The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the NYC Department of Education’s (DOE’s) motion to dismiss the petition to vacate the arbitrator’s award should have been granted. The arbitrator determined the petitioner, a tenured teacher, was properly charged with incompetence, misconduct and neglect of duty and termination the teacher’s employment was appropriate. The teacher petitioner argued unsuccessfully that the initial probable cause determination must be made by the school board, not, as was the case here, the school principal:
… [T]he absence of a vote on probable cause by the “employing board” (Education Law § 3020-a), did not deprive the hearing officer of the jurisdictional authority to hear and determine the underlying disciplinary charges. Rather, … the Chancellor was vested with the authority “[t]o exercise all of the duties and responsibilities of the employing board as set forth in [Education Law § 3020-a]” … , and with the authority to “delegate the exercise of all such duties and responsibilities” … . Matter of Cardinale v New York City Dept. of Educ., 2022 NY Slip Op 02791, Second Dept 4-27-22
Practice Point: In New York City, a school principal has the authority to determine whether there is probable cause to charge a tenured teacher with, for example, incompetence, misconduct and neglect of duty.