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Decision No. 13,984

Appeal of LORI A. ROBERTS from action of the Board of Education of the Granville Central School District regarding coaching appointments.

Decision No. 13,984

(August 17, 1998)

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

CATE, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the actions of the Board of Education of the Granville Central School District ("respondent") regarding the appointment of Karen Cosey, a board member, to two assistant coaching positions. The appeal must be dismissed.

During the 1997-98 school year, respondent appointed board member Karen Cosey as an unpaid assistant coach for girls' basketball and softball. Petitioner argues that in doing so, respondent violated Education Law ' 2103(4), which prohibits a board member from being employed by the board. Petitioner alleges that Cosey violated General Municipal Law ' 801 in accepting the coaching position because it could potentially conflict with her duties as a board member. She argues that Cosey therefore had an obligation to resign from the board. Petitioner also alleges that it was improper for Cosey to assist in preparing a position for herself and to vote for a stipend for the varsity softball coach, whom she would assist. Petitioner seeks Cosey's removal as board member and assistant softball coach and requests a determination that respondent's actions were improper.

By letter dated May 21, 1998, respondent notified my office that (i) the girls' 1998 basketball season ended on February 27, 1998; (ii) the girls' 1998 softball season ended on June 12, 1998; and (iii) Ms. Cosey's term as board member would end on June 30, 1998, and she had not been reelected. Respondent therefore requests that the appeal be dismissed as moot.

By letter dated May 26, 1998, petitioner indicated that respondent's argument is irrelevant because she wants to set a precedent against future violations.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot. It is well settled that the Commissioner will only consider matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Chechek, 37 Ed Dept Rep 624; Appeal of Mangaroo, 37 id. 578). Since Ms. Cosey is no longer a board member or an assistant coach, I need not decide the question of whether it would be improper for her to hold both positions simultaneously.