March 20, 2008
IN THE MATTER OF JOHN LANCE, CITY OF CAMDEN
On appeal from a Final Administrative Decision of the Merit System Board, DOP Docket No. 2006-5181.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted November 27, 2007
Before Judges Coburn and Fuentes.
Petitioner John Lance was terminated from his position as a police officer with the City of Camden. He thereafter appealed from that decision to the Merit System Board. In a well-reasoned, comprehensive memorandum of opinion issued on September 7, 2006, the Board found that petitioner did not file his appeal from the action taken by the City of Camden in a timely manner.
Petitioner now appeals arguing that the Board's decision was arbitrary and capricious, and operates to deny him his constitutional right to due process of law. We disagree and affirm. We incorporate by reference the factual recitation reflected in the Board's final decision, which we find is well-supported by competent evidence. Hemsey v. Bd. of Trs., Police & Firemen Ret. Sys., 393 N.J. Super. 524, 531 (App. Div. 2007).
Our role in reviewing final decisions of State administrative agencies is limited. We will reverse only if the decision is arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable. In re Hruska, 375 N.J. Super. 202, 204 (App. Div. 2005). Here, we are satisfied that the Board correctly concluded that petitioner was aware of his removal from employment as of the end of January 2006. In this light, his decision not to file an appeal to the Board until March 31, 2006, was untimely and unreasonable. N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.8. We thus affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by the Board in its September 7, 2006 memorandum of opinion.
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