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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another OCA Screw-Up: Wrong Court Employees Fired

Budget Cuts Buffet State Court System
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko  -  April 21, 2011

New York's court system laid off employees yesterday for the first time in 20 years.

Pink slips were given to 58 full-time and 16 temporary employees, most in the Office of Court Administration headquarters in Manhattan, according to the court's administrative director, Lawrence H. Marks. The dismissals were a precursor to a more drastic round of hundreds of job cuts to come as the Judiciary complies to a directive from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Legislature to slash $170 million from the courts' budget for the fiscal year that began April 1. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman had offered to cut $100 million, but another $70 million was imposed on top of his suggested reductions. Job cuts announced yesterday included computer programmers, secretarial staff, auditors and two attorneys, Judge Marks said. The temporary employees, who do not receive insurance coverage or other benefits, were chiefly in data-processing positions, he said. "These layoffs, and the additional layoffs to come in the courts, are the most difficult things we have ever had to do here," Judge Marks said yesterday in an interview. All employees losing their jobs were given two-weeks' notice yesterday and will leave by May 4. At the agency's headquarters in Manhattan yesterday, OCA employees who declined to give their names described the office's mood as "somber," "very quiet," "worried" and "really tense."  "It's like the walking dead up there," said one administrative staffer on his lunch break. "We're kind of like walking on egg shells." Though the OCA made no official announcements yesterday, news trickled in as the layoffs began in the morning. Asked about the cuts' impacts, the worker said they would "demoralize" everyone. Another OCA employee, who worked in the technology field, noted that people take pay cuts to work in government jobs, which are thought to offer stability. "How would you feel if you were let go?" he asked. Another OCA employee, who works in the accounts unit, said she packed up her things on Friday, suspecting she would be let go. Instead, it was a co-worker who got laid off. But one dismissed employee said she was "elated" to be let go "because I'm free." The employee, a court analyst processing the health insurance information for court officers, found out she was being cut around 11 a.m. She was a temporary worker for five years and a permanent staffer for almost 10 more years. She said she planned to work until May 4. The analyst said her supervisor explained the layoff was due to budget cuts. "She was more upset than I was," the analyst said, adding that three or four people who were not let go left work early because they were so upset by the cuts. Asked how the layoffs would affect OCA's operations, the analyst said, "I don't know, and, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Judge Lippman has said that up to 500 court system employees will lose their jobs (NYLJ, March 29).  Judge Marks said the bulk of the layoffs will be imposed by mid-May. The court system has about 15,200 non-judicial employees. The ranks of employees had already thinned out by an early retirement program offered last year (NYLJ, Nov. 23, 2010). Yesterday's round of cuts were largely in New York City and included both union and non-union workers. While a union member can generally exercise his or her "bumping" rights to claim the job of a less-senior worker, Judge Marks said no employees laid off yesterday were in unique job titles where the right was available. Of the 74 workers terminated yesterday, 50 worked downstate and 24 upstate, said the courts' chief of operations, Ronald Younkins. The last round of layoffs in the state courts took place in 1991, due to another fiscal crisis. Within about a year, most of those workers were hired back. |Joel Stashenko can be contacted at Andrew Keshner contributed to this report.


Anonymous said...

Lippman and Pfau should fire themselves. Wait, they'd mess that up too!

victim of pfau and lippman said...

Thank you, Judges Lippman and Pfau for firing me while you live like royalty. I'll see you two in hell.

Anonymous said...

I hope those 74 are angry enough to try to do something about all the corruption in the OCA.

Those that are left should take advantage of any whistle-blower protections available.

Just like the ticket fixing that has been going on forever, and is part of the culture of corruption, court employees know what goes on that is considered business as usual, but is just corruption as usual. The corruption in the courts is just as hidden as the ticket fixing was.

It's time for the honest court employees to come forward and blow the whistle on the corrupt employees that get to keep their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I agree entirely with the above writer..come forward, if not for revenge then for decent human morality and future Government ethical operations.
As far as protection for whistle blowing...ahhh...Federal Ct. has done a very excellent job of convoluting and whitewashing that charge, as well as most of "Title VII" least when it it involves the court system.
You will have to do what you do relative to the justice system in America and NY, for your own personal satisfaction, because the BIG court IS protecting the Little maybe the BIG court is just as bad.
Fighting OCA is absolutely the RIGHT thing to do...but it does take strength, stamina and courage!If you have any one of them and can sustain them...YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO EXPOSE WHAT YOU KNOW.
You are not alone in that endeavor.

Themis unblinded said...

Remember,they picked you because they're protecting their relatives and the relatives of other judges and OCA administrators. You knew the whole court was all corrupt, but you didn't have your hand in the pot like they did.

Revenge is indeed sweet and good for society and science backs it up.
"The feeling of satisfaction people get from meting out altruistic punishment may be the glue that keeps societies together. Cooperation among strangers breaks down in experiments if altruistic punishment is ruled out. Cooperation flourishes if punishment of defectors is possible."

Do it for yourself and all the other victims of those scum.

Anonymous said...

Gov. CUOMO STOP the layoffs immediately! This is not a solution to the terrible problem created by the greedy!

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE UNITE! There is strength in numbers...FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS!

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE write letters to your representatives, call the media, bring a lawsuit against the evil machinery. Do everything in your power to STOP the GREEDY & CORRUPT from ripping you of your RIGHTS!!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait til the cuts hit the 1st dept. If you're not part of Gonzalez and Lippman's nearest and dearest .....

It's time to EXTERMINATE THE RATS!!! I agree, fight for your job, sue if you must.

I too agree with the writer at 9:45 AM.

Anonymous said...

HELL NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

what whistle blower protections- no such thing, they set up those judges, those juries, the lawyers...they even lie to the FEDS tell me lies where......they lie to each is absolutely disgusting what we are doing to each other as a society!

Anonymous said...

One of the 74 layoffs is an 18 year Lieutnant in a competitive title who they boxed into layoff unit he should never have been in, with only one other competitive Lieutenant (who had seniority by 11 months). The media should be all over this. This Lt. was on a temporary reassignment to move him closer to home to care for his kid who has a blood disorder.

Anonymous said...

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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