The New York City Civil Service Commission acted within its authority when it held a hearing on a Brooklyn man’s appeal of the police department’s rejection of his application to become a police officer, a Manhattan judge has ruled.
Mohammed Ahmed passed a civil service exam, but a department psychiatrist determined that he was unsuitable for the position due to “poor stress tolerance.” Ahmed appealed, citing his own doctor’s report that he had gone through a difficult period related to a family disagreement over his brother’s wedding, but he had learned stress-management techniques.
The NYPD denied Ahmed’s appeal. Following a hearing, the civil service commission reversed the decision, ruling that the department had not given Ahmed a chance to be heard before disqualifying him.
The NYPD argued in Manhattan Supreme Court that the commission’s determination was beyond the scope of its authority. The commission countered that the police had acquiesced to the review by participating in the hearing. On Aug. 11, in City of New York v. New York City Civil Service Commission, 401120/13, Justice Alice Schlesinger (See Profile) agreed with the CCSC.
“The Court of Appeals has repeatedly held that when the NYPD fails to object to the authority of the CCSC to hear a matter anew, it cannot later argue that the commission did not have the right to hear the case de novo,” she wrote.
But the judge remanded the case to the commission because it did not “suggest a rationale in its decision to explain why it found the record insufficient to support a disqualification.”
Ahmed and the commission were represented by commisssion general counsel Alina Garcia. Stephen Pischl, an assistant corporation counsel with the City Law Department, represented the NYPD.