A woman filed a petition to terminate the decision of the commissioner of the department of correction. The decision is to terminate her employment as a probationary correction officer and directing that she be reinstated with back-pay and benefits. After the trial on the issue, the court finds that the petition of the woman should be granted.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said the testimony and evidence introduced at the trial and revealed that the woman was employed by the department of correction as a probationary correction officer. When she was terminated as the result of a complaint made to the department of investigation by a person identifying himself as a parole officer. The officer indicated that he was the parole officer assigned to a former inmate. The former inmate is the woman’s former boyfriend, who has been a history of domestic violence incidents with the woman.
The individual claiming to be the officer made a previous complaint about the woman to department of investigation. The complaint alleged that while visiting the inmate, the officer noticed the woman’s uniform hanging in the inmate’s apartment. In response, the department of correction initiated an investigation concerning the woman’s undue familiarity with the inmate, and her failure to report that she was living with the inmate when she applied for a position as a correction officer.
The department of correction investigator assigned to the matter and testified that he contacted the officer at his cell phone number provided on the department of investigation intake complaint form. A Manhattan Criminal Lawyer said the person who answered the call identified himself as a parole officer, although on cross-examination the investigator acknowledged that he could not remember if the officer identified himself as a parole officer or if he said yes.
The woman testified that the telephone number used by the investigator to contact the officer was the inmate’s telephone number. The employee relations officer from the division of parole testified that division records show that for the last 15 years, there has never been a parole officer employed by the division named that person who made the complaint. There were only two women who were assigned as the inmate’s parole officers. She also testified that no one from the department of correction ever contacted her or one of her subordinates to determine the existence of that parole officer. However, opponent submitted no evidence to support their position.
Consequently, the parole officer made a second complaint with the department of investigation against the woman, which resulted in the woman’s termination as a correction officer. The complaint provided the same contact telephone number for the parole officer as the first complaint and alleged that the inmate was stopped by police officers from the precinct, while driving the woman’s car and was in possession of her shield and identification. According to the investigator, upon receiving the complaint from department of investigation, he telephoned the number provided on the complaint and a person who identified himself as parole officer and told the officer that the parolee had come to his office to report the incident. However, when the investigator telephoned the precinct to find out if there was any file or documentation of the incident, he was told that there was nothing on record.
The investigator then scheduled an interview with the woman. During the interview at which the woman was represented by a union attorney, and provided sworn testimony, the investigators asked the woman whether she had lost her department of correction shield and identification, whether she had permitted the inmate to use her automobile or allowed him to come into possession of her department of correction shield and identification, and whether she had ever retrieved these items from the precinct. The woman denied the allegations and indicated that she had no idea what the investigators were talking about.
The woman further testified that the last time she saw the inmate was when she was leaving her building on the way to her job and the inmate was standing outside her car, and tried to take her keys. According to the woman, when she would not speak to the inmate, he grabbed her and threatened to kill her, and that she called her work and spoke to her supervisor about the incident, and that upon her arrival at work, he sent her with two escorts to the precinct to file a complaint. The record contains the report filed at the precinct and an incident report filed by the woman.
According to the statement, the inmate was not charged and was released from custody, and that during his visit with the inmate, the officer spoke to the woman who asked him not to find the inmate in violation of his parole because the mistake was hers, not the inmate’s. The statement also indicates that when the officer attempted to obtain a copy of the police report from the precinct, he discovered no record of the traffic stop or arrest on file.
After all the trials in court, the decision ordered that the petition is granted.
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