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Decision No. 13,199

Appeal of Alfred Gillen from action of the Board of Education of the Brentwood Union Free School District regarding a school board meeting.

Decision No. 13,199

(June 10, 1994)

Bernard T. Callan, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner, a taxpayer in the Brentwood Union Free School District, appeals the procedure by which respondent board held an executive session prior to the commencement of its regular meeting. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner claims the board meeting held on August 25, 1993, was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. However, when he arrived at 7:15, the meeting was already in executive session. Petitioner asserts that the Open Meetings Law (Public Officers Law '100 etseq.) requires a motion to hold an executive session stating the subject of that executive session. He further contends that the motion should be made during a regular open meeting. Petitioner requests that I order the school board to post or publish a notice that an open meeting will be held prior to the executive session and give the time of the open meeting well in advance.

I have repeatedly held that alleged violations of the Open Meetings Law must be pursued in a judicial proceeding in State Supreme Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules or in a judicial action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, and may not be the basis of an appeal to the Commissioner of Education (Public Officers Law '107; Appeal of Loriz, 33 Ed Dept Rep 50; Appeal of Brown, 32 id. 212; Appeal of Greening, 32 id. 195; Appeal of Como, 30 id. 214; Appeal of Bd. of Ed., Cornwall CSD, 25 id. 250). Accordingly, this appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Because this appeal is dismissed on procedural grounds, I will not address the merits or the other procedural irregularities cited by respondent.