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Decision No. 14,690

Application to reopen the Appeal of LEONARD SATLER from action of the Board of Education of the Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District regarding a bond proposition.


Decision No. 14,690

(February 22, 2002)

Ehrlich, Frazer & Feldman, attorneys for respondent, Christine M. LaPlace, Esq., of counsel


MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner applies to reopen Appeal of Leonard Satler, 40 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 14,563, regarding a bond referendum conducted by the Board of Education of the Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District. The application must be denied.

Section 276.8 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education governs applications to reopen. It provides that such applications are addressed solely to the discretion of the Commissioner and will not be granted in the absence of a showing that the original decision was rendered under a misapprehension of fact or that there is new and material evidence that was not available at the time the decision was made. The regulation further states that an application to reopen must be made within 30 days of the date of the underlying decision.

Petitioner's application is untimely. The underlying decision was issued on April 20, 2001 and petitioner commenced this proceeding on June 9, 2001, more than 30 days later. The fact that petitioner may have attempted to commence this proceeding sooner, by sending a letter which did not comply with the Commissioner"s regulations, does not make this application timely. Therefore, the application must be denied.

Even if the application to reopen were timely, it would still be dismissed. The original appeal was dismissed as untimely and moot. In the instant application, petitioner argues that the untimeliness of the underlying appeal should have been overlooked without providing substantive reasons to excuse the lateness of that appeal. He further argues that the original appeal is not moot, despite the fact that the only relief he requested in the underlying appeal was a stay request that was denied on September 22, 2000. In short, petitioner fails to demonstrate either new or material evidence or a misapprehension of the facts. Petitioner also attempts to reargue the merits of the original appeal. Mere reargument of issues presented in a prior appeal is not a basis for reopening an appeal (Appeal of Amara S., 39 Ed Dept Rep 758, Decision No. 14,371; Appeal of Osoris, 38 id. 273, Decision No. 14,031).