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Judge orders NYPD to hire anti-vax officers back or take them off leave, city vows to appeal

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Chris Sommerfeldt and Emma Seiwell

New York Daily News

A Manhattan judge found New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate can’t justify firing or putting on leave members of the city’s biggest police union.

The city vowed an immediate appeal the ruling issued Friday by Supreme Court Judge Lyle E. Frank.

In his ruling, Frank wrote that the city’s vaccine mandate is “invalid to the extent it has been used to impose a new condition of employment to current PBA members.”

Frank ordered the reinstatement to the NYPD of any member of the Police Benevolent Association who was “wrongfully terminated” or put on unpaid leave for refusing to get vaccinated.

“This decision confirms what we have said from the start: the vaccine mandate was an improper infringement on our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own health care professionals,” said Police Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch.

Frank’s order said the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, “exceeded” its legal authority when ordering the mandate, which he found lacked a “rational basis.”

City Law Department spokesman Nicholas Paolucci said Lyle’s order “is at odds with every other court decision upholding the mandate as a condition of employment.”

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©2022 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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