Lack of a transcript of a disciplinary arbitration not fatal to confirming the arbitrator's award

Lack of a transcript of a disciplinary arbitration not fatal to confirming the arbitrator's awardMatter of Jordan v Human Resources Admin. City of New York, 2010 NY Slip Op 08575, Decided on November 16, 2010, Appellate Division, Second Department The Appellate Division ruled that Jerome E. Jordan failed to establish any grounds for vacating the arbitration award, including his argument that "under the circumstances here, the fact that the arbitration hearing was not transcribed did not provide a basis for vacating the arbitration award." N.B. In some instances a contract disciplinary procedure set out in a collective bargaining agreement provides that party may elect to have a transcript of the disciplinary arbitration hearing taken. Typically the cost of making a transcript of the hearing is at the requesting party's own expense and frequently the CBA requires that the party requesting the transcript provide a copy to the arbitrator and the other party. In contrast to a disciplinary arbitration, where the arbitrator makes the final determination, Civil Service Law §75 not only requires that a transcript of the hearing be made, it also requires that a transcript of the hearing be provided free of charge to the employee. Further, a hearing officer or panel submits a report and a recommendation as to the penalty to be imposed to the appointing authority and it is responsibility of the appointing authority to conduct an independent review of the facts before rendering its decision. In Ligreci v Honors, 162 AD2d 1010, the Appellate Division found that the appointing authority erred by making a determination in a disciplinary action before receiving the transcript of the hearing. Further, the courts have held that the failure to include transcript of the disciplinary hearing in a judicial challenge to the disciplinary determination or penalty imposed bars any "meaningful appellate review." Similarly, in a disciplinary action pursuant to, and consistent with, §3020-a of the Education Law, 8 NYCRR 82-1.11(c) provides that the Commissioner of Education is to arrange for "the preparation of a hearing transcript by a competent stenographer and shall compensate the stenographer for the cost of preparing the transcript and copies thereof for the hearing officer, each panel member, the department, the employee and the board." The decision is posted on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_08575.htm NYPPL

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