Matter of Lutz v. Krokoff

APPELLATE DIVISION
THIRD DEPARTMENT
Employment

New York Law Journal

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Justice Karen Peters

Police officer Lutz appealed from a judgment dismissing his application to review a decision of City of Albany Police Department's (APD) Police Chief, Krokoff, terminating Lutz's employment. Lutz's driver's license was temporarily revoked, and he was subsequently informed by Krokoff that having a valid license was a minimum qualification for APD police officers. Once Lutz acknowledged his license was suspended pending prosecution and revocation for refusing to submit to a chemical test, his employment was terminated or failing to meet the minimum qualifications for his position. He challenged the termination, but the petition was denied. The court agreed with Lutz that as possession of a valid driver's license was not an express condition or requirement of his employment, Krokoff erred in terminating him without a hearing. APD conceded that possession of a valid license was not specifically listed as a minimum qualification for the police officer position, yet argued the requirement could be inferred from the class specification. The court stated summary dismissal based merely on an inference could not be countenanced. Thus, Krokoff's termination of Lutz's employment was arbitrary and the judgment was reversed.

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