Town denied request to stop arbitration proceeding

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North Hempstead Town Hall is seen in Manhasset. (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

A state Supreme Court judge has denied the Town of North Hempstead’s request to halt an arbitration proceeding over disciplinary action against a former employee.

In a lawsuit against the Civil Service Employees Association, the town sought to stop an arbitration hearing with James Stockwell, a former auto mechanic who worked in the town’s highway department.

The judge, George Peck, ruled that Stockwell had taken the proper steps to go to arbitration.

Stockwell, who retired in June, was issued nine disciplinary violations for misconduct and insubordination, court documents show. Each violation carried a five-day suspension.

According to Newsday, the violations mention Stockwell’s comments about Joseph Spinola Jr., a town employee who was an automotive worker in the town’s parks department.

Stockwell’s comments included remarks about Spinola’s appearance and family, which legal documents filed by the town called “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate,” according to Newsday.

After he retired, Stockwell filed a grievance to obtain the salary he had lost, according to Newsday.

Stockwell followed two of the three steps in the town’s collective bargaining agreement grievance process.

The town filed a motion in state Supreme Court in February, saying that Stockwell failed to follow through on the third step, which is to appeal to the town supervisor, according to Newsday.

Stockwell’s attorney, Louis D. Stober Jr., could not be reached for comment.

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