LANGUAGE

Office of Administrative Services v. Domingo, et al. (Re: Smoking at the Fire Exit Area at the Back of the Public Information Office)

Three attorneys were accused by  a co-worker of smoking in a stairwell at the courthouse, thereby violating an internal office order as well as a Civil Service Commission memorandum prohibiting smoking on the court's premises.  The Court approved the recommendation by the administrative investigator that warnings be issued to the attorneys, noting that the stricter reprimands advised by the civil service rules were not warranted in this case because the Chief Administrative Officer had failed to designate smoking areas on the premises prior to this infraction as required by the order and memorandum.  The Court additionally noted that, although the attorneys technically had violated the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Act), which banned smoking in the court's stairwells, they could not be held liable under the Act because they were charged only with violations of the office regulations and were not provided an opportunity to defend against accusations under the Act.