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Decision No. 13,495

Appeal of KAREN HUFF from action of the Board of Education of the Hempstead Union Free School District concerning a school district election.

Decision No. 13,495

(October 23, 1995)

Berkman, Henoch, Peterson & Peddy, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Gilbert Henoch, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner, a candidate for the board of education of the Hempstead Union Free School District who withdrew her candidacy prior to the annual election conducted by respondent on May 23, 1995, challenges the result of that election. The appeal must be dismissed.

Respondent receives nominations for board candidates pursuant to Education Law '2018(a), under which each vacancy is considered a "separate specific office". Petitioner attempted to file an "at large" petition, not describing the specific vacancy for which she was nominated, but withdrew her candidacy on May 22, 1995, the day before the election.

Petitioner now asks that I set aside that election and order respondent to conduct a new election pursuant to Education Law '2018(b), in which board vacancies will not be considered separate specific offices, and all candidates will run at large. The petition provides no information whatsoever about the election results.

The appeal must be dismissed because petitioner has failed to comply with 8 NYCRR '275.8(d), which states, in pertinent part:

If 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. (Emphasis added.)

See, e.g., Appeal of Moessinger, 33 Ed Dept Rep 487; Appeal of Damilatis, 33 id. 465; Appeal of Sandra and Edward Williams, 33 id. 318, and numerous cases cited therein. Accordingly, the appeal may not proceed without the presence of the successful candidates, whose right to hold office petitioner challenges.

I have considered the parties' remaining contentions and find them without merit.