Gorfinkel Argues Successful Appeal in Employee Misconduct Case

April 1, 2022 | Appeals | Employment & Labor

On March 30, 2022, the Second Department affirmed the right of a public library to discipline an employee for dishonesty and malfeasance.

The story spans almost 6 years. In 2016, a public library in a Westchester County town terminated its library director on account of multiple charges of misconduct. The director brought an action for reinstatement to her job and, in the first appeal to the Second Department, the court found that most of the charges of misconduct were unsupported by substantial evidence. The court vacated the penalty of termination and remitted the matter to the library to impose a lesser penalty. The library then demoted the director to the position of librarian.  She promptly sued for reinstatement again.

At this point, Rivkin Radler entered the picture as counsel for the library. In a hard-fought Article 78 proceeding in the Supreme Court, Westchester County, Bill Savino, Steve Smirti and Paul Gorfinkel, ably assisted by John Diviney, obtained a dismissal of the petition. But the librarian then took the matter back to the Second Department. Paul argued the appeal remotely from the comforts of RXR Plaza, asserting that untruthfulness to her superiors and neglect in maintaining library records justified her demotion to librarian.

The court agreed and affirmed the dismissal of the petition, confirming her demotion to librarian.

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