NYC must defend school employees accused of hitting - New York News

NYC must defend school employees accused of hitting

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The state's highest court says New York City must legally defend school employees sued for hitting students even though the workers violated their employment rules.

Ruling unanimously Thursday, the Court of Appeals says a 1960 state law requires paying attorney fees and expenses for a teacher, administrator or other school employee "while in the discharge of his duties within the scope of his employment."

The court says that's not limited to "the proper and lawful discharge" of those duties and it even includes defense against criminal prosecution.

In rejecting city arguments and overturning a midlevel court, the six judges say that law governs these cases despite a later measure that specifically prohibited defending city school workers for actions like corporal punishment that violate their rules.

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