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Decision No. 12,873

Appeal of KENT F. CAULEY from action of the Board of Education of the Willsboro Central School District regarding termination of employment as a school superintendent.

Decision No. 12,873

(January 5, 1993)

Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Esqs., attorneys for petitioner, Melvin M. Osterman, Jr., Esq., of counsel

Judge & Duffy, Esqs., attorneys for respondent, Monica A. Duffy, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals from action of respondent Board of Education of the Willsboro Central School District in suspending him without pay during the period of an employment contract. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner has been superintendent of schools of respondent district for 19 years. On January 10, 1992, petitioner entered into an employment contract with respondent, whereby he would serve as superintendent of schools for the period July 1, 1992 to June 30, 1996.

During the first month of service under this contract, respondent board on July 14, 1992 voted charges against petitioner and purported to suspend him immediately without pay. This appeal was commenced on July 24, 1992. The record includes a copy of a letter dated July 14, 1992, from the board president to petitioner, advising that a confidential hearing on the charges preferred would commence on August 12, 1992. Respondent opposed the granting of a stay and claimed that a suspension without pay was permitted under Matter of McAuliffe, 21 Ed Dept Rep 70.

On August 5, 1992, I issued an interim order which stated:

I have reviewed the employment contract, and I find no authority on the part of respondent district to withhold petitioner's salary during the period of suspension. Although respondent points to Matter of McAuliffe (21 Ed Dept Rep 70) as a case where suspension without pay was allowed, I find that the issue of suspension without pay was not properly before the Commissioner, nor was it decided in that case.

I further ordered that petitioner be paid pending the resolution of the disciplinary charges and directed that he be given reasonable access to his files to prepare his defense.

The petition in this matter seeks only interim relief which has already been granted. I have not been provided with any further information as to the disposition of the disciplinary charges, nor is that question properly before me. Because the interim order of August 5, 1992 has disposed of the issues before me, the petition must now be dismissed. However, the interim order of August 5, 1992 shall continue in effect during the pendency of any disciplinary proceedings under the employment contract.