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Decision No. 12,908

Appeal of BERNARD M. MITZNER from action of the Board of Education of the Goshen Central School District and Joseph Colistra, Superintendent of Schools, relating to actions of the Superintendent.

Decision No. 12,908

(April 12, 1993)

Shaw and Silveira, Esqs., attorneys for respondents, Garrett L. Silveira, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner, a resident of the Goshen Central School District, has filed three appeals that challenge various actions of the superintendent. Because these appeals involve the same parties and allege various improprieties on the part of the superintendent, they are consolidated for decision. Since all three petitions are devoid of merit, they are dismissed.

In the first appeal petitioner complains that the superintendent defamed him in a letter to a resident of the district. In the second appeal, petitioner complains that the superintendent lied to him about the number of scorers used to grade an examination. In the third appeal, petitioner complains of the superintendent's handling of his Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request and accuses him of lying. Respondent Board of Education for the Goshen Central School District ("the board") reviewed the superintendent's actions in each instance. Petitioner seeks review of the board's determinations that found the superintendent's actions proper.

In essence, petitioner alleges that respondent Superintendent Colistra was untruthful concerning the various matters set forth in two of his petitions, and charges him with libel and slander in the third. Petitioner seeks disciplinary action against the superintendent. Respondents contend that the petitions should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Respondents also assert that their actions were proper.

The appeals must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. As petitioner has been reminded on numerous occasions, a petition must contain "a clear and concise statement of the petitioner's claim showing that the petitioner is entitled to relief, and shall further contain a demand for the relief to which the petitioner deems himself entitled" (8 NYCRR '275.10; Appeal of Mitzner, 32 Ed Dept Rep 403; Appeal of Mitzner, 32 id. 339; Appeal of Mitzner, 32 id. 333; Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 31 Ed Dept Rep 65; Appeal of Fassler, 31 id. 15). The petitions referred to herein contain rambling allegations that are barely decipherable as well as unsubstantiated claims against the superintendent for which petitioner seeks "punishment." Not only has petitioner failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, "punishment" is not a form of relief available under Education Law '310. As to petitioner's complaints against the board of education, it is impossible to discern from the petitions either the actions complained of or the remedy sought.

In addition, petitioner has failed to meet his burden to establish the facts upon which he seeks relief (8 NYCRR '275.10; see, Appeal of Bach, 32 Ed Dept Rep 273; Application of Verity, 31 id. 485; Appeal of Singh, 30 id. 284). Petitioner provides no evidence to support his claims that respondent Colistra was either dishonest or misleading. Instead, petitioner makes unsubstantiated and conclusory statements and fails to allege the facts upon which he seeks relief (8 NYCRR '275.10; Appeal of Mitzner, supra; Appeal of Mitzner, supra; Appeal of Mitzner, supra).

THE APPEALS ARE DISMISSED.

END OF FILE