IN RE: Madonna Constantine

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

IN RE: Madonna Constantine, Petitioner–Appellant, v. Teachers College, et al., Respondents–Respondents.

5346

Decided: June 16, 2011

Tom, J.P., Catterson, Moskowitz, Freedman, Richter, JJ. The Law Offices of Paul J. Giacomo, Jr., New York (Paul J. Giacomo Jr., of counsel), for appellant. Nixon Peabody LLP, Jericho (Michael S. Cohen of counsel), for respondents.

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Order and judgment (one paper), Supreme Court, New York County (Jane S. Solomon, J.), entered March 16, 2010, which denied the petition seeking, inter alia, to challenge respondents' determination to terminate petitioner from her tenured faculty position, and dismissed the proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR article 78, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Respondents' decision to terminate petitioner from her tenured position at respondent college was not arbitrary and capricious.   The findings of the college's Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) that petitioner committed plagiarism and fabricated documents that she presented in her defense was supported by the evidence (see Matter of Bigler v. Cornell Univ., 266 A.D.2d 92 [1999], lv dismissed 95 N.Y.2d 777 [2000] ).   There exists no basis to disturb the credibility determinations

of the FAC (see Matter of Ebert v. Yeshiva Univ. 28 AD3d 315, 316 [2006] ).

Further, the record establishes that respondents substantially complied with the college's statutes (see Matter of Loebl v. New York Univ., 255 A.D.2d 257, 257–259 [1998] ).   Petitioner was also provided with a full and fair opportunity to present her defense against the charges of plagiarism (see Ebert at 315;  cf.  Tedeschi v. Wagner Coll., 49 N.Y.2d 652, 661–662 [1980] ).   There is nothing in the college's “Statutes” prohibiting its president from referring the investigation of this matter to outside counsel or prohibiting the college from indemnifying certain witnesses.

We have considered petitioner's remaining contentions and find them unavailing.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER

OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

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CLERK