ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE [AI] IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN PREPARING NYPPL SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS

February 18, 2017

Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending February 18, 2017


Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending February 18, 2017
Source: Office of the State Comptroller

Click on text highlighted in color  to access the full report


New York's Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Fixing

New York's water systems may require nearly $40 billion in repairs and improvements over the next two decades, according to a reportissued by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.


DiNapoli Appoints Government Relations Staff

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced he has named Erin Stevens as deputy comptroller for Intergovernmental and Community Affairs, Christina Baal-Owens as director of Community Affairs, and Tad Mack as the regional director for the Finger Lakes.


DiNapoli to Audit Hempstead IDA, Valley Stream School District in Wake of Controversial Development Project

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced his office will audit the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency and Valley Stream Union Free School District 30. The audits will be conducted in response to multiple requests his office received related to approval of the Green Acres Mall project in Hempstead.


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced his office completed audits of the





February 15, 2017

Do Civil Service Rules need to be reformed?

Do Civil Service Rules need to be reformed?
Source: Today's Government News

In an article posted on the Internet by Today's Government News, Contributor Howard Risher observes that "The states with the highest levels of active disengagement -- workers who are so unhappy at work that they 'undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish,'" as Gallup put it in a recent study -- "are Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and my home state of Pennsylvania."

Mr. Risher then asks: “Are Civil-Service Rules the Enemy of Employee Engagement?” noting that “At every level of government, problem employees receive far more attention than those who make significant contributions.”

Mr. Risher's article is posted on the Internet at:

http://www.governing.com/columns/smart-mgmt/col-civil-service-rules-public-employee-engagement.html?utm_term=Are%20Civil-Service%20Rules%20the%20Enemy%20of%20Employee%20Engagement&utm_campaign=Leaked%20Trump%20Order%20Targets%20Legal%20Immigrants%20Who%20Use%20Government%20Benefits&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email



February 10, 2017

Executive Order threatens cuts to federal funding of any jurisdiction that refuses to hold individuals for possible deportation


Executive Order threatens cuts of federal funding of any jurisdiction that refuses to hold individuals for possible deportation
Source: Governing the States and Localities - Public Safety and Justice, February 10, 2017

"President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 25, 2017 promising to punish any 'sanctuary jurisdictions' that 'attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.' The order threatened cuts to federal funding and public shaming of 'any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers.'”

On the other hand, some involved in law enforcement who operate jails have liability concerns and many will not honor detaining orders without a warrant signed by a judge.

The Public Safety and Justicearticle is posted on the Internet at:

The Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, is posted on the Internet at:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/25/presidential-executive-order-enhancing-public-safety-interior-united



February 06, 2017

Police detective who did not properly discharge his duties not entitled to a defense or indemnification by the employer in a lawsuit in which he or she is a defendant


Police detective who did not properly discharge his duties not entitled to a defense or indemnification by the employer in a lawsuit in which he or she is a defendant
2017 NY Slip Op 00649, Appellate Division, Second Department

General Municipal Law §50-l provides that "Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, code or charter, the county of Nassau shall provide for the defense of any civil action or proceeding brought against a duly appointed police officer of the Nassau county police department and shall indemnify and save harmless such police officer from any judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction whenever such action, proceeding or judgment is for damages, including punitive or exemplary damages, arising out of a negligent act or other tort of such police officer committed while in the proper discharge of his duties and within the scope of his employment. Such proper discharge and scope shall be determined by a majority vote of a panel consisting of one member appointed by the Nassau county board of supervisors, one member appointed by the Nassau county executive, and the third member being the Nassau county police commissioner or a deputy police commissioner."

The Nassau County Police Officer Indemnification Board determined that a Nassau County Police Detective was not entitled to a defense or to indemnification pursuant to General Municipal Law §50-l in a federal action civil rights action in which he was named a defendant. Supreme Court sustained the Board’s decision and the Detective appealed.

The Board had determined that the Detective had failed to notify anyone that an individual who had been arrested and held in jail for four months before he was arraigned could not possibly have committed the robbery for which he was charged because he was incarcerated on the day of the robbery. This failure, said the Board, was not "committed while in the proper discharge of his duties."

The Appellate Division said that the Board’s decision was supported by the facts and was not arbitrary and capricious. Further, said the Appellate Division, a court "may not substitute its judgment for that of the agency responsible for making the determination, but must ascertain only whether there is a rational basis for the decision or whether it is arbitrary and capricious."

Accordingly, the Appellate Division found that Supreme Court had properly denied the Detective’s petition and had properly dismissed the action the Detective had brought pursuant to CPLR Article 78.

January 30, 2017

Determining seniority for the purpose of layoff and establishing an educator's position on a "preferred list" for the purpose of reinstatement


Determining seniority for the purpose of layoff and establishing an educator's position on a "preferred list" for the purpose of reinstatement
Matter of DeRosa and the Minisink Valley Central School District, et al, Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision No. 17,028

Amanda DeRosa served full-time in her probationary appointment during the 2008–2009 and 2009–2010 school years, with the exception of the period of November 19, 2009 to January 5, 2010, during which she took unpaid maternity leave. 

The Minisink Valley Central School District [Minisink] abolished thirteen full-time positions in the elementary tenure area effective June 30, 2010 and Ms. DeRosa was notified that she would be placed on a "preferred eligibility list" [PEL] with the right to reinstatement to a position in the elementary tenure area. When Minisink recalled two other teachers on the PEL, Ms. Kristen Daly and Ms. Jeni Galligan, Ms. DeRosa claimed that at the time of the recall she had four full years of service in the system, more than Ms. Daly and Ms. Galligan and that,  in accordance with Education Law §§2510 and 3013, she should have been recalled from the PEL prior to either of those educators.

In contrast to Minisink's argument that "long-term substitute service in positions that do not ripen into probationary appointments is not counted towards seniority," the Commissioner of Education ruled that long-term substitute service should be so considered and that tenure area is irrelevant to the calculation of service for the purposes of determining an individual's ranking on a preferred list.

The Commissioner pointed out that paragraph (a) of Education Law §3013(3) addresses a teacher’s recall rights following a layoff and provides, in pertinent part that "If an office or position is abolished ...  the person filling such position at the time of its abolishment or consolidation shall be placed upon a preferred eligible list.... The persons on such preferred list shall be reinstated or appointed to such vacancies ... in the order of their length of service in the system...."

The Commissioner explained that for purposes of determining the recall rights of teachers on a PEL, length of service in the system is used, not length of service within a particular tenure area. Further, said the Commissioner, "Seniority under Education Law §2510(3), which is identical to §3013(3), has been interpreted as all service within the system, not just a particular tenure area" and it is well-settled that full-time regular substitute service counts for seniority purposes under Education Law §§2510(2). Rather, a teachers loses his or her seniority rights under Education Law §§2510(2) and 3013(2) when he or she severs, or is severed, for his or her employment with the employer, not at the result of "interrupted service" during an "uninterrupted" period of employment as the result of an authorized leave of absence without pay or for such other reason such as military leave as defined in New York State's Military Law.

The question presented in this appeal was whether the calculation of Ms. DeRosa's service in the system under Education Law §3013(3) includes long-term substitute service that did not lead to a probationary appointment in the same tenure area. This, said the Commissioner, appeared to be a question of first impression and neither party has cited to a prior decision that squarely addresses this issue nor could the Commissioner find one.

Although Minisink cited Matter of Kelley, 19 Ed Dept Rep 499, aff’d sub. nom.; Kelley v. Ambach, 83AD2d 733, as authority that substitute service not connected to a probationary appointment should not be counted towards seniority, the Commissioner noted that in Kelley an excessed assistant principal in a junior high school claimed entitlement to appointment from the a PEL to positions of assistant principal at a senior high school. As both of the senior high school positions were in a different tenure area, the Commissioner held that Minisink's "reliance on [Kelley was] misplaced," noting that Ms. DeRosa argued that she should have been recalled by Minisink to a vacant position that was in the same tenure area as the position from which she was excessed.

Accordingly, the question is whether long-term substitute service that did not lead to a probationary appointment would be creditable in determining seniority for the purposes of layoff under Education Law §3013(2) and for recall purposes under Education Law §3013(3). 

In the words of the Commissioner, "[Minisink] has not articulated any compelling policy reason why long-term substitute service that did not lead to a probationary appointment should not be counted for recall purposes when the law is clear that service in another tenure area may be counted [and] Education Law §3013(3) bases recall on length of service in the system, which would encompass full-time service as a professional educator as defined in 8 NYCRR §30-1.1(e) [and] no reason appears why full-time service as a regular substitute in a different tenure area should not be counted as part of service" at Minisink.

In consideration of the facts in this case, the Commissioner found:

1. "Where [a] petitioner is seeking reinstatement to a position in her [or his] original tenure area and [is] only claiming seniority credit for prior long-term substitute service, the petitioner is entitled to such credit for her [or his] service as a professional educator. 

2. "By analogy to the cases under Education Law §§2510(2) and 3013(2), this applies to long-term substitute service that did not immediately precede [a] petitioner’s probationary service and to interrupted service such as [Ms. DeRosa's]. 

3. There was "no basis in the statute, or as a matter of policy, for disregarding service as a professional educator in a long-term substitute position in determining total years of service in the [district] under Education Law §3013(3).

4. Ms. DeRosa's "did not sever service with the district; rather, her service was only interrupted by service in a different tenure area.

5. Ms. DeRosa had "served in a probationary appointment in the elementary tenure area until such position was abolished" and service during that probationary appointment "counted towards her seniority in the [district]."

Ms. DeRosa, at the time that her position was abolished, had four years of service in the elementary tenure area, less unpaid time taken during the 2009–2010 school year for maternity leave. In contrast, Ms. Daly had three years of service in the district and Ms. Galligan had three years of service, less some number of days of unpaid leave." Thus Ms. DeRosa had more seniority at Minisink than either Ms. Daly or Ms. Galligan."

Accordingly, the Commissioner ordered Minisink to reinstate Ms. DeRosa as elementary teacher, with back pay, seniority and benefits as of September 1, 2013, "less any compensation she may have received in the interim."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - a 645 page e-book focusing on the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and summarizing selected court and administrative decisions, involving layoff and reinstatement from a preferred list. For more information click on http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/
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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, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
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.
New York Public Personnel Law. Email: publications@nycap.rr.com