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Decision No. 12,605

Appeal of ELLEN GARCIA from action of the Board of Education of the Deer Park Union Free School District regarding a school district election.

Decision No. 12,605

(December 9, 1991)

Cooper, Sapir & Cohen, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Robert E. Sapir, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals from a decision of the Deer Park Union Free School District (the district) declaring Michael L. Oddo qualified to run for the position of trustee of the district. The appeal must be dismissed.

On May 15, 1991, petitioner challenged the qualifications of Michael L. Oddo to run for the position of trustee of the district. She alleged that Mr. Oddo had not been a resident of the district for one year prior to the election, which was scheduled for June 12, 1991 (Education Law '2102). Petitioner presented her arguments in writing to the district clerk, by letter dated May 22, 1991. In consultation with the school district attorney, the district clerk investigated petitioner's allegations and determined that Oddo was qualified to run for the board of education. After receiving the district's determination, petitioner commenced this appeal on June 6, 1991. Her request for interim relief was denied on June 11, 1991. The record before me contains no information regarding the results of the election.

Respondent contends that the petition should be dismissed for failure to join Michael Oddo as a necessary party. I agree. The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education provide, in pertinent part, that:

... [i]f an appeal involves the validity of a school district meeting or election, or the eligibility of a district officer, a copy of the petition must be served upon the trustee or board of trustees or board of education as the case may be, and upon each person whose right to hold office is disputed and such person must be joined as a respondent (8 NYCRR 275.8[d]).

Petitioner has neither served nor joined Mr. Oddo in this appeal. Consequently, the appeal must be dismissed (Appeal of Osterman, 30 Ed Dept Rep 290, 291-292; Appeal of Weaver, 28 Ed Dept Rep 183, 185).