Brown v. City of Syracuse, et al., No. 10-529 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, an African-American and former Syracuse police officer, was suspended with pay pending investigation of an incident involving a fifteen-year-old girl whom he took to a hotel knowing she was a runaway. He was eventually suspended without pay and terminated. Plaintiff claimed that defendants, the City and certain police officers, discriminated against him by treating him more severely than white officers who committed acts of an equal or more serious nature. Because plaintiff's subsequent guilty plea to the charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child resulted in his automatic termination under New York Public Officers Law 30(1)(e), he could not prove an "adverse employee action" for any of the measures taken by his employer after his guilty plea. Further, as a matter of law, plaintiff's suspension without pay pending the investigation did not, in these circumstances, amount to an adverse employment action, and plaintiff had no constitutionally recognized cause of action for deprivation of "professional courtesy" that police sometimes extended to their fellow officers.