ALJ Alessandra F. Zorgniotti recommended dismissal of a charge that a sanitation worker parked his vehicle on the sidewalk in front of a department facility in violation of previous orders not to. It was not shown that respondent was given an unambiguous order as the record showed that workers were told to "try" not to park on the sidewalk. Further, the charge should be dismissed as de minimis since respondent moved the car within four minutes and there was no showing he inconvenienced the public or the garage. Finally, the charge should be dismissed under the doctrine of waiver and condonation because the supervisor regularly told those who parked on the sidewalk to move their cars rather than issue a complaint. Dep't of Sanitation v. Kaplan, OATH Index No. 035/15 (Sept. 18, 2014), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Oct. 3, 2014).
A Captain and five Correction Officers were charged in a use of force involving an inmate who refused to move to another cell. ALJ Tynia D. Richard found that the Captain violated procedure when he directed staff to carry the rear hand-cuffed inmate in a hog-tied position, as depicted by video, rather than on a gurney. ALJ Richard also found that the Captain and two Officers used excessive force against the inmate after he was placed inside the cell. Respondents claimed that because the inmate was compliant, they removed his handcuffs while inside the cell with him rather than through the cuffing port, in violation of procedure, that the inmate then attacked, and they used force defensively to free an officer who was being choked by the inmate. ALJ Richard found that contention to be incredible and in conflict with other evidence, including the inmate's injuries. The severity of injuries suffered by the inmate, was more consistent with the inmate's testimony that he remained in handcuffs and could not ward off blows to his face and head inflicted by three of the respondents. ALJ Richard found that all six respondents submitted false statements and reports about the nature of the force used against the inmate. She recommended termination of employment for all of the respondents. Dep't of Correction v. Behari, OATH Index Nos. 781-786/14 (Sept. 25, 2014).
A revenue coordinator was charged with deleting e-mails sent by her supervisor without having read them and disobeying an order not to do so. ALJ Astrid B. Gloade found that misconduct was not proven and recommended dismissal of the charges. The evidence did not establish an order to retain the e-mails and 27 of the 29 of the emails were deleted on a Sunday morning, yet petitioner presented no evidence respondent was at work or had remotely accessed her e-mail account at that time. Dep't of Transportation v. Aleksandrova, OATH Index No. 2553/14 (Sept. 17, 2014).
Respondent, a case management supervisor, was charged with disclosing confidential information about juvenile residents in an email to supervisors that she had copied to her attorney. Respondent acknowledged that the email contained confidential information but she argued that her communication with her attorney was privileged and confidential. ALJ Ingrid M. Addison found that the email was not privileged because it was directed to her supervisors, not her attorney. Nor did the disclosure meet the exception under the City Charter for reporting waste or inefficiency. Respondent was found to be insubordinate when she walked out of a meeting with supervisors after being warned not to. A second insubordination charge was not sustained. 23-day suspension was recommended. Admin. for Children's Services v. Silverman, OATH Index No. 2614/14 (Sept. 4, 2014), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Oct. 20, 2014).
A Captain was charged with undue familiarity with an inmate based upon a 45 minute conversation between them. ALJ Zorgniotti recommended dismissal of the charge. Although the length of the conversation raised suspicion, the matter was fully investigated, and there was no basis to charge respondent with undue familiarity. She also recommended dismissal of neglect of duty charge. The inmates were locked in their cells, all was secure and the Captain was available to respond if a problem arose. Erroneous log entry charge was sustained and a three-day suspension was recommended. Dep't of Correction v. Santiago, OATH Index No. 2704/14 (Sept. 19, 2014).