IN RE: Jaston COLEMAN

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

IN RE: Jaston COLEMAN, Petitioner, v. Donald SELSKY, as Director of Special Housing and Inmate Disciplinary Programs, Respondent.

Decided: May 24, 2007

Before:  CARDONA, P.J., MERCURE, CREW III, PETERS and CARPINELLO, JJ. Jaston Coleman, Dannemora, petitioner pro se. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General, Albany (Patrick Barnett-Mulligan of counsel), for respondent.

Proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 (transferred to this Court by order of the Supreme Court, entered in Albany County) to review a determination of the Commissioner of Correctional Services which found petitioner guilty of violating certain prison disciplinary rules.

 A search of petitioner's prison cell revealed unauthorized items and papers, resulting in disciplinary proceedings.   Petitioner challenges a determination finding him guilty of possessing unauthorized literature, possessing property in an unauthorized area, possessing contraband, tampering with an electrical device and possessing impermissible identification, all violations of prison disciplinary rules.   We confirm.   The misbehavior report, together with the documentary evidence and the testimony of the correction officer who conducted the search, provide substantial evidence supporting the determination of guilt (see Matter of Vizcaino v. Selsky, 26 A.D.3d 574, 808 N.Y.S.2d 825 [2006], lv. denied 7 N.Y.3d 708, 821 N.Y.S.2d 813, 854 N.E.2d 1277;  Matter of Smith v. Goord, 255 A.D.2d 1007, 681 N.Y.S.2d 709 [1998] ).   Petitioner's exculpatory statements as to the nature and source of the items presented a credibility issue for the Hearing Officer to resolve (see Matter of Miller v. New York State Dept. of Correctional Servs., 295 A.D.2d 714, 714-715, 743 N.Y.S.2d 632 [2002];  Matter of McGoey v. Selsky, 260 A.D.2d 814, 815, 689 N.Y.S.2d 253 [1999] ).

 Petitioner's procedural objections are unpersuasive.   The record demonstrates that the hearing was conducted in a fair and impartial manner and the determination did not flow from any alleged bias on the part of the Hearing Officer (see Matter of Cayenne v. Goord, 16 A.D.3d 782, 783-784, 790 N.Y.S.2d 762 [2005];  Matter of Sanchez v. Selsky, 8 A.D.3d 846, 846, 778 N.Y.S.2d 561 [2004] ).   Additionally, the record shows that petitioner received meaningful assistance inasmuch as he was provided with the documentation that he requested.   Finally, petitioner's contention that the misbehavior report inadequately described the charges is without merit in that it provided him with sufficient detail to make an effective defense (see Matter of Abdur-Raheem v. Mann, 85 N.Y.2d 113, 123, 623 N.Y.S.2d 758, 647 N.E.2d 1266 [1995];  Matter of Parker v. Laundree, 234 A.D.2d 727, 727, 651 N.Y.S.2d 631 [1996] ).   Petitioner's remaining contentions have been reviewed and determined to be without merit.

ADJUDGED that the determination is confirmed, without costs, and petition dismissed.

PETERS, J.

CARDONA, P.J., MERCURE, CREW III and CARPINELLO, JJ., concur.

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