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In the Matter of

June 15, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF KWAMBOKA OCHARO, HUDSON COUNTY.


On appeal from the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, Docket No. 2010-3658.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 4, 2012

Before Judges Ashrafi and Fasciale.

Petitioner Kwamboka Ocharo appeals from a March 18, 2011 final agency decision of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) terminating her employment as a corrections officer with the Hudson County Corrections Department (HCCD). We affirm.

On six separate occasions from December 2009 to March 2010, petitioner was charged in preliminary notices of disciplinary action (PNDA) with violations of various HCCD rules and regulations on the following dates and for the incidents indicated:

1. December 7, 2009 (reporting off duty for family emergency on November 11, 2009, but not providing documentation of need for emergency);

2. December 7, 2009 (calling off duty for court appearance on November 18, 2009, but not providing documentation);

3. December 10, 2009 (requesting intermittent leave on December 5 and 9, 2009, without having such leave requested, approved, or available);

4. January 26, 2010 (calling off duty on January 13, 2010 without providing one-hour notice prior to beginning of shift);

5. February 1, 2010 (submitting on January 15, 2010 a blacked-out copy of court summons as excuse for being absent on November 18, 2009, and a court summons as excuse for being absent on January 13, 2010, but not appearing in court on those dates, and having an open failure to appear warrant); and

6. March 23, 2010 (calling off duty sick on March 20, 2010 without having ample time available).*fn1

Following an internal departmental hearing, the HCCD served petitioner with three final notices of disciplinary action (FNDA) dated May 3, 2010. Respectively, the FNDAs imposed a sixty-day suspension, a ninety-day suspension, and removal.*fn2

Petitioner appealed to the CSC, which transferred the appeal to the Office of Administrative Law. On three days in July and August 2010, an administrative law judge (ALJ) conducted a trial. Petitioner testified and presented no other testimony. The HCCD presented pertinent testimony from Lieutenant Thomas Monteleone, petitioner's supervisor at HCCD, and Stacy Parrish, an HCCD internal affairs investigator. On November 12, ...


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