Matter of Exum v. NYC Health & Hospitals Corp.
Justice Richard Velasquez
Exum challenged the affirmation of a decision by New York City's Health and Hospitals Corp. to disqualify him from appointment as a "special officer." The personnel review board, which affirmed the decision, cross-moved for dismissal of the petition, alleging the decision was rationally based and neither arbitrary nor unlawful. After a background investigation, the city's Department of Citywide Administrative Services recommended Exum's application be denied because of his arrest and conviction record, and his failure to properly disclose prior employment history. After a review, the court found that all the grounds specified for Exum's disqualification were factually incorrect. It noted that convictions, not arrests, are a basis for disqualification, noting Exum's convictions were separated by 23 years, and the last one occurring over nine years before his application for the position. Further, the court stated the board's finding Exum was fired from a prior job incorrect, noting he only received a warning for leaving his post without relief and any further incident may lead to termination. Thus, it granted Exum's petition annulling the board's denial of his application for employment, and remanding same.