent] employed by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development [Petitioner] charged with discourteous and insubordinate conduct towards his supervisor and failure to satisfactorily perform his work.

The ALJ held that Respondent did not willfully refuse an order to attend a meeting with his supervisors, finding that although Respondent was a few minutes late, he went to the meeting and his supervisors granted his request for a postponement so his union representative could be present.

Although Respondent was argumentative and defensive during the meeting, his conduct did not exceed the bounds of decorum and discretion.

The ALJ also found that Petitioner failed to establish that Respondent was incompetent in the performance of his duties because there was insufficient evidence Respondent persistently fell below the minimally acceptable threshold of time to complete his assignments.

Click HERE to access Judge Turilli's findings and recommendation posted on the Internet.


A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - an e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service of the State of New York and its political subdivisions in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. For more information and access to a free excerpt of the material presented in this e-book, click here:




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.
NYPPL Blogger 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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