In the case of In the Matter of Mark Moncho, Mark Moncho, a Sergeant First Class, appealed a final decision of the Division of State Police finding him in violation of Article VI, Section 2a of the Division’s regulations (performance of duties) and imposing a ten day suspension.

Moncho was assigned to the State Police Construction Inspection Unit. The Construction Unit is a component of the Traffic Bureau and operates as a partnership between the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. In this capacity, Moncho was responsible for overseeing five sergeants who, in turn, supervised subordinate troopers. His responsibilities included: (1) reviewing the patrol charts and weekly reports of the sergeants and the subordinates; (2) time-keeping; and (3) day-to-day supervision of the Construction Unit.

Ultimately, the Division of State Police charged Moncho with violating a series of rules and regulations involving billing and overtime. Moncho pled not guilty to the charges and, on June 28, 2004, the Division transmitted the matter to the Office of Administrative Law. After conducting numerous hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) concluded: (1) Moncho violated none of the specifications underlying disciplinary charges; and (2) nevertheless, Moncho was guilty of the performance of duties disciplinary charge based solely upon the amount of overtime he had earned. On August 2, 2007, the Division of State Police issued a final decision upholding the ALJ’s decision in its entirety. This appeal ensued.

On appeal, Moncho argued that when the ALJ found that the Division had not met its burden of proof as to the specifications in the charges, the ALJ dismissed all bases of liability of which Moncho had notice. Moreover, Moncho argued the Division’s decision to discipline him absent a showing that he engaged in fraud, misleading conduct, or the violation of a policy is arbitrary and capricious.

 

In its decision, the Appellate Division agreed with Moncho’s contentions. The Court concluded that the record did not support the Division’s decision and this was further compelled by the ALJ’s incongruous findings. In effect, the ALJ created a new basis on which to justify disciplinary action after hearing and rejecting the official charges and specifications lodged against Moncho. The Court further noted that at no time was Moncho ever notified that the accrual of overtime, in and of itself, could subject him to disciplinary action. Accordingly, the Court determined the final decision of the Division to be arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable and thereby vacated the penalty imposed. 

         

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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog (www.njpublicsafetyofficers.com) approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.