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Decision No. 14,069

Application to reopen the appeal of ROBERT LILLEY from action of the Board of Education of the George Junior Republic Union Free School District, relating to teacher tenure.

Decision No. 14,069

(January 13, 1999)

James R. Sandner, Esq., attorney for petitioner, Gerard John De Wolf, Esq., of counsel

Bond Schoeneck & King, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Thomas G. Eron and Virginia A. Piekarski, Esqs., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner seeks to reopen Appeal of Robert Lilley (38 Ed Dept Rep 126), in which I dismissed petitioner's appeal of respondent's termination of his services.

My decision in Appeal of Lilley was issued on August 21, 1998. This application to reopen was duly commenced on September 17, 1998.

During the pendency of this application, petitioner commenced an Article 78 proceeding in Supreme Court, Albany County, by notice of petition and petition dated December 14, 1998. The Article 78 petition and the petition to reopen make the same arguments and raise the same issues with respect to my August 21, 1998, decision and they also seek the same relief: the annulment of my August 21 decision in Appeal of Lilley, the granting of all relief sought by petitioner in his first appeal, or, alternatively, an evidentiary hearing.

Because both this application for reopening and the Article 78 petition challenge the same determination, this application must be dismissed. In the interest of judicial economy, this matter should be before the Supreme Court, Albany County, which has full authority to review my original decision. With a single Article 78 proceeding, there is no possibility of conflicting determinations, which might then generate a second Article 78 proceeding.

I note that this is not a situation where two applications are made, one to the Commissioner of Education and the other to the Supreme Court, for an original determination. In this case, I have already made my determination, which is properly under review by the Supreme Court.