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Decision No. 13,854

Appeal of DONALD GWINNER from action of Charlotte Gregory, superintendent of schools, and Allen Swan, president of the Board of Education of the Bath Central School District regarding executive session.

Decision No. 13854

(December 29, 1997)

Hogan & Sarzynski, LLP, attorneys for respondents, John B. Hogan, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner, a resident of the Bath Central School District ("district"), appeals the decision of respondent superintendent and respondent president of the Board of Education of the Bath Central School District ("board") to discuss a matter in executive session. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner alleges that at a November 13, 1996 board meeting, the board improperly discussed a memorandum concerning teaching staff in executive session. Petitioner asks that I order the superintendent to cease and desist from requesting that the board consider such matters in executive session. Petitioner further requests that I direct the president of the board to conduct board meetings in accordance with New York law and that I provide the board president and the district with guidance on open meetings and executive sessions.

Petitioner's allegations concern alleged violations of the Open Meetings Law. I have repeatedly held that such allegations may not be the basis for an appeal to the Commissioner of Education (Appeal of Van Zile, et al., 37 Ed Dept Rep ____, Decision No. 13,846, November 3, 1997; Appeal of Pulvermacher, 36 id. 333; Appeal of Marek, 35 id. 314). Rather, the appropriate forum for addressing violations of the Open Meetings Law is the Supreme Court of the State of New York (Public Officers Law "107). Accordingly, this appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.