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Iannacone v. Dep't of Corrections

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 23, 2010

GABRIEL IANNACONE, APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

On appeal from the Final Agency Decision of the Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 6, 2010

Before Judges Cuff and Waugh.

Appellant Gabriel Iannacone appeals the final decision of respondent Department of Corrections (DOC) concerning his internal appeal of DOC's decision with respect to his claims for additional compensation and work credits. We remand for a fuller explanation of the reasons and factual basis of DOC's decision.

On appellate review, we must uphold a final agency decision unless it is arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable or unsupported by credible evidence. In re Taylor, 158 N.J. 644, 657 (1999); Henry v. Rahway State Prison, 81 N.J. 571, 581 (1980). The relevant standard of review is "'whether the findings made could reasonably have been reached on sufficient credible evidence present in the record considering the proofs as a whole . . . .'" Taylor, supra, 158 N.J. at 656 (quoting Close v. Kordulak Bros., 44 N.J. 589, 599 (1965)) (internal quotations omitted).

Iannacone is currently incarcerated at Northern State Prison. He sought work credits against his current sentence, thirteen years with a mandatory minimum of six years, for work performed between 2004 and 2006. DOC denied his request, explaining that he was serving an earlier sentence at the time and that he received credit for the work claimed against that sentence.

Iannacone also seeks payment for work performed thereafter, as to which he claims no payment was made. After a remand made at its request, DOC granted his request for payment as to certain days, and denied it as to others. The denial was based upon DOC's assertions that he either did not work on those days or was not entitled to be paid for them.

Although we generally show great deference to an administrative agency's factfinding and application of its governing procedures, we are troubled by the cursory nature of the decisions in this case. We cannot determine from the decisions whether DOC's position is that Iannacone did not actually work on specific days or simply was not entitled to be paid for some reason, or was not entitled to be paid at a holiday rate. Nor can we determine on what basis the department made its decisions.

With respect to the work credits, it is difficult to determine what credits were received and whether they were appropriately credited against the correct sentence. It appears that Iannacone was serving concurrent sentences at the time. We note that there are numerous documents contained in the appendices, but it is not our task to sift through them without a more specific roadmap from the administrative agency.

Consequently, we remand this matter to DOC for a clearer and more specific articulation of the basis and reasons for its decisions. The remand shall be completed within sixty days of the date of this opinion. We retain jurisdiction.

20100323

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