New York General Municipal Law
Removal of Volunteer Officers and Volunteer Members of Fire Departments
§ 209-l. Removal of volunteer officers and volunteer members of fire departments.
1. The authorities having control of fire departments of cities, towns, villages and fire districts may make regulations governing the removal of volunteer officers and volunteer members of such departments and the companies thereof.
2. Such officers and members of such departments and companies shall not be removed from office, or membership, as the case may be, by such authorities or by any other officer or body, except for incompetence or misconduct.
3. Removals on the ground of incompetence or misconduct, except for absenteeism at fires or meetings, shall be made only after a hearing upon due notice and upon stated charges and with the right to such officer or member to a review pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. Such charges shall be in writing and may be made by any such authority. The burden of proving incompetency or misconduct shall be upon the person alleging the same.
4. a. Hearings upon such charges shall be held by the officer or body having the power to remove the person charged with incompetency or misconduct or by a deputy or employee of such officer, or body designated in writing for that purpose. In a case where a deputy or other employee is so designated, he or she shall, for the purpose of such hearing, be vested with all the powers of such officer or body, and shall make a record of such hearing, which shall be referred to such officer or body for review within ninety days from the close of such hearing along with his or her recommendations.
b. The notice of such hearing shall specify the time and place of such hearing and state the body or person before whom the hearing will be held.
c. Such notice and a copy of such charges shall be served personally upon the accused officer or member at least ten days but not more than thirty days before the date of the hearing.
d. A stenographer may be employed for the purpose of taking testimony at the hearing.
5. The officer or body having the power to remove the person charged with incompetence or misconduct may suspend such person after charges are filed and pending disposition of the charges, and after the hearing may remove such person or may suspend him or her for a period of time not to exceed one year. The provisions of this section shall not affect the right of members of any fire company to remove a volunteer officer or voluntary member of such company for failure to comply with the constitution and by-laws of such company.