Matter of Pepin v. NYC Department of Education
NEW YORK COUNTY
Schools and Education
Justice Lucy Billings
Pepin sought to annul discontinuance of his probationary employment as an assistant principal by New York City's Department of Education. He also sought removal from the department's "ineligible inquiry" list. The city moved for dismissal of the petition, arguing it failed to state a claim. Pepin alleged his immediate supervisor instigated charges against him in retaliation for a refusal to conceal the supervisor's own misconduct. The court noted Pepin was a probationary employee that could be terminated for any or no reason. It also noted an admitted prank email sent by Pepin was sufficient grounds alone for discontinuance. Thus, the court dismissed the portion of the petition seeking reinstatement. As to Pepin's placement on the ineligible inquiry list prohibiting him from any future employment with the department, the court noted there was no evidence of standards or procedures for determining when discontinuance of probationary employment resulted in placement on the list, and absent same, Pepin lacked a meaningful opportunity to contest his placement on the list. Thus, it denied dismissal of the remainder of Pepin's petition.