Skip to main content

Search Google Appliance

Search Google Appliance

Decision No. 16,055

Application to reopen the Appeal of JANET C. WILSON from action of the Board of Education of the Harborfields Central School District regarding an employment contract.

Decision No. 16,055

(April 21, 2010)

Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, attorneys for petitioner, Jessica C. Satriano, Esq., of counsel

Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP, attorneys for respondent, David S. Shaw, Esq., of counsel

STEINER, Commissioner.--Petitioner seeks to reopen the Appeal of Janet C. Wilson, 47 Ed Dept Rep 448, Decision No. 15,750, which dismissed petitioner’s challenge to the determination of the Board of Education of the Harborfields Central School District (“respondent”) not to extend her employment contract.  The application must be denied.

Section 276.8 of the Commissioner’s regulations governs applications to reopen a prior decision.  It provides that such applications are addressed solely to the discretion of the Commissioner and will not be granted in the absence of a showing that the original decision was rendered under a misapprehension of fact or that there is new and material evidence that was not available at the time the decision was made.  A reopening may not be used to augment previously undeveloped factual assertions and arguments, to advance new legal arguments or to merely reargue issues presented in a prior appeal (Appeal of Polistin, 45 Ed Dept Rep 504, Decision No. 15,395; Application to reopen the Appeal of Johnson, 45 id. 275, Decision No. 15,320).

In the underlying appeal, Commissioner Mills found, among other things, that at most there was a technical violation of board policy number 2340 in noticing respondent’s June 24, 2007 meeting and that this did not entitle petitioner to an extension of her employment contract.[1]

Petitioner alleges that the Commissioner’s decision did not include a sufficient analysis of the notice issue or an explanation of how the Commissioner reached the conclusion that there was only a technical violation of the board policy in question.  Petitioner also asserts that a May 22, 2008 decision issued by New York State Supreme Court Judge Costello in Janet C. Wilson v. Bd. of Educ., Harborfields Central School Dist., Index No. 21707/07 provided a detailed analysis of the notice provided by respondent and concluded that the notice was inadequate under the Open Meetings Law.  Petitioner contends that based on Judge Costello’s decision, the Commissioner’s decision in the underlying appeal regarding the adequacy of notice was rendered under a misapprehension of fact.

Petitioner has already raised the issue of the adequacy of notice in her prior appeal.  Petitioner has not demonstated that the decision in that appeal was rendered under a misapprehension of fact nor has she presented any new material evidence that was not available at the time the decision was made.  Essentially, she is attempting to reargue the original appeal.  It is well settled that mere reargument of the issues presented in a prior appeal is not a basis for reopening an appeal (Application to reopen the Appeal of T.L. and W.L., 47 Ed Dept Rep 123, Decision No. 15,647; Application to reopen Appeal of Kushner, 44 id. 116, Decision No. 15,116; Application to reopen Appeal of Satler, 41 id. 293, Decision No. 14,690).

THE APPLICATION TO REOPEN IS DENIED.

END OF FILE.

[1] In reaching this conclusion, the Commissioner made no determination whether respondent complied with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law (Public Officer’s Law §100 etseq.).