IN RE: SUFFOLK COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY

Reset A A Font size: Print

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

IN RE: SUFFOLK COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY, Appellant, v. LOCAL 393, UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, Respondent.

Decided: June 30, 1997

Before O'BRIEN, J.P., and RITTER, GOLDSTEIN and LUCIANO, JJ. Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson, New York City (Daniel F. Murphy, Jr., James E. McGrath, III, and Mark A. Hernandez, of counsel), for appellant. Kranz, Davis & Hersh, Hauppauge (Allen M. Kranz, of counsel), for respondent.

In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR 7511 to vacate so much of an arbitration award dated August 14, 1995, as, after a hearing, modified the penalty imposed by the petitioner upon an employee from a dismissal to a suspension, the petitioner appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Mullen, J.), entered June 17, 1996, which confirmed the award.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, with costs.

 An arbitration award may not be vacated unless it violates a strong public policy, is irrational, or clearly exceeds a specifically-enumerated limitation on the arbitrator's power (see, Matter of Town of Callicoon [Civil Serv. Employees Assn. Town of Callicoon Unit], 70 N.Y.2d 907, 524 N.Y.S.2d 389, 519 N.E.2d 300;  Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Transport Workers Union of Am., 215 A.D.2d 561, 627 N.Y.S.2d 69).   The petitioner Suffolk County Water Authority (hereinafter the Authority) contends that the arbitrator's modification of an employee's sanction for disconnecting the water meter at his residence from dismissal to a one-year suspension violates public policy.

 We conclude that the Supreme Court properly confirmed the arbitration award.   The parties agreed to resolve disputes concerning the discipline of employees by arbitration, and the Authority failed to establish that there are public policy considerations embodied in statute or decisional law which warrant court intervention in this case (see, Binghamton Civ. Serv. Forum v. City of Binghamton, 44 N.Y.2d 23, 403 N.Y.S.2d 482, 374 N.E.2d 380;  see also, De Paulo v. City of Albany, 49 N.Y.2d 994, 429 N.Y.S.2d 171, 406 N.E.2d 1064;  Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Transport Workers Union of Am., supra).   Furthermore, the Authority has not shown that its own rules require dismissal as a sanction for the employee's conduct (see, Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Transport Workers Union of Am., supra;  cf., Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Transport Workers Union of Am., 239 A.D.2d 421, 657 N.Y.S.2d 442).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Copied to clipboard