From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Matter of Gibson v. Koehler

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department
Sep 20, 1990
564 N.Y.S.2d 265 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990)

Opinion

September 20, 1990

Appeal from the Supreme Court, New York County [Kristin Booth Glen, J.].


On November 3, 1986 petitioner tested positive for cocaine consumption and was suspended from active duty as a correction officer. On March 9, 1987, subsequent to his return to active duty, petitioner was ordered to submit to a further drug test pursuant to Department Directive 7501 (VI) which again indicated the use of narcotics. His employment having been terminated, petitioner challenges the propriety of the March 9, 1987 order directing him to submit to a drug test on the ground that no reasonable suspicion of petitioner's drug use had been established so as to justify the test directive.

We find the record before us contains substantial evidence to support reasonable suspicion that petitioner used illicit drugs on or about November 3, 1986. (See, 300 Gramatan Ave. Assocs. v State Div. of Human Rights, 45 N.Y.2d 176, 180.) The Warden and petitioner's supervising captain were justified in reasonably suspecting petitioner of drug intoxification on November 3, 1986 since petitioner, known to have tested positive in the past for drug use, was absent from duty without explanation for a two-hour period on November 3, 1986, was unable to determine the reason for his prisoner miscount and satisfactorily explain why two prisoners were not readied for their court appearances. Petitioner also was disheveled in appearance and erratic in behavior. The prison officials' reasonable suspicion of petitioner's drug use was, therefore, properly based upon specific objective facts, as well as inferences drawn from those facts in light of their experience (see, Security Law Enforcement Employees v. Carey, 737 F.2d 187, 205). While the prison officials' reasonable suspicion was in part based upon petitioner's prior positive drug testing in June 1986 — a test which was subsequently declared invalid in March 1987, following a hearing — it is noted that the exclusionary rule does not preclude the use of all "illegally seized evidence in all proceedings or against all persons" (United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 348). In this civil proceeding, application of the exclusionary rule to the instant facts would be inappropriate, particularly considering that its application does not outweigh societal costs of losing relevant and reliable evidence and that an appreciable deterring effect would not result (see, United States v. Janis, 428 U.S. 433, 454-458). The tests conducted on petitioner's urine samples were reliable and accurate (see, Matter of Lahey v. Kelly, 71 N.Y.2d 135, 143). Considering petitioner's two positive drug testings and his poor employment record the termination of his employment by the Commissioner is not so disproportionate as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness. (See, Matter of Pell v. Board of Educ., 34 N.Y.2d 222, 233.)

Concur — Kupferman, J.P., Ellerin, Wallach, Smith and Rubin, JJ.


Summaries of

Matter of Gibson v. Koehler

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department
Sep 20, 1990
564 N.Y.S.2d 265 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990)
Case details for

Matter of Gibson v. Koehler

Case Details

Full title:In the Matter of THOMAS GIBSON, Petitioner, v. RICHARD J. KOEHLER, as…

Court:Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department

Date published: Sep 20, 1990

Citations

564 N.Y.S.2d 265 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990)
564 N.Y.S.2d 265

Citing Cases

Kirk v. New York

Petitioner tested positive for cocaine during a random drug test, and the Fire Department terminated his…

Cunningham v. New York State Dep't of Labor

should have been excluded from evidence at the administrative hearing. In a case decided after OIG had…