ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL

October 04, 2023

Increase in the maximum sick leave days that may be accumulated by employees of the State as the employer designated Managerial or Confidential within the meaning of CSL Article 14 [the Taylor Law] proposed

The Department of Civil Service has proposed an amendment to §28 of the Attendance Rules for Employees in New York State Departments and Institutions to read as follows:

"28-1.3(b) Increase Sick Leave Accruals (b) Employees shall earn sick leave credits at the rate of one-half day per biweekly pay period and may accumulate such credits up to a total of 200 225 days."

No change has been proposed with respect to the use of up to 200 days of such credits to pay for health insurance in retirement in accordance with §167(4) of the Civil Service Law nor that an employee shall not earn sick leave credit for any biweekly pay period unless such employee is in full pay status for at least seven workdays during such biweekly pay period.

A part-time employee who is required to work a fixed number of hours on a fixed schedule five days per week, or who is required to work at least half-time each biweekly pay period for a fixed number of hours on a fixed schedule, shall also earn sick leave credit as provided herein, but total pay when absent on such leave shall be the amount which would have been due had such employee worked regularly at his/her usual hours for such period.

The text of proposed rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained from Jennifer Paul, NYS Department of Civil Service, Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 1, Albany, NY 12239, (518) 473-6598, email: commops@cs.ny.gov.

Data, views or arguments may be submitted to Eugene Sarfoh, Counsel, NYS Department of Civil Service, Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 1, Albany, NY 12239, (518) 473-2624, email: public.comments@cs.ny.gov.

Public comment will be received until 60 days after publication of this notice, published in the State Register on October 4, 2023 [Vol. XLV, Issue 40].

 

Municipal and School Audits released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

On October 3, 2023, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following local government and school audits were issued.

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

 

Cattaraugus County – Sexual Harassment Prevention (SHP) Training

SHP training was provided to employees and elected officials. However, of the 150 total individuals auditors tested (125 selected employees and all 25 elected officials), 36 employees and 18 elected officials did not complete the annual training.

 

Town of Orangeville – Town Clerk/Tax Collector (Wyoming County)

The clerk did not properly record, deposit, remit or report collections. The clerk did not maintain complete and accurate accounting records, provide accurate monthly reports to the supervisor or provide an annual accounting to the board as required. The clerk also did not: accurately record, remit and report detailed clerk fees for 21 of the 24 months reviewed; deposit clerk fees and real property tax collections within required timeframes or in a timely manner; remit real property tax collections totaling $2 million to the supervisor or the county treasurer within the required timeframes; or accurately record and report real property tax collections.

 

Wallkill Central School District – Claims Auditing (Ulster County)

The claims auditor did not ensure claims were adequately supported, properly authorized, approved before payment, for valid purposes or properly reported to the board. Auditors reviewed 100 claims totaling $1.7 million and determined: none were reviewed for sufficient budget appropriations, which could result in budget lines being overspent; 58 totaling $1.6 million did not have sufficient supporting documentation, which could result in paying a claim that is not valid and legal; and 11 lists of claims totaling $464,801 were not included in the claims auditor reports to the board. As a result, the board was not aware of all claims paid.

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October 03, 2023

Expanded New York State statewide language access policy

 GOVERNOR HOCHUL CELEBRATES ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF STATE’S EXPANDED STATEWIDE LANGUAGE ACCESS POLICY AND NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF LANGUAGE ACCESS 

La traducción al español de este comunicado de prensa se proporciona a continuación.

 

State Fulfilling Commitment to Improve Language Access Services for New Yorkers with Limited English Proficiency 

 

Office of Language Access Launching Statewide Ad Campaign and Promoting Upcoming Listening Tour 

 

State Agency Language Access Plans Available Here 

 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the one-year anniversary of the expansion of New York State’s language access policy and the launch of the Office of Language Access. To ensure all New Yorkers can easily access state government programs and benefits — no matter their preferred language — the language access law mandates all executive State agencies providing direct services or benefits to provide interpretation services in any language and to translate vital agency documents into the top 12 non-English languages most commonly spoken by New Yorkers. Each agency has a Language Access Coordinator overseeing the provision of language access services and a Language Access Plan that is updated at least every two years. The Office of Language Access will publish in early October the first report of language access services provided by agencies since its launch. 

 

"With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York has welcomed immigrants from across the world for generations," Governor Hochul said. "Through the Office of Language Access, we made important progress to tear down language barriers and make critical services and resources more accessible to all New Yorkers who have come here to build a better life for themselves and their families."

 

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, “New York State is one of the most diverse states in the country, and there are millions of New Yorkers who do not speak English as their primary language, and the Office of General Services is proud to be part of Governor Hochul’s efforts to dismantle the language barriers that block many New Yorkers from easily obtaining government services that most of us take for granted. Every New Yorker deserves a government that provides equitable, fast, and efficient services. I applaud our Office of Language Access and our state agency partners for all they have accomplished over the past year by providing more equitable access to vital documents, information, and services.”

 

New York State Chief Disability Officer Kimberly Hill said, “I am so proud that the Office of the Chief Disability Officer has been a part of an incredible partnership with the Office of Language Access that will assist many New Yorkers in obtaining equal access to communication. My entire team would like to wish OLA a very happy first anniversary and we  look forward to many more exciting collaborations in the future!”

 

Office of Language Access Executive Director Margarita Larios said, “We’re proud of our first year’s accomplishments in collaboration with State Language Access Coordinators and their Executive agencies. We are energized to continue working hard to ensure all New Yorkers have easy access to state government programs and services, no matter their English proficiency. We are focusing on raising awareness, getting feedback and empowering New Yorkers to seek the government services they deserve, regardless of their preferred language. Our ad campaign highlights our state’s unique language and cultural diversity, a key to why so many of us came to New York to make our dreams come true. I’m grateful to our partners across state agencies, community-based organizations, state and local governments, language services providers, and beyond. We still have a lot to do but are well on our way thanks to Governor Hochul’s and OGS Commissioner Jeanette Moy’s steadfast commitment to advance language justice in New York State.” 

 

Housed within the NYS Office of General Services (OGS), OLA was created in October 2022 to provide the critical support, guidance, oversight, and coordination required to ensure the 46 executive agencies complying with the language access law (Executive Law Section 202-a) implement it efficiently and effectively. OLA and the expanded statewide language access policy was codified as part of the FY 2023 Budget, fulfilling a commitment made in Governor Hochul's 2022 State of the State agenda.

 

Among the milestones reached since the OLA was launched on October 3, 2022

 

  • In collaboration with the New York State Digital and Media Services Center (DMSC), OLA created an Office of Language Access toolkit, including the “Your Language Access Rights in New York State brochure in 26 languages, “I Speak” card, landing page, and other materials to promote and facilitate the provision of languages access services. These materials were distributed to 46 agencies in July. An ASL interpretation video of this brochure is also available. 
  • Partnering with the Governor’s Office of the Chief Disability Officer, OLA created first-in-the-nation American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation video series of key documents from different agencies, to increase access to important information for the Deaf community with limited English proficiency who uses ASL. There are 40 ASL videos now available in the OGS YouTube channel, and the list continues to grow. 
  • Launched the media ad campaign “As a New Yorker...” providing the public with multilingual information and documents about the language access law, the process for filing a complaint, individual state agency Language Access Plans, and a list of agency Language Access Coordinators.
  • OLA conducted 10 feedback sessions with more than 20 community-based organizations advocating for language access services from each of the 10 New York regions to better understand language access needs and inform programmatic planning.
  • OLA supported covered agencies with over $300,000 in funding for the translation of vital documents. 
  • Collaborated with New York State Department of Health, Department of Labor, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Taxation and Finance, Division of Human Rights, Office of Medicaid Inspector General, and Office of Mental Health to add up to four languages to their list of vital documents translation languages, as provisioned in the language access law.  
  • Created a dashboard for New York State staff with data on non-English languages spoken at home by New Yorkers with LEP to support data-driven decision-making. 
  • OGS tripled the number of language service providers available on the state contract agencies can access to provide interpretation and translation services. 
  • OLA completed a state agency language access coordinator assessment survey and held quarterly language access coordinator meetings to determine opportunities for optimization and support of agencies. 

 

The OLA is now launching its first statewide awareness campaign to provide New Yorkers with information about their rights to access state programs and benefits with the assistance of free language services. The campaign also promotes OLA’s statewide listening tour, which is scheduled to kick off in mid-October. 

 

New Yorkers will see the multimedia awareness campaign in English and in the top non-English languages spoken statewide (Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Yiddish), as well as American Sign Language. As part of the campaign, informative public service announcements will appear through mid-November on social media and streaming video platforms, billboards, and radio, as well as newspapers, magazines, and more.  

 

Also, as part of its strategy to raise awareness and get feedback directly from New Yorkers about the state’s language services, OLA will conduct listening sessions at locations across New York this fall.  

 

The OLA listening tour is scheduled to begin in Buffalo on October 14, with sessions planned also for Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Westchester, Long Island, and New York City. The final session will take place virtually on November 21. 

 

Additional information about the listening tour, including times, dates, locations, and details on registering are available here.  

 

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SPANISH TRANSLATION:

LA GOBERNADORA HOCHUL CELEBRA EL PRIMER ANIVERSARIO DE LA POLÍTICA AMPLIADA DE ACCESO A IDIOMAS A TODO EL ESTADO Y LA OFICINA DE ACCESO A IDIOMAS DEL ESTADO DE NUEVA YORK

El Estado cumple su compromiso de mejorar los servicios de acceso lingüístico para neoyorquinos con dominio limitado del inglés

 La Oficina de Acceso Lingüístico lanza una campaña publicitaria a nivel estatal y promueve la próxima gira de escucha

Planes de acceso lingüístico de agencias estatales disponibles aquí 

La gobernadora Kathy Hochul anunció hoy el primer aniversario de la expansión de la política de acceso al idioma del estado de Nueva York y el lanzamiento de la Oficina de Acceso al Idioma. Para garantizar que todos los neoyorquinos puedan acceder fácilmente a los programas y beneficios del gobierno estatal, sin importar su idioma preferido, la ley de acceso lingüístico exige que todas las agencias estatales ejecutivas que brindan servicios o beneficios directos brinden servicios de interpretación en cualquier idioma y traduzcan documentos vitales de la agencia a los 12 idiomas principales, además del inglés, más hablados por los neoyorquinos. Cada agencia tiene un Coordinador de Acceso Lingüístico que supervisa la prestación de servicios de acceso lingüístico y un Plan de Acceso Lingüístico que se actualiza al menos cada dos años. La Oficina de Acceso al Idioma publicará a principios de octubre el primer informe de los servicios de acceso al idioma proporcionados por las agencias desde su lanzamiento.

"Con la Estatua de la Libertad en nuestro puerto, Nueva York ha dado la bienvenida a inmigrantes de todo el mundo durante generaciones", dijo la gobernadora Hochul. "A través de la Oficina de Acceso Lingüístico, logramos avances importantes para derribar las barreras del idioma y hacer que los servicios y recursos críticos sean más accesibles para todos los neoyorquinos que han venido aquí para construir una vida mejor para ellos y sus familias".

La comisionada de la Oficina de Servicios Generales del Estado de Nueva York, Jeanette Moy, dijo: “El estado de Nueva York es uno de los estados más diversos del país y hay millones de neoyorquinos que no hablan inglés como idioma principal, y la Oficina de Servicios Generales se enorgullece de ser parte de los esfuerzos de la gobernadora Hochul para desmantelar las barreras del idioma que impiden que muchos neoyorquinos obtengan fácilmente servicios gubernamentales que la mayoría de nosotros damos por sentado. Todo neoyorquino merece un gobierno que brinde servicios equitativos, rápidos y eficientes. Aplaudo a nuestra Oficina de Acceso Lingüístico y a nuestras agencias estatales asociadas por todo lo que han logrado durante el año pasado al brindar un acceso más equitativo a documentos, información y servicios vitales”.

Kimberly Hill, directora de Discapacidad del estado de Nueva York, dijo: “Estoy muy orgullosa de que la Oficina del Director de Discapacidad haya sido parte de una asociación increíble con la Oficina de Acceso Lingüístico que ayudará a muchos neoyorquinos a obtener igualdad de acceso a la comunicación. ¡Todo mi equipo quisiera desearle a OLA un muy feliz primer aniversario y esperamos muchas más colaboraciones emocionantes en el futuro!

La directora ejecutiva de la Oficina de Acceso Lingüístico, Margarita Larios, dijo: “Estamos orgullosos de los logros de nuestro primer año en colaboración con los Coordinadores Estatales de Acceso Lingüístico y sus agencias ejecutivas. Estamos motivados para seguir trabajando arduamente para garantizar que todos los neoyorquinos tengan fácil acceso a los programas y servicios del gobierno estatal, sin importar su dominio del inglés. Nos estamos centrando en crear conciencia, obtener comentarios y empoderar a los neoyorquinos para que busquen los servicios gubernamentales que merecen, independientemente de su idioma preferido. Nuestra campaña publicitaria destaca la diversidad lingüística y cultural única de nuestro estado, una clave de por qué muchos de nosotros vinimos a Nueva York para hacer realidad nuestros sueños. Agradezco a nuestros socios de agencias estatales, organizaciones comunitarias, gobiernos estatales y locales, proveedores de servicios lingüísticos y más. Todavía tenemos mucho por hacer, pero vamos por buen camino gracias al firme compromiso de la gobernadora Hochul y la comisionada de la OGS, Jeanette Moy, de promover la justicia lingüística en el estado de Nueva York”.

Ubicada dentro de la Oficina de Servicios Generales (OGS) del Estado de Nueva York, OLA se creó en octubre del 2022 para brindar el apoyo, la orientación, la supervisión y la coordinación crítica necesaria para garantizar que las 46 agencias ejecutivas cumplan con la ley de acceso al idioma (Sección 202-a de la Ley Ejecutiva) implementarlo de manera eficiente y efectiva. OLA y la política estatal ampliada de acceso al idioma se codificaron como parte del presupuesto del año fiscal 2023, cumpliendo un compromiso asumido en la agenda del Estado del Estado 2022 de la Gobernadora Hochul.

Entre los hitos alcanzados desde el lanzamiento de OLA el 3 de octubre del 2022:

  • En colaboración con el Centro de Servicios Digitales y de Medios del Estado de Nueva York (DMSC), OLA creó un conjunto de herramientas de la Oficina de Acceso Lingüístico, que incluye el folleto “Sus derechos de acceso lingüístico en el estado de Nueva York” en 26 idiomas, la tarjeta “Yo hablo”, y otros materiales para promover y facilitar la prestación de servicios de acceso a idiomas. Estos materiales se distribuyeron a 46 agencias en julio. También está disponible un video de interpretación de ASL de este folleto.
  • En asociación con la Oficina de la Directora de Discapacidad de la Gobernadora, OLA creó la primera serie de videos de interpretación en lenguaje de señas estadounidense (ASL)  del país de documentos clave de diferentes agencias, para aumentar el acceso a información importante para la comunidad sorda con dominio limitado del inglés que usa ASL. Ahora hay 40 videos en ASL disponibles en el canal de YouTube de OGS y la lista continúa creciendo.
  • Lanzó la campaña publicitaria en los medios “Como neoyorquino…” brindando al público información y documentos multilingües sobre la ley de acceso al idioma, el proceso para presentar una queja, los planes de acceso al idioma de cada agencia estatal y una lista de Coordinadores de acceso al idioma de las agencias.
  • OLA llevó a cabo 10 sesiones de retroalimentación con más de 20 organizaciones comunitarias que abogan por servicios de acceso lingüístico en cada una de las 10 regiones de Nueva York para comprender mejor las necesidades de acceso lingüístico e informar la planificación programática.
  • OLA apoyó a agencias cubiertas con más de $300,000 en financiamiento para la traducción de documentos vitales.
  • Colaboró con el Departamento de Salud, el Departamento de Trabajo, el Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados, el Departamento de Impuestos y Finanzas, la División de Derechos Humanos, la Oficina del Inspector General de Medicaid y la Oficina de Salud Mental del Estado de Nueva York para agregar hasta cuatro idiomas a su lista de idiomas de traducción de documentos vitales, según lo dispuesto en la ley de acceso a idiomas
  • Creó un panel para el personal del estado de Nueva York con datos sobre idiomas distintos del inglés que hablan en casa los neoyorquinos con LEP para respaldar la toma de decisiones basada en datos.
  • La OGS triplicó el número de proveedores de servicios lingüísticos disponibles en los contratos estatales a los que pueden acceder las agencias para brindar servicios de interpretación y traducción.
  • OLA completó una encuesta de evaluación del coordinador de acceso lingüístico de una agencia estatal y celebró reuniones trimestrales de coordinadores de acceso lingüístico para determinar oportunidades de optimización y apoyo a las agencias.

La OLA ahora está lanzando su primera campaña de concientización a nivel estatal para brindar a los neoyorquinos información sobre sus derechos a acceder a programas y beneficios estatales con la ayuda de servicios lingüísticos gratuitos. La campaña también promueve la gira de escucha de OLA por todo el estado, cuyo inicio está previsto para mediados de octubre.

Los neoyorquinos verán la campaña de concientización multimedia en inglés y en los principales idiomas distintos del inglés que se hablan en todo el estado (árabe, bengalí, cantonés, francés, criollo haitiano, italiano, coreano, mandarín, polaco, ruso, español, urdu y yiddish) así como el lenguaje de signos americano. Como parte de la campaña, anuncios informativos de servicio público aparecerán hasta mediados de noviembre en las redes sociales y plataformas de transmisión de video, vallas publicitarias y radio, así como en periódicos, revistas y más.

Además, como parte de su estrategia para crear conciencia y obtener comentarios directamente de los neoyorquinos sobre los servicios lingüísticos del estado, OLA llevará a cabo sesiones de escucha en lugares de Nueva York este otoño.

La gira de escucha de OLA está programada para comenzar en Buffalo el 14 de octubre, con sesiones previstas también en Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Westchester, Long Island y la ciudad de Nueva York. La sesión final se llevará a cabo virtualmente el 21 de noviembre.

Información adicional sobre la gira de escucha, incluidos horarios, fechas, ubicaciones y detalles sobre el registro, están disponibles aquí.   

  

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Challenges that may arise in the course of conducting a school board election and, or, conducting a vote on a budget proposition

In Decision of the Commissioner of Education No. 18,342, the text of which is set out below, the Commissioner addressed a number of issues that could arise in the course of a school board election or in the course of a vote on a budget proposition.

 

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals from action of the Board of Trustees of the Sherrill-Kenwood Free Library (“library”) and the Board of Education of the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District (“district”) regarding a vote on a library budget proposition held on June 1, 2022 (“Proposition 1”).  The appeal must be dismissed.

On June 1, 2022 the district held a vote on Proposition 1, which concerned an annual levy of $186,700 to support the library.[1]  Voting occurred at three polling places, located in Vernon, Verona and Sherrill, New York.  At the Sherrill voting site, poll workers offered voters a sticker containing the phrases “Your Vote Counts” and “Love Your Library” together with their ballots.  Proposition 1 passed by a vote of 351 to 296.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on July 1, 2022.

Petitioner claims that the “Love Your Library” stickers constituted improper electioneering.  Petitioner further alleges that there were no privacy curtains for voters to cast their vote at the polling site, in violation of Election Law § 8-312.  For relief, petitioner requests that I annul the results of the June 1, 2022 vote. 

The library denies that it engaged in electioneering or partisan advocacy.  The library further argues that Election Law § 8-312 does not apply to school district elections.  

The district denies that petitioner is entitled to any relief.[2] 

Initially, I must address two procedural matters.  The purpose of a reply is to respond to new material or affirmative defenses set forth in an answer (8 NYCRR 275.3, 275.14).  A reply is not meant to buttress allegations in the petition or belatedly add assertions that should have been raised in the petition (Appeal of Nappi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,300; Appeal of Caswell, 48 id. 472, Decision No. 15,920; Appeal of Hinson, 48 id. 437, Decision No. 15,908).  Therefore, while I have reviewed petitioner’s reply, I have not considered those portions containing new allegations or exhibits that are not responsive to new material or affirmative defenses set forth in the answer.

Petitioner also submits two additional affidavits with appendices describing “additional [ir]regularities in the conduct of the June 1, 2022 vote.”  Additional affidavits, exhibits, and other supporting papers may be submitted only with the prior permission of the Commissioner (8 NYCRR 276.5).  While this provision permits the submission of additional evidence, it does not permit parties to raise new claims or defenses for which notice has not been provided (Appeal of Casey-Tomasi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,301; Appeals of Gonzalez, 48 id. 405, Decision No. 15,898).  Similarly, additional submissions should not raise new issues or introduce new exhibits that are not relevant to the pleadings (Appeal of Casey-Tomasi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,301; Appeals of Gonzalez, 48 id. 405, Decision No. 15,898).  Petitioner submitted these additional affidavits approximately seven months after the reply and provides no explanation as to why I should accept them at this juncture (8 NYCRR 275.3[b]).  Moreover, this submission raises new claims not previously addressed in the petition.  Thus, I decline to accept these additional affidavits. 

Turning to the merits, to invalidate the results of a school district election, the petitioner 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 (see Matter of Boyes v Allen, 32 AD2d 990, 991 [3d Dept 1969], affd 26 NY2d 709 [1970]; Appeal of Casey-Tomasi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,301; Appeal of Levine, 24 id. 172, Decision No. 11,356, affd sub nom. Capobianco v Ambach, 112 AD2d 640 [3d Dept 1985]).  Implicit in these 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 (see Appeal of Casey-Tomasi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,301; Appeal of Lanzilotta, 48 id. 428, Decision No. 15,905; Appeal of Thomas, 47 id. 442, Decision No. 15,748).

A board of education may use public resources to present objective, factual information to the voters concerning a vote or election (Matter of Phillips v Maurer, 67 NY2d 672, 673-674 [1986]; see Education Law §§ 1716, 2022; Appeal of Flippen, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,296; Appeal of Caswell, 48 id. 472, Decision No. 15,920).  However, while a board of education may disseminate information “‘reasonably necessary’ to educate the public,” it may not use district resources to distribute materials “designed to exhort the electorate to cast their ballots in support of a particular position advocated by the board” (Matter of Phillips, 67 NY2d at 674 [citing Education Law § 1709 (33)]; Appeal of Flippen, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,296; Appeal of Caswell, 48 id. 472, Decision No. 15,920).

In an appeal to the Commissioner, a petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to the relief requested and establishing the facts upon which he or she seeks relief (8 NYCRR 275.10; Appeal of P.C. and K.C., 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,337; Appeal of Aversa, 48 id. 523, Decision No. 15,936; Appeal of Hansen, 48 id. 354, Decision No. 15,884).

In support of his argument, petitioner relies on affidavits from two district residents who voted at the Sherrill site.  Both residents state that they received a sticker reading “Your Vote Counts: Love Your Library” along with their ballots at the Sherrill polling site on June 1, 2022.  They maintain that receipt of this sticker could only be interpreted to mean that they should vote “yes” on Proposition 1.  Petitioner submits a copy of the sticker as evidence.  The sticker contains two separate graphics, one which states “Your Vote Counts” and a second that states “Love Your Library.”  The library asserts that these stickers “were intended for distribution after voting” and were generated in connection with the library’s annual “Spring for Books” event, which also occurred on June 1, 2022.  Despite these intentions, the district admits that “voters were given [the] sticker ... by a poll worker at the same time ... they were given their ballot.” 

Even assuming that the stickers constituted partisan statements or electioneering, petitioner has submitted no evidence that the stickers affected the votes of the affiants—or anyone else.  Thus, petitioner has failed to prove that the distribution of these stickers affected the outcome of the budget vote (Appeal of Casey-Tomasi, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,301; Appeal of Crawford, et al., 47 id. 413, Decision No. 15,739; Appeal of Holliday, 42 id. 242, Decision No. 14,840). 

Petitioner further argues that the results of the budget vote should be annulled based on the district’s failure to provide privacy curtains at the Sherrill polling place, which he asserts is required by Election Law § 8-312 [1]).  “Except in limited circumstances not applicable here, the Election Law does not govern the conduct of school district elections” (Appeal of the Bd. of Educ. of the Hilton Cent. Sch. Dist., 56 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,091 [citing, among other authorities, Election Law § 1-102).  The applicable statute here, as the library contends, is Education Law § 2030 (2).  That statute requires that school districts “provide a voting booth, or booths for voters ... to enter ... for the purpose of marking their ballots.”  While the two affiants assert that “there was no privacy booth for [them] to vote in,” this does not compel any relief for the reasons described in Matter of Orzechowski (2 Ed Dept Rep 385, Decision No. 7,156).  There, as here, the Commissioner declined to overturn an election absent “some indication that the failure to provide [voting] booths ... affected the results” of the vote (id.).  This appeal is analogous in all relevant aspects to Matter of Orzechowski and I hereby adopt its reasoning.

To the extent they are not addressed herein, I find petitioner’s remaining arguments to be without merit.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.


[1] Proposition 1 specifically stated the following: “[s]hall the sum of $186,700 be raised by annual levy of a tax upon the taxable real property within the Vernon Verona Sherrill School District for the purposes of funding the Sherrill-Kenwood Free Library?”

[2] The district admits petitioner’s allegation that the “Love Your Library” sticker was “an obvious prompt for the voter to cast his or her vote in favor of the proposition” and that there were no privacy curtains provided to voters.  These admissions notwithstanding, petitioner is not entitled to any relief for the reasons outlined below. 

To access the decision of the Commissioner No. 18,342 posted on the Internet click HERE.

 

October 02, 2023

Termination pursuant to Civil Service Law §71 held not the exclusive procedure to separate an employee who is absent due to a work-related injury

Supreme Court denied Plaintiff's petition seeking to vacate Plaintiff's termination from her position with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection [DCWP] pursuant to Civil Service Law §75. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the Supreme Court's decision.

DCWP had filed disciplinary charges against Petitioner and terminated her for  "incompetence" after finding her guilty of "excessive absenteeism" following a work-related injury. 

The Appellate Division, citing Wysocki v Town of Southold, 204 AD3d 811 and other decisions, said that Plaintiff's dismissal was not arbitrary and capricious or affected by an error of law, observing that the "Petitioner was continuously absent from work for over 295 days and provided no indication as to when or whether she could return to work."

Noting that Petitioner did not allege that her disability "has not permanently incapacitated her from the performance of her civil service duties" held that her contention that DCWP erred by using Civil Service Law §75 instead of §71 to discharge her is unavailing. The court explained that "neither the statute itself nor the relevant case law mandates the use of Civil Service Law §71 as the exclusive procedure to separate an employee who is absent due to injury."

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

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Disability Leave for New York public sector personnel.

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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.
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