Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BENEDICT v. TOWN OF NEWBURGH

December 29, 2000

DARRELL BENEDICT, PLAINTIFF,
V.
TOWN OF NEWBURGH, TOWN OF NEWBURGH TOWN BOARD, GEORGE BUCCI, JR., SUPERVISOR, TOWN OF NEWBURGH, NANCY W. LACOLLA, ROBERT PETRILLO, AND SALVATORE DECROSTA, SUED IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

By motion filed November 8, 2000, heard and fully submitted December 15, 2000, Defendants in this § 1983 civil rights action move for summary judgment dismissing the Complaint in its entirety. In the alternative, Defendants move for summary judgment as to Defendants George P. Bucci, Jr., Nancy Wassi LaColla, Robert Petrillo and Salvatore DeCrosta (since deceased), sued individually, on the ground that they enjoy qualified immunity from Plaintiff's claim. Plaintiffs filed Opposition on December 1, 2000. Defendants filed a Reply on December 12, 2000.

Procedural History

On January 19, 2000, Plaintiff filed his Complaint seeking to recover damages for lost income, emotional distress, punitive damages and reinstatement to his position as Superintendent of Highways of the Town of Newburgh, from which he claims he was removed wrongfully, in violation of his Constitutional rights, as well as in violation of state law.

On February 29, 2000, Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim, or, alternatively, to dismiss the Complaint against the individual Defendants, on the ground of qualified immunity. On April 11, 2000, this Court filed a Memorandum and Order denying Defendants' motion to dismiss, with leave to apply for an interlocutory appeal, which Defendants declined to do. Familiarity of the reader with that decision, Benedict v. Town of Newburgh, 95 F. Supp.2d 136 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) is assumed.

Parties

Plaintiff Mr. Benedict is a former town official (Superintendent of Highways) of the Town of Newburgh, and is a current resident of the Town.

Defendant Town of Newburgh ("the Town") is a municipality of the State of New York and is governed by Defendant Town Board. Defendant George Bucci, Jr., sued individually, is the elected Supervisor of the Town and as such a member and the presiding officer of the Town Board. Defendants Nancy Wassi LaColla, Robert Petrillo and Salvatore DeCrosta, since deceased,*fn1 sued individually, are Town Councilmen and members of the Town Board. The fourth Town Councilman, Robert A. Kunkel, who did not join in the conduct complained of, was not sued.

Factual Background

For purposes of this motion, the following facts are assumed to be true. For more than twenty-two years Plaintiff Benedict worked for the Highway Department of the Town of Newburgh. Between 1992 and December 31, 1999, Mr. Benedict was appointed four times by the Town Board for two year terms to serve as the Superintendent of Highways, a town office. His last appointed term would have expired December 31, 1999.

On December 2, 1999, Mr. Benedict, while on duty, saw a large deer standing on an embankment at the Town Highway Department property. Mr. Benedict took out a rifle from his town-owned truck and with a single shot killed "Bambi." Mr. Benedict's subordinates cleaned the deer within the next ten minutes and placed it in the town-owned truck. On December 3, 1999, the day after Bambi's adverse encounter with Mr. Benedict, Mr. Bucci informed Mr. Benedict that Mr. Benedict would be suspended without pay. Mr. Benedict's suspension without pay was not authorized by the Town Board at a properly called meeting. No written charges were filed on the occasion of the suspension.

Mr. Benedict retained an attorney and protested his suspension without pay. By letter dated December 17, 1999, the Town Board for the first time set forth written charges against Mr. Benedict and provided him with an opportunity to respond in writing to those charges. By letter dated December 27, 1999, Mr. Benedict responded to the Board's charges through counsel, claiming that the charges were pretextual, and that the proposed termination of his employment was excessive in light of the offense charged and the punishments meted out to others by the Town for more serious delicts. On December 29, 1999, the Town Board terminated ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.