IN RE: Application of Dennis GRIFFIN

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

IN RE: Application of Dennis GRIFFIN, Petitioner-Appellant, For a Judgment, etc., v. William J. BRATTON, as Police Commissioner of New York City, at al., Respondents-Respondents.

IN RE: Application of Michael FOLEY, Petitioner-Appellant, For a Judgment, etc., v. William BRATTON, as Police Commissioner of New York City, et al., Respondents-Respondents.

Decided: March 17, 1998

Before ELLERIN, J.P., and WALLACH, RUBIN, TOM and SAXE, JJ. Raymond E. Kerno, for Dennis Griffin. Paul L. Herzfeld, for William J. Bratton, etc., et al. Bruce A. Smirti, for Michael Foley.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Paula Omansky, J.), entered December 16, 1996, which denied petitioner Dennis Griffin's application for reinstatement to respondent New York City Police Department and granted the cross motion to dismiss the petition, and order and judgment (one paper), same Court (Joan Lobis, J.), entered on or about December 11, 1996, which denied and dismissed petitioner Michael Foley's petition for reinstatement to respondent New York City Police Department, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

 Since petitioners had each been convicted of a crime following a full trial, it was within the Commissioner's discretion to dismiss them without an administrative hearing pursuant to Administrative Code of the City of New York § 14-115(a).   The provisions of Public Officers Law § 30(1)(e) and the Court of Appeals's interpretation of that statute in Matter of Duffy v. Ward, 81 N.Y.2d 127, 596 N.Y.S.2d 746, 612 N.E.2d 1213, are inapplicable, since petitioners were removed pursuant to the Commissioner's aforecited discretionary power, which neither Public Officers Law § 30(1)(e) nor Civil Service Law §§ 75 and 76 was intended by the Legislature to repeal or supersede (see, Matter of City of New York v. MacDonald, 201 A.D.2d 258, 259, 607 N.Y.S.2d 24, lv. denied 83 N.Y.2d 759, 615 N.Y.S.2d 876, 639 N.E.2d 417).

 That police officers are held to a higher standard than certain other civil servants is not violative of due process, since the heightened standard bears a rational relation to maintaining the utmost integrity and respect for law in those who are charged with its enforcement (see, Walter v. City of New York Police Department, 244 A.D.2d 205, 664 N.Y.S.2d 21).

 Finally, the penalty of termination was not, in the case of either petitioner, so disproportionate as to shock our sense of fairness (see, Trotta v. Ward, 77 N.Y.2d 827, 566 N.Y.S.2d 199, 567 N.E.2d 241;  Matter of Berenhaus v. Ward, 70 N.Y.2d 436, 445, 522 N.Y.S.2d 478, 517 N.E.2d 193).