Chacko v New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services

In a recent case handled by the Law Offices of Kevin P. Sheerin, Plaintiff Joseph Chacko, commenced this Article 78 appeal to challenge New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS’) determination that he failed a civil service promotional exam. Petitioner contended that DCAS scored the essay portion of his exam in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

In March of 2006, petitioner took a promotional examination that consisted of two parts: a multiple choice test and an essay. To score the essay portion, DCAS utilized a Rating Guide consisting of two sections, one that assessed the content of the essay and the other that focused on the clarity. This Rating Guide was used incorrectly to grade petitioner’s essay. Points were taken off for minor mistakes and in some cases nonexistent errors. Fundamental fairness dictates that deductions should not be made for correct responses. Also points taken off for the same mistake were categorized in different categories, which allowed the grader to circumvent the limit on point deductions set for each category of error. Additionally, petitioner argued that he was denied scrap paper and that the proctors ended the exam twenty minutes early thereby denying him the time to proofread his essay.

Accordingly, the Court granted the petition, annulled the decision of the Civil Service Commission, and remanded the matter for the regrading of petitioner’s exam.  Shortly thereafter Mr. Chacko was promoted to Supervisor.

To read the Judge’s final disposition on this case, click on the following link: Final Disposition.pdf

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