|Matter of Kowaleski (New York State Dept. of Correctional Servs.)|
|2010 NY Slip Op 09379 [16 NY3d 85]|
|December 21, 2010|
|Court of Appeals|
|Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.|
|As corrected through Wednesday, February 23, 2011|
|In the Matter of the Arbitration between Barbara Kowaleski, Appellant, and New York State Department of Correctional Services, Respondent.|
Footnote 1: In 2003, Kowaleski had received two notices of discipline, both with dismissal from service as the proposed penalty. In the resulting arbitration, she testified that she had reported a fellow correction officer's misconduct in 2002, and was frequently harassed at work. While noting that it was "not within [his] authority to make a determination of whether harassment occurred," the arbitrator observed that Kowaleski was "the object of animosity and/or harassment" by some of her fellow officers, and that the harassment "may have originated when CO Kowaleski informed her supervisor of the  incident." He found her guilty of some of the disciplinary charges and imposed a 60-day suspension.
Footnote 2: Kowaleski testified that, in 2002, she observed a fellow officer use excessive force on an inmate, and she refused to sign a report that she had witnessed the inmate assault the officer. The sergeant who was supposed to be supervising when the incident occurred told Kowaleski to "[k]eep [her] mouth shut or else [she] would be escorted off the premises." A group of her coworkers began harassing her, and the harassment escalated after she reported the incident to the administration. A retired correction sergeant who had last worked at Hale Creek in 2005 testified that Kowaleski "couldn't make a move without getting blamed for something."