NYPD cop can’t be fired for refusing COVID vaccine: judges

An NYPD cop who has sued over the city’s COVID vaccination order can’t be fired for not getting the shot, according to a new “precedent-setting” ruling that could help more than 20 other cops in their cases Experience The Post.

A Manhattan judge said 43-year-old officer Alexander Deletto should be allowed to keep his job, noting in a Tuesday ruling that the city had not given the Brooklyn police officer an explanation as to why it was denying his request for a religious waiver have refused.

According to attorney James Mermigis, who represents Deletto and has been dubbed an “anti-shutdown” attorney for handling a number of court cases related to the pandemic, this is the first such decision in a case by an NYPD officer opposed his possible dismissal because of the mandate fights .

“It sets a precedent,” Mermigis said of Deletto’s lawsuit. “It’s the first of its kind.”

The city first denied Catholic Deletto’s request for religious expulsion on February 15, and later dismissed his appeal on the grounds “does not meet the criteria,” according to his lawsuit.

“The hollow and general expression ‘does not meet the criteria’ cannot be reasonable because not a single point applies to it [Deletto] was discussed and not a single reason given for the decision,” ruled Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arlene Bluth.

Officer Alexander Deletto
The judge reversed the city’s denial of Deletto’s request for religious disfellowshipping, noting that there was no explanation.
Courtesy of James Mermigis

“There is no indication that anyone read it at all [Deletto’s] arguments,” the judge wrote, adding, “It is the agency’s duty to explain why it made the decision.”

Deletto — a nine-year veteran of the force who works at the 88th Precinct in Clinton Hill — filed a lawsuit the day before his Aug. 5 firing for not getting vaccinated.

Bluth then issued a restraining order, allowing the father-of-five to remain with the force pending her decision.

“When he came into my office in early August, his biggest concern was how he would support his children,” Mermigis told The Post on Wednesday. “He didn’t know what he was going to do, but under no circumstances would he betray his religious beliefs.”

Mermigis said his client was “thrilled” by the judge’s decision that he could keep his job and remain unvaccinated.

“He feels vindicated,” said the attorney, adding that Deletto can now “breathe with relief.”

Mermigis has filed more than 20 cases on behalf of cops resisting being fired for not getting the stitch.

Officer Alexander Deletto
Officer Alexander Deletto can keep his job and remain unvaccinated, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
Courtesy of James Mermigis

“My goal is to employ them,” Mermigis said of the officials he represents. “The last thing we need is to fire more cops when crime is on the rise.

“These are people who were heroes during COVID who put their own safety on the line to help the city of New York and this is how the mayor is treating them?” he said. “It’s an absolute disgrace.”

The lawyer said he hopes the decision will help in his other cases – as no explanations were given to these police officers as to why their requests for religious exemption were denied.

“It was analyzed so thoroughly by the judge. It’s appeal-proof in my opinion,” although Mermigis said he expects the city to appeal anyway.

As of July, more than 1,750 city employees have been fired for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine — including at least 36 by the NYPD.

A spokesman for the city’s legal department said: “A court previously upheld the NYPD’s reasonable accommodation procedure and ruled that it conformed to all applicable laws.

“Both the NYPD and a citywide appeals panel have carefully reviewed this officer’s placement request. The city is reviewing this decision and considering its options.”

The NYPD and City Hall have delayed the Legal Department’s comment.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan and Amanda Woods

https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/nypd-cop-cant-be-fired-for-refusing-covid-vaccine-judge/ NYPD cop can’t be fired for refusing COVID vaccine: judges

JACLYN DIAZ

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