Every so often, an event happens at 100 Gold Street, where 3020-a Arbitration hearings are held (and I have been the advocate/representative for Respondents/charged educators for 18 years), which I cannot forget.
I won't forget the scene that Arbitrator Doyle O'Connor created on November 10, 2015. I was across the hall, with another arbitrator, in a separate 3020-a case when suddenly we heard a man's voice yelling "Get out!!! Get out of this room!" The arbitrator in our case asked the transcriptionist to stop recording for a minute, and he got up and opened the door. We could see Jordana Shenkman and NYSUT Attorney Antonio Cavallaro leaving the room quickly, and the Arbitrator Doyle O'Connor yelling at them. Everyone on the 3rd floor could hear O'Connor.
What happened afterward is that O'Connor dismissed all the charges against Canick. This was not at all ok with the Department of Education, so the NYC Law Department filed an Appeal, called Article 75, to overturn O'Connor's decision. Judge Carmen Victoria St. George granted the City's Petition and sent Canick back to a new 3020-a hearing with a new Arbitrator.
Canick appealed this decision to the First Department Appellate Division, but lost.
I am posting the decisions in this case because this is the only Appeal won by the City Law Department, that I know of, on arbitrator bias. Also, knowing that the charging process for educators in NYC is error-filled and in violation of State law (Cardinale), in this matter, I believe Mr. Canick, not the DOE. But, as seen below, the fury of the DOE often wins. Judge Carmen St. George is, in my opinion, the best Judge in the Courts of NY State right now. I agree that O'Connor should not have been so obviously biased against the DOE Attorney Jordana Shenkman, but I agree with his assessment of the charges, nevertheless.
My personal opinion:
Arbitrator O'Connor was right, to stop playing along to get along with the NYC Department of Education's Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) which operates the 3020-a teacher trials and the panels (ATU=misconduct; TPU=teacher performance, incompetency).
The NYC DOE OLA is wildly non-compliant with due process for tenured educators, and all the arbitrators must succumb to unethical legal conclusions if they want to remain on the panel. Many arbitrators have told me that they were let go from their positions on the panels because they were not handing out the terminations demanded by the DOE. All hearings in NYC proceed without a proper determination of probable cause. Without probable cause you don't get a proper Just Cause.
See here:Betsy Combier Unravels The 3020-a Arbitration Procedure in New York City
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials
But not always.
We have won 47 Article 75 Appeals and Article 78 Petitions.