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IN RE: Jose QUEZADA, Petitioner, v. Brian FISCHER, as Commissioner of Corrections and Community Supervision, Respondent.

Decided: January 30, 2014

Before: PETERS, P.J., ROSE, STEIN and GARRY, JJ. Jose Quezada, Dannemora, petitioner pro se. Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General, Albany (Peter H. Schiff 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 respondent which found petitioner guilty of violating certain prison disciplinary rules.

When a correction officer entered petitioner's cell to pack his personal belongings for a transfer, petitioner attacked the officer with a sharp object that was later determined to be a razor blade. Petitioner ignored the officer's directives to drop the weapon and the officer struggled to restrain petitioner until other officers arrived. The officer was taken to the medical clinic where he was treated for his injuries. As a result of this incident, petitioner was charged in a misbehavior report with assaulting staff, refusing a direct order, engaging in violent conduct, possessing a weapon and interfering with an employee. He was found guilty of the charges following a tier III disciplinary hearing and the determination was affirmed on administrative appeal. This CPLR article 78 proceeding ensued.

We confirm. The misbehavior report and related documentation, together with the testimony adduced at the hearing, provide substantial evidence supporting the determination of guilt (see Matter of Moreno v. Fischer, 100 A.D.3d 1167, 1167 [2012]; Matter of Somerville v. Fischer, 94 A.D.3d 1311, 1312 [2012], lv denied 19 N.Y.3d 810 [2012] ). Although petitioner maintained that the misbehavior report was prepared in retaliation for grievances and complaints he had filed against staff, that the correction officer who came to pack his cell inflicted the injuries to himself and that it was he who was assaulted by officers, this presented a credibility issue for the Hearing Officer to resolve (see Matter of Walker v. Fischer, 108 A.D.3d 999, 1000 [2013]; Matter of Hemphill v. Fischer, 94 A.D.3d 1309 [2012] ). Contrary to petitioner's claim, the misbehavior report was sufficiently detailed to provide him with adequate notice of the charges to enable him to prepare a defense (see Matter of Davis v. Fischer, 78 A.D.3d 1416 [2010]; Matter of Arnold v. Fischer, 60 A.D.3d 1177, 1177 [2009] ). Moreover, petitioner's assertion that he was denied a fair hearing is unavailing given that there is no indication that the Hearing Officer was biased or that the determination flowed from any alleged bias (see Matter of Fowler v. Fischer, 106 A.D.3d 1344, 1345 [2013], lv denied 21 N.Y.3d 865 [2013]; Matter of Wright v. Fischer, 98 A.D.3d 759, 760 [2012] ). To the extent that they are properly before us, we have considered petitioner's many remaining contentions, including his challenge to the penalty, and we find them to be unpersuasive.1

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


1.  Notably, after the commencement of this proceeding, a portion of the penalty was reduced upon discretionary review by correction officials.

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