ALJ Alessandra F. Zorgniotti recommended dismissal of charges alleging that sanitation workers allowed a civilian to throw garbage in the hopper, collected trade waste, and made false statements. Superintendent’s testimony in support of trade waste and false statement charges was inconsistent with prior statements and with video footage. Moreover, there was insufficient evidence to show that two black bags taken from a mixed use building came from the commercial establishment. Finally, while the video showed a civilian throw one bag of garbage into the hopper, it also showed that the man’s actions were sudden and unexpected and that respondents could not have stopped it. Dep’t of Sanitation v. Henriquez, OATH Index Nos. 1398/17 & 1400/17 (Apr. 24, 2017).
ALJ John B. Spooner found that a special officer violated agency rules when he took seven sick leave days to attend paid training sessions for a private security company. The judge also sustained charges that the officer disobeyed instructions to begin outside work only with agency approval. ALJ Spooner rejected the officer’s claim that he was not working for the private company when he attended the training because the officer’s signature on a letter accepting the job and his appearance at paid training constituted the commencement of an employment relationship with the company. Termination of employment recommended. Human Resources Admin. v. Archange, OATH Index No. 1468/17 (Apr. 6, 2017).
A Department of Environmental Protection police officer was charged with making threats and invoking his status as an officer during a meeting at his son’s school. The officer and his wife met with a parent coordinator and an assistant principal to discuss bruises discovered on their son. The coordinator testified that the officer angrily stated that he is a cop and when he finds out who did it he would beat that person and would tell his commanding officer. The assistant principal testified that the officer did not yell, but that he did invoke his status as a police officer during the meeting. The officer, his wife and another witness denied threats were made. Finding the testimony of petitioner’s witnesses to be inconsistent and less credible than respondent and his witnesses, ALJ Ingrid M. Addison recommended dismissal of the charges. Dep’t of Environmental Protection v. Jordan, OATH Index No. 1184/17 (Apr. 7, 2017).