Falsifying time records Department of Health and Mental Hygiene v Nkele, OATH Index No. 615/07
Despite ten-year employment and no prior disciplinary penalties, Administrative Law Judge Julio Rodriguez recommended that Stanley Nkele, a Public Health Advisor, be terminated after finding that Nkele submitted timecards that falsely stated the hours he worked on three occasions.
The hearing officer observed that ?Generally, employees found guilty of falsifying official documents such as employee time cards command a penalty recommendation of termination.?
Judge Rodriguez commented that as a Public Health Advisor, Nkele was required to spend the vast majority of his time in the field, unsupervised. The Department relied on him to perform his duties in the field and to accurately report the hours he worked. Nkele, said the hearing officer, violated this trust.
Finding that Nkele?s falsification of his time cards ?is an offense of moral turpitude and an egregious breach of the public trust that is incompatible with continued public service?, and that he ?can no longer be trusted to fulfill his responsibilities in the field,? Judge Rodriguez recommended that Nkele be terminated from his position.
The fact that Nkele had ?nearly ten years of tenure? cannot mitigate the penalty in this case and thus, said Judge Rodriguez, ?Termination is the only appropriate penalty for this misconduct?.?
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