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BenchNOTES Newsletter

BenchNOTES - July 2013


Agency entitled to decision despite resignation.

Respondent, a former eligibility specialist, was incarcerated in January 2012 and convicted of manslaughter in February 2013. She was charged with AWOL for long-term absence from work. Respondent resigned soon after her disciplinary hearing and asked that the trial judge refrain from issuing a decision. ALJ Joan R. Salzman ruled that the employer has the right to request a determination on the merits of the charges, for the legitimate purpose of assessing future public employment under Civil Service Law. ALJ Salzman found misconduct, but made no penalty recommendation due to respondent’s resignation. Human Resources Admin. v. Cornelius (in PDF), OATH Index No. 2041/13 (July 10, 2013).


CDRB restores to contractor $22,073.

A contractor contested a decision by the Department of Homeless Services to recoup $45,676 in disallowed expenses relating to contracts for the operation of homeless shelters. The Contract Dispute Resolution Board (CDRB), with ALJ Kevin F. Casey sitting as Chair, found that the Department may not recoup $22,073.14 in fuel costs, the amount the contractor properly distributed to homeless shelters. The CDRB found the Department may recoup the remaining amount. Partnership for the Homeless, Inc. v. Dep’t of Homeless Services (in PDF), OATH Index No. 1322/13, mem. dec. (July 19, 2013).

Vehicle Retention

Police Department entitled to retain seized car.

The Police Department brought a proceeding to determine its right to retain respondent’s vehicle seized in connection with her arrest for DWI. ALJ Tynia D. Richard found that respondent’s blood alcohol content of .166 and two prior convictions for driving while under the influence established a heightened risk to public safety. ALJ Richard ruled that the Department may retain respondent’s vehicle pending the outcome of the civil forfeiture action. Police Dep’t v. Garcia (in PDF), OATH Index No. 2427/13, mem. dec. (July 3, 2013).

Human Rights

Pre-trial motions for summary judgment denied.

The Commission on Human Rights alleged that seven stores and their managers and owners discriminated on the basis of gender and creed by posting signs reading “No shorts, no barefoot, no sleeveless, no low cut neckline allowed in this store.” Prior to trial, the Commission and respondents both moved for summary judgment. ALJ John B. Spooner denied the Commission’s motion after finding material issues of fact, and denied respondents’ motion due to their inability to establish that it would be impossible for the Commission to show discriminatory intent at a hearing. Comm’n on Human Rights v. Tiv-Tov Stores, Inc.(in PDF), OATH Index Nos. 1443/13, 1444/13, 1445/13, 1446/13, 1447/14, 1448/13, 1449/13, 1450/13, 1451/13, 1452/13, 1453/13, 1454/13, 1455/13, 1456/13, 1457/13, & 1458/13, mem. dec. (July 18, 2013).