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MCNULTY v. NEW YORK CITY DEPT. OF FINANCE

April 5, 1999

JEANETTE C. MCNULTY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE, OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK CITY SHERIFF, OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK CITY MAYOR, THE CITY OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL, RANDY MASTRO AND KERRY J. KATSORHIS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sand, District Judge.

Memorandum and Order

Plaintiff, Jeanette McNulty, brings this employment discrimination action against New York City and two City officials pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e to 2000e-17, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), codified at 29 U.S.C. § 621-634, the New York State Human Rights Law ("SHRL"), codified at N.Y. Exec. Law §§ 290-301, and the New York City Human Rights Law ("CHRL"), codified at N.Y.C. Admin. Code §§ 8-101 to -131. Presently before the Court is the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff is a New York City resident who worked for the City in various capacities from December 1978 until February 1995. In July 1990, during the tenure of David Dinkins as Mayor of New York City, Plaintiff began working for the City Sheriff, Philip Crimaldi. Because Plaintiff was a provisional employee, her employment was "at will" and could be terminated summarily.

In November 1993, Rudolph Giuliani was elected Mayor of the City of New York and appointed Randy Mastro as his Chief of Staff and Robert Avaltroni as Acting Sheriff. After several weeks, the Mayor appointed Kerry Katsorhis to serve as the City Sheriff on a permanent basis and Avaltroni continued working for the City as First Deputy Commissioner.

In February 1995, Mayor's Office officials furnished Katsorhis with a list of seven members of the Sheriff's Office to terminate. Plaintiff, who was then fifty-nine years old, was among those employees fired. Three of these individuals were immediately rehired upon reconsideration and all of the remaining individuals, other than Plaintiff, have since accepted other employment with the City. Plaintiff's replacement in the Sheriff's Office was a forty-seven year old woman named Ellen Poliski.

In April 1995, Plaintiff interviewed for and was orally offered the position of Director of Administration with the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB). Plaintiff accepted the position but the offer was later withdrawn after staff-members in the Mayor's Office told COIB officials that the Vacancy Control Board would not approve her appointment. In August 1995, COIB hired a fifty-three year old woman, Ute O'Malley, to fill the position.

On or about August 1, 1995, Plaintiff filed a charge of employment discrimination based on age and gender with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the New York State Division of Human Rights. On January 18, 1996, she received a "right to sue letter" from the EEOC and commenced this action within ninety days. Subject matter jurisdiction over the Title VII and ADEA claims is premised on 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and any jurisdiction the Court may have over Plaintiff's state law claims depends on 28 U.S.C. § 1367, the statute governing supplemental jurisdiction.

In an Opinion dated October 24, 1996, the Court granted the Defendants' Motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against the Office of the Sheriff, the Office of the Mayor, and the Department of Personnel, on the ground that those entities were not suable. See McNulty v. New York City Department of Finance, 941 F. Supp. 452, 461 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). In all other respects, the Court denied the Defendants' Motion and left Plaintiff's claims intact. Id. at 457-62.

On December 16, 1998, after discovery was completed, the Defendants filed this Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court heard oral argument on January 14, 1999, and reserved decision.

LEGAL STANDARD

The Court may grant summary judgment only where the moving papers and affidavits submitted by the parties show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(c); see also Brown v. City of Oneonta, 106 F.3d 1125, 1130 (2d Cir. 1997). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, a court "is not to weigh the evidence but is instead required to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment, to draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party, and to eschew credibility assessments." Weyant v. Okst, 101 F.3d 845, 854 (2d Cir. 1996). Summary judgment is a "drastic procedural weapon because `its prophylactic function, when exercised, cuts off a party's right to present his case to the jury.'" Garza v. Marine Transp. Lines, Inc., 861 F.2d 23, 26 (2d Cir. 1988) (quoting Donnelly v. Guion, 467 F.2d 290, 291 (2d Cir. 1972)).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's Title VII and ADEA Claims Against the City

(1) Introduction

The Second Circuit has explained the framework for considering claims of pretextual employment discrimination in light of the familiar three-part burden-shifting analysis of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). Claims under the ADEA receive the same analysis as those ...


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