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Decision No. 15,983

Appeal of JOANNE BOISVERT-FRASER from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Mechanicville and its District Clerk regarding resignation.

Decision No. 15,983

(September 3, 2009)

Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., attorneys for respondents, Kristine A. Lanchantin, Esq., of counsel

HUXLEY, Interim Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the action of the District Clerk (“clerk”) of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Mechanicville (“board”), in refusing to withdraw a letter she sent to the New York State Board of Elections.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner was elected to a seat on the board in May 2008.  At a meeting on March 9, 2009, the board voted 4-3 to extend the superintendent’s contract of employment, with petitioner among those opposing the action.  Thereafter, one board member who disagreed with the determination stated that she was resigning.  Petitioner then stated that she, too, was resigning, followed by the third board member opposing the board’s action, who also resigned. 

The following day, March 10, 2009, petitioner sent an email to the clerk, stating:

Mary Beth

It was nice working with you, I will bring my letter of resignation as soon as I can.  Resignation effective last evening.

Joanne

Over the next several days, petitioner and the clerk exchanged a series of emails in which the clerk offered to prepare a formal letter of resignation to be signed by petitioner.  It appears from the record that petitioner preferred to draft her own letter.  When no signed letter was forthcoming from petitioner, the clerk consulted with counsel and by letter dated March 13, 2009, she advised the New York State Board of Elections that she had received and accepted petitioner’s resignation effective March 9, 2009.

Thereafter, further correspondence occurred and on March 18, 2009, petitioner sent an email to the clerk claiming that she had “not formally submitted” her resignation and that she intended to “continue to serve as a member of the board to complete my elected term.”  By an email dated March 19, 2009, the clerk advised petitioner that she had consulted counsel and had determined that petitioner’s email of March 10, 2009, was indeed a valid resignation. 

This appeal ensued, with petitioner seeking interim relief that would have allowed her to remain on the board during the pendency of this appeal.  Interim relief was denied on April 22, 2009.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot.  The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Tine, 46 Ed Dept Rep 579, Decision No. 15,600; Appeal of N.C., 46 id. 358, Decision No. 15,532; Appeal of Lombardo, 46 id. 282, Decision No. 15,508).

During the course of this appeal, my Office of Counsel was informed by the parties that on May 19, 2009, petitioner was elected to a new term on the board.  Since petitioner has been restored to membership on the board by action of the district voters, no further meaningful relief may be granted and the appeal is moot.

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE