News and Updates

PBA Files Historic Lawsuit Challenging SUNY Brockport’s Unlawful Granting of 211 Waiver

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The PBA announces great news for the membership!

The PBA Board of Directors has been focused on responding to our membership’s growing concern about SUNY campuses hiring police chiefs from outside the State University Police ranks and then unlawfully granting them waivers allowing them to collect both their state or local pensions as well as a salary from SUNY. These exceptions are commonly called “211 waivers” based on the section of the NYS Retirement and Social Security Law (“RSS”) which temporarily allows this “double dipping” in limited circumstances. In particular, 211 waivers cannot be granted where there are other available, qualified, non-retired candidates. This is currently a problem within SUNY but this practice has potential to harm members in all four of our units, so this is not exclusively a SUNY problem.

Based on evidence that SUNY Brockport violated the requirements set forth in section 211 of the RSS when they hired a new chief of police, the PBA Board of Directors directed our attorneys to research SUNY Brockport’s action and, if warranted, file an article 78 lawsuit challenging this this illegal granting of a 211 waiver. On June 8, 2016, attorneys for the PBA did file an Article 78 lawsuit against the State University of New York and the State University of New York College at Brockport challenging the granting of a 211 Waiver for Brockport’s Chief of University Police when there were other qualified candidates that did not require a 211 waiver. PBA Director of State University Police Lieutenants Scott Marciszewski was one of those qualified candidates, and, in addition to the PBA, he is one of the two other named plaintiffs.

The practice of granting 211 Waivers for retired public employees to fill management positions that should be filled by those qualified candidates already in the State University Police is not only unlawful, but it is terrible management because it prevents advancement of the University System’s experienced and dedicated police supervisors. The granting of 211 Waivers continues the long standing practice of double-dipping within SUNY.

This has been a long fight for the PBA and its members beginning with a series of previous lawsuits the PBA filed regarding Freedom of Information Requests (“FOIL”) on 211 Waiver related material that various SUNY campuses denied and refused to provide. These FOIL lawsuits are still pending. These legal challenges represent the PBA’s commitment to hold SUNY accountable to the law and advance our members in the absence of a career ladder within the State University Police. The PBA will continue to fight the abusive practice of unlawfully granted 211 Waivers and advocate for a career path for our members.

Attached are the Verified Petition and Memorandum of Law on this current lawsuit for your review.