Justice Saliann Scarpulla

The Board of Education (DOE) moved to vacate an arbitration award made after a disciplinary hearing. The disciplinary decision was placed in teacher Hemingway’s file as a warning. The DOE argued for imposition of a harsher penalty. Hemingway cross-moved for dismissal and confirmation of the hearing officer’s award. Hemingway pleaded guilty of fraudulently representing her income on her Section 8 housing subsidy application. Disciplinary charges were preferred against her by the DOE for her conduct, and the officer found Hemingway guilty of all charges, but noted her remorse and prompt compliance with requirements, finding a warning was sufficient to insure the conduct was not repeated and stated the misconduct did not constitute just cause for termination. The officer noted the judge’s decision in which it was stated the motive for Hemingway’s conduct was economic hardship rather than greed. The court found the decision was made after careful consideration of all relevant facts, thus was not arbitrary or irrational. It also found the penalty of a written warning in Hemingway’s personnel file was not shocking to the conscience, finding no basis to vacate the award. Hence, vacatur was denied and the award was confirmed.