Department of Environmental Protection v. DeCoursey
Petitioner, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) brought a disciplinary proceeding under section 75 of the Civil Service Law against Respondent, a sewage treatment worker. The charges against Respondent were insubordination and inappropriate language to a supervisor.
Respondent and a supervisor got into a disagreement. Petitioner failed to establish that the Respondent failed to obey an order from a superior to return to the control room, as well as credible evidence that the Respondent used improper language aimed at his superiors. In order to prove insubordination there would need to be clear proof that an order was indeed communicated to Respondent, the order was clear and unambiguous, and that after Respondent heard a clear and unambiguous order, and finally that the Respondent refused to obey instructions. Petitioner failed to prove that those were met.
After the hearing the Administrative Law Judge decided that the Petitioner failed to establish the charges by a preponderance of the credible evidence and recommended that the charges be dismissed.