STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
April 8, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. J. A. GIGLIO -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Transportation
AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to allowing a
department of motor vehicles employee to employ an attorney-at-law to
defend against certain civil actions
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new
2 section 224-b to read as follows:
3 § 224-b. Actions and proceedings in official employment capacity. 1.
4 Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, a department of motor
5 vehicles employee may employ an attorney-at-law to defend any civil
6 action or proceeding brought against him or her in his or her official
7 capacity as an agent of the commissioner.
8 2. All damages recovered against, or costs and expenses lawfully
9 incurred by an employee of the department of motor vehicles, including
10 attorney's fees, in the defense of a civil action or proceeding brought
11 against such employee in his or her capacity as an agent of the commis-
12 sioner for an official act done, or for failure to perform an official
13 act, shall be a state charge and shall be audited and paid in the same
14 manner as state charges. When the act upon which the action or proceed-
15 ing is based was done in good faith, but without the authority of law or
16 authorization by the commissioner, the state comptroller may audit and
17 pay the same as state charges, even if such action or proceeding was
18 initiated against the employee by the commissioner.
19 3. No proceeding or investigation for the termination of a department
20 of motor vehicles employee shall be undertaken or directed to be under-
21 taken against such employee on the basis of an action, or failure to
22 act, of such employee, if done in good faith and with a reasonable
23 belief that such employee is defending, protecting and upholding the
24 constitution or laws of the United States or of this state, even if it
25 is subsequently determined that such action or inaction was without
26 authority of law or without express authorization.
27 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.