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FLOOD v. COUNTY OF SUFFOLK

May 14, 1993

KELLY A. FLOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF SUFFOLK, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEONARD D. WEXLER

 WEXLER, District Judge

 Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985, Kelly A. Flood ("plaintiff") brought the instant suit against the County of Suffolk and various individuals associated with the Suffolk County Police Department (collectively referred to as "defendants"), on the ground that plaintiff was denied her constitutional rights to due process and privacy. Now before the Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.

 I. BACKGROUND

 In October 1988, plaintiff, a probationary police officer with the New York City Police Department ("NYPD"), was placed on the civil service eligibility list for candidates seeking to become police officers with the Suffolk County Police Department ("SCPD"). Defendants allege that they encountered many difficulties with plaintiff during the application/screening stage. *fn1" Most important among these difficulties, plaintiff's application indicated problems with alcohol, prior use of marijuana and cocaine, and contained various inaccuracies and discrepancies regarding her work history, counseling history, and drug treatment.

 Specifically, the application acknowledged that both plaintiff's mother and father had had serious discussions with her about drinking and asked her to cut down. Furthermore, plaintiff admitted that she may have driven while impaired one or two times since she had been placed on the SCPD eligibility list. (Defendants' Exhibit F, p. 1)

 Furthermore, although plaintiff admitted to using drugs on her application, she failed to indicate any drug use on her medical questionnaire Moreover, although plaintiff admitted on her application that she had used cocaine and marijuana and had lent money to her boyfriend to purchase drugs, she indicated that she had never done anything which, if detected, would be considered a crime. Plaintiff asserts that her inconsistent responses were not misstatements because her use of marijuana and cocaine occurred almost four years earlier and she characterized the amounts involved as de minimus. "[She] did not consider experimentation a couple of times a crime. . . ." (Plaintiff's Affidavit, P 28).

 Plaintiff also stated in an interview with the SCPD that she never underwent counseling. Subsequently, she admitted that she went to a few sessions regarding family matters. Defendants assert that plaintiff was in fact receiving drug treatment in a rehabilitation program known as East End Alternatives. Plaintiff denies this allegation, asserting that she was only receiving family counseling. Plaintiff's Affidavit, P 35).

 In addition, plaintiff stated on her application that she was never fired from previous employment. Defendants assert that their investigation reveals that plaintiff was in fact terminated from her employment at Genovese under the suspicion of theft. Plaintiff denies this as well. (Plaintiff's Affidavit, P 34).

 In December 1988, after defendants became aware of these discrepancies, plaintiff was told that she would be required to take a second polygraph examination. *fn2" Defendants claim that plaintiff declined to do so, and that she requested that her name be removed from the list of applicants seeking to become Suffolk County police officers. *fn3"

  When defendants first determined that plaintiff would be required to take a second polygraph examination, they contacted the Internal Affairs Division of the NYPD regarding the availability of a polygraphist. *fn4" Because a NYPD probationary police officer was the subject of a SCPD investigation, the NYPD Internal Affairs Division requested information concerning the circumstances leading to SCPD's request for the second polygraph examination. At that time, one of the defendants allegedly informed the NYPD that plaintiff "may be involved in drug use and problems with alcohol." *fn5"

 Three days later, the NYPD informed the SCPD that it had a release signed by plaintiff authorizing the disclosure of confidential information by the SCPD. NYPD then requested and received copies of plaintiff's SCPD application documents from defendants. Although plaintiff had originally disputed the existence of said release, it has since been produced to this Court. *fn6"

 Apparently based on the information received from the SCPD, on August 31, 1989, plaintiff was advised by the NYPD that she was disqualified from her probationary position due to "falsification, character and illegal drug use." Plaintiff appealed her disqualification, and the New York City Civil Service Commission held that pursuant to § 50.4(f) of the New York Civil Service Law, the discharge was proper because plaintiff made intentional misstatements on her NYPD application and on her supplementary questionnaire. (Defendants' Exhibit C, p. 3). Plaintiff subsequently had an Article 78 hearing ...


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