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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

[Acosta v. DOE] Appellate Division Reverses Department of Education Application of Article 23-A and Court's Denial of Petitioner's Article 78 Challenge (2009)

  • Organization: New York State Appellate Division, First Department
  • Document Type: Case law/admin decisions
  • Date Created: Monday, May 11, 2009
  • Submitted: Monday, May 11, 2009
  • Attachment(s): LINK

Decision in case brought by MFY Legal Services, supported by Amicus Brief jointy filed by the Community Service Society of New York, The Bronx Defenders, Legal Action Center, The Fortune Society, Osborne Association and STRIVE.

Weighing the factors established in Article 23-A of the Correction Law, including the seriousness of Petitioner's offense, her age at the time of the offense, the length of time passed since the offense, her evidence of rehabilitation, and the risks posed by her past convictions, the Appellate Division finds:

"In that there is no showing that the nature of the serious crimes for which she was convicted is relevant in any respect to her present duties or poses an unreasonable danger to those involved in the preschool program, the Department of Education's determination that petitioner's convictions for armed robberies committed when she was a 17-year-old high school student more than 13 years earlier would "pose an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of the school community," without more, was arbitrary and capricious, i.e., "without sound basis in reason" and "without regard to the facts" (see Matter of Pell v Board of Educ. Of Union Free School Dist. No. 1 0f Towns of Scarsdale & Mamaroneck, Westchester County, 34 NY2d 222, 231 [1974])."

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