Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Monday, September 10, 2012

Judicial review of disciplinary determination of guilt is limited to considering whether the determination is supported by substantial evidence


Barthel v Town of Huntington, 2012 NY Slip Op 05738, Appellate Division, Second Department
The Director of the Department of Human Services of the Town of Huntington adopted the findings of a hearing officer, made after a hearing pursuant to Civil Service Law §75, which the employee guilty of certain disciplinary charges and terminated the individual's employment with the Town.
The Appellate Division dismissed the individual’s appeal on the merits, explaining that the standard of judicial review of an administrative determination made after a trial-type hearing required by law, at which evidence is taken, “is limited to considering whether the determination was supported by substantial evidence.”
In this instance, said the court, there is substantial evidence in the record to support the determination that the individual was guilty of the subject disciplinary charges.
As to the penalty imposed, termination, the Appellate Division found that dismissal “was not so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness,” citing Ellis v Mahon, 11 NY3d 754; Rutkunas v Stout, 8 NY3d 897, Waldren v Town of Islip, 6 NY3d 735 and Pell v Board of Education, 34 NY2d 222.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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