Skip to main content

Decision No. 12,855

Appeal of WAYNE KASKE from a determination of the Saranac Lake Central School District, terminating the services of petitioner as school psychologist.

Decision No. 12,855

(December 21, 1992)

Alexander Lesyk, Esq., attorney for petitioner

Arthur F. Grisham, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals from a decision of respondent terminating his services as school psychologist. The appeal must be dismissed.

On or about May 2, 1991, respondent voted to terminate petitioner's services effective June 28, 1991. On June 11, 1991 petitioner's attorney sent a letter to respondent requesting a revote without the presence of one of the board members, Mr. John Wagner. Petitioner's attorney asserted that a revote was necessary because of an alleged conflict of interest on the part of Mr. Wagner. Mr. Wagner was employed as a school psychologist for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services for Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties (BOCES). Saranac Lake Central School District is a component school district of the BOCES. Respondent failed to respond to this letter and petitioner commenced this appeal on June 21, 1991.

Petitioner requested that his termination be stayed pending a revote by respondent, and that board member Wagner be directed to resign either as a BOCES school psychologist or as a member of respondent board. Petitioner's request was denied.

Respondent asserts that the appeal should be dismissed because it is time-barred pursuant to '275.16 of the Commissioner's regulations, which requires that an appeal be brought within 30 days of the action complained of. In addition, respondent asserts that insofar as the instant action seeks the removal of a school board member, the proper proceeding is an application for removal pursuant to Education Law '306; therefore, the petition fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Finally, respondent asserts that there is no statutory prohibition against an employee of a board of cooperative educational services serving on the board of education of a component school district.

The Commissioner of Education decides only matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision concerning a controversy which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Scribani, 30 Ed Dept Rep 164; Appeal of Becker, 29 id. 419; Appeal of Vachon, 28 id. 276). Subsequent to the filing of this appeal, petitioner and respondent entered into a stipulation reinstating petitioner as a probationary school psychologist for the 1991-92 school year. In addition, Mr. Wagner resigned as a member of respondent board for reasons unrelated to this appeal.

Accordingly, petitioner's claims are moot.