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2 N.J.A.R. 9

Reinhardt, Roy K. v. Jamesburg Training & Research Center
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Citation: 2 N.J.A.R. 9
Decision Date: 1980
Synopsis: Roy Reinhardt appealed his removal from the position of grounds worker based on charges of theft of State property brought under N.J.A.C. 4:1- 16.9(a). Reinhardt had been accused of stealing gasoline from a State owned truck and in addition to Civil Service charges had been charged with a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2A:170-30.1. After a trial in Monroe Township Municipal Court, Reinhardt was found guilty of the disorderly persons offense. On consideration of a motion to apply the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel and thus bar respondent from asserting a defense to the disciplinary charges, the administrative law judge noted that it was well settled that the doctrines of collateral estoppel and res judicata were (1980). The administrative law judge found that the facts underlying the conviction for the disorderly persons offense were the same facts underlying the present disciplinary charges. Additionally, the judge found that the parties in both actions had substantially the same identity and role, that the quantum of proof for a disorderly persons offense is proof beyond a reasonable doubt which is greater than the preponderance standard in disciplinary charges and that Reinhardt had been represented by counsel in the prior proceeding and thus had the opportunity to defend himself adequately. Thus, the administrative law judge concluded that Reinhardt's prior conviction constituted conclusive proof of the facts upon which the disciplinary charges were based. Based on the seriousness of Reinhardt's action and his prior disciplinary history, the administrative law judge ordered Reinhardt removed from his position. Susan M. Hagerty, Esq., for Appellant Robert A. Shire, Deputy Attorney General for Respondent (John J. Degnan, Attorney General of New Jersey, Attorney)