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Decision No. 12,557

Appeal of ESTHER WALKER against Constance Wingate as a principal for the New York City Board of Education for actions taken regarding teaching assignment.

Decision No. 12,557

(August 5, 1991)

Hon. Victor A. Kovner, Corporation Counsel, attorney for respondent, Peter Cahill, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner, Esther Walker, appeals from the actions of a principal in the New York City school system. The appeal against respondent Wingate stems from a reassignment and ultimate dismissal. The appeal is dismissed.

Respondent has failed to submit a timely answer to the petition despite petitioner's service of the petition on March 18, 1991. By letter dated April 22, 1991 my Office of Counsel apprised respondent Wingate of ''275.9 and 275.13 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education requiring respondent to submit an answer (8 NYCRR ''275.9 and 275.13). Respondent requested representation from her employer, the New York City Board of Education, but a timely answer was not submitted on her behalf. Counsel for respondent did not request an extension of the time to answer in writing, and attempted to submit an answer more than two months after it was due without offering a sufficient excuse for the late submission. My Office of Counsel has, therefore, rejected the late answer on two occasions. Accordingly, the factual allegations set forth in the petition will be deemed to be true statements that have been admitted by respondent (8 NYCRR '275.11).

Appeals to the Commissioner of Education must be commenced within thirty days from the making of the decision or the performance of the act complained of, unless excused by the Commissioner for good cause (8 NYCRR '275.16). Petitioner asserts that she was wrongfully reassigned and subsequently improperly discharged from her duties with the New York City Board of Education at the end of the 1989-1990 school year. This appeal was not commenced until March 18, 1991, more than eight months after her dismissal. Petitioner does not assert any excuse for this delay, and therefore I must dismiss the appeal as untimely.

Although I am dismissing this appeal, I must, nonetheless, admonish the New York City Board of Education for its failure to submit a timely answer.