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Decision No. 14,669

Application of HOWARD AVNET for the removal of Nancy Lesakowski as a member of the Board of Education of the West Seneca Central School District.

Decision No. 14,669

(December 17, 2001)

Hodgson Russ LLP, attorneys for respondent, Karl W. Kristoff, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner seeks an order pursuant to Education Law "306 removing Nancy Lesakowski ("respondent") from the Board of Education of the West Seneca Central School District ("the board"). The application must be denied.

On April 9, 2001, petitioner and respondent, who were then board members, attended an executive session of the board. During that session, petitioner and respondent became engaged in a heated discussion and advanced toward each other. The board president stepped in between them to avert a confrontation. Petitioner alleges that during this incident, respondent struck him in the chest with a closed fist. Respondent denies that she ever physically touched or assaulted petitioner.

Respondent denies petitioner"s allegations and maintains that the petition should be dismissed for lack of proper service. Respondent further contends that this matter is moot because respondent was not re-elected to the board at the district"s May 15, 2001 annual meeting.

The Commissioner of Education will only consider matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exists or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Diane M., 39 Ed Dept Rep 709, Decision No. 14,356; Appeal of Carney, 39 id. 255, Decision No. 14,229; Appeal of Studley, 38 id. 258, Decision No. 14,028). Respondent was not re-elected to serve as a board member. Thus, petitioner"s application to remove respondent from the board is moot.

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties" remaining contentions.