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In re Carter

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 11, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF JERMANE CARTER, BURLINGTON COUNTY.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued February 26, 2013

On appeal from the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, Docket No. 2009-2672.

Mark W. Catanzaro argued the cause for the appellant Jermane Carter.

Laurel B. Peltzman argued the cause for respondent Burlington County (Capehart & Scatchard, P.A., attorneys; Carmen Saginario, Jr., of counsel and on the brief; Ms. Peltzman and Katheryn Eisenmann, on the brief).

Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney for respondent New Jersey Civil Service Commission (Todd A. Wigder, Deputy Attorney General, on the statement in lieu of brief).

Before Judges Alvarez, Waugh, and St. John.

PER CURIAM

Appellant Jermane Carter appeals the final administrative agency decision of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (Commission) upholding discipline imposed by respondent County of Burlington (County), his employer. We affirm.

I.

We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.

Carter has been employed by the County as a correction officer since February 2006. On October 28, 2008, he was assigned to fill-in for other officers during breaks. He and other such officers were summoned to the area in the Burlington County Detention Center at which a meeting of Narcotics Anonymous was being held. R.F., an inmate who had been removed from the meeting, was refusing to return to his assigned tier. Carter and his colleagues were assigned to escort R.F.

R.F. became abusive and disruptive. At one point, when the officers had him against a wall, he broke free and turned toward them. Carter then punched R.F. in the face with a closed fist, causing him to fall to the ground. The officers subsequently subdued R.F. Carter's report of the incident stated that R.F. was subdued "with mini[m]um force, " without reference to the closed-fist punch in the face.

Following an internal investigation, the County issued a preliminary notice of disciplinary action on November 7, ...


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