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Decision No. 13,197


Appeal of G.L. from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York regarding a school psychologist license.


Decision No. 13,197


(June 10, 1994)


Hon. Paul A. Crotty, Corporation Counsel, attorney for respondent, Norma Kerlin and Ann Moscow, Esqs., of counsel


            SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the denial of his application for licensure as a school psychologist in the City School District of the City of New York.  He also seeks an order expunging certain documents from medical and personnel files maintained by respondent in connection with his application.  The appeal must be dismissed.

            Petitioner previously applied for licensure as a school psychologist in 1984, 1988 and January 1991.  His application was denied each time because respondent's medical division examined petitioner and found him psychologically unfit to perform the essential duties of a school psychologist.  In July 1991, petitioner again applied for licensure as a school psychologist.  Petitioner was again evaluated by respondent's staff psychiatrist.  In her report, respondent's psychiatrist found that although petitioner was not overtly psychotic, "manifestations of psychopathology remain unchanged from previous exam . . . He remains grandiose regarding his own accomplishments despite glaring evidence of maladaptive functioning over the past several years.  At this exam, there was no evidence of any change in G.L."s mental status to warrant a change of his employment status with the Board."  The psychiatrist also recommended that petitioner be evaluated by an independent psychologist.

            On November 18 and 25, 1991, a clinical psychologist, not employed by respondent, examined petitioner.  In his report, the clinical psychologist found that petitioner had the intellectual capacity to master the course work of a school psychologist, but "his capacity to transform his intellect into meaningful work relationships is thus sabotaged by characterological defects that he is unable to appreciate" and "it can be anticipated that if again employed, problems would quickly arise, culminating in termination."

            After reviewing the reports from respondent's psychiatrist and the independent clinical psychologist, respondent's medical director rated petitioner unfit for licensure as a school psychologist.  By letter dated April 13, 1992, respondent notified petitioner that his application for licensure was denied.  Petitioner commenced this appeal on December 16, 1992.

            Respondent contends that petitioner's challenge to the denial of his application for licensure must be dismissed as untimely.  Pursuant to 8 NYCRR 275.16, an appeal to the Commissioner must be commenced within 30 days of the act complained of unless good cause for the delay, acceptable to the Commissioner, is set forth in the petition.  As noted above, respondent notified petitioner on or about April 13, 1992 that his application was denied, yet petitioner delayed eight months before commencing this appeal.  Since petitioner offers no excuse for his delay, the appeal must be dismissed as untimely.                                      

            The appeal must also be dismissed on the merits.  The Commissioner of Education will not set aside a licensing determination rendered by the New York City school authorities except upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that such determination was rendered through malice, prejudice, bad faith or gross error (Appeal of Eisenman, 31 Ed Dept Rep 166; Matter of Lubin, 24 id. 271).  Respondent's decision in this matter is based on evaluations of petitioner conducted by respondent's psychiatrist and an independent clinical psychologist.  The papers submitted by petitioner offer no basis for finding that respondent's decision was rendered through malice, prejudice, bad faith or error.  Instead, petitioner merely sets forth rambling allegations involving his intellectual abilities and achievements, an accident he suffered in 1977, his arrest for attempting to practice physical therapy without a license and an alleged conspiracy and incident of sexual harassment by an employee of the State Education Department.  Accordingly, petitioner's request that respondent be ordered to issue him a school psychologist license is rejected.


            Petitioner also seeks an order expunging certain documents about him from respondent's medical and personnel files.  In an appeal to the Commissioner of Education, the petitioner bears the burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to the relief requested (Appeal of Singh, 30 Ed Dept Rep 284; Appeal of DiMicelli, 28 id. 327; Appeal of Amoia, 28 id. 150).  Petitioner offers no legal basis to support his request that the documents he has designated be expunged.

            I have reviewed petitioner's remaining contentions and find them without merit.