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11 N.J.A.R. 20

Kennedy, Sharon v. Dept. of Finance, City of Burlington
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Citation: 11 N.J.A.R. 20
Decision Date: 1988
Synopsis: Advised that she would be suspended for 10 days from her position as account clerk, appellant requested a hearing and the matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law. The suspension was stayed pending the hearing. Appellant's job duties included responsibility for making bank de- posits. The disciplinary charges arose from two incidents: (1) failure to make a $700,000 deposit within the 48-hour period required by N.J.S.A. 40A:5-15; (2) late deposit by mail of some $355,000. The administrative law judge assigned to the case dismissed the charges relating to the mail deposit because there was no competent evidence proving when the deposit was mailed and when it was re- ceived by the bank. Regarding the other deposit, appellant acknowl- edged violation of the 48-hour requirement. However, she argued that she should be exonerated for several reasons, including the fact that she did not know the account was interest-bearing and, therefore, did not know a late deposit would result in loss of earnings. The adminis- trative law judge found that the fact that appellant was unaware of the consequences of her failure to perform her assigned duties did not excuse her neglect, but should be given some consideration in assessing a proper penalty. The administrative law judge concluded that an appropriate penalty would be a fine, which would serve to reimburse respondent in part for its loss without depriving respondent of appellant's services. It would also impress upon appellant and other employees the necessity for complying with statutory time requirements. Accordingly, ap- pellant was ordered to pay a fine of $500. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Merit System Board. State of New Jersey 21 John A. Sweeney, Esq., for appellant (Sweeney & Sweeney, attorneys) John T. Barbour, Esq., for respondent (Barbour & Costa, attorneys)