Matter of Bigam v. NYC Department of Education

Schools and Education

New York Law Journal


Justice Joan Lobis

Bigam, a teacher, sought to annul the Department of Education's determination to put her on an ineligible list for hire for 12 months. She applied to work as a substitute and was required to complete a background questionnaire. She responded in the negative to questions of whether she was fired or resigned from any position, but noted she took a leave of absence in 2006 and applied to extend the leave in 2007, which was granted, but only for July and August. Bigam's security clearance application was denied for failure to disclose that she was discharged. She sought annulment of the decision to put her in the ineligible list as arbitrary, contending she fully explained the circumstances of the leave of absence, noting she was apparently mistaken as to the length of time her leave was extended. She claimed she was unable to accept two teaching positions due to her placement on the list. The court found the determination was neither arbitrary nor capricious, noting Bigam's explanation of the circumstances surrounding her discharge was inaccurate and her negative response contradicted the comments subsequently provided. Hence, it denied the petition.

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