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Decision No. 15,205

Appeal of VERNON DANIEL TILLMAN from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Long Beach regarding a substitute teaching position.

Decision No. 15,205

April 13, 2005

Ingerman Smith, L.L.P., attorneys for respondent, Christopher Venator, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner attempts to appeal his suspension and termination from a substitute teaching position by the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Long Beach ("respondent"). The appeal must be dismissed.

In May 2003, petitioner was appointed as a regular substitute English teacher in the district, effective September 2003. Petitioner was suspended with pay in May 2004 and terminated June 30, 2004.

By letter dated February 12, 2005, petitioner wrote to the Commissioner of Education requesting a redress of grievances previously considered by respondent. However, since this request did not comply with the regulations for appeals pursuant to Education Law �310, by letter dated February 18, 2005, my Office of Counsel returned petitioner's papers along with a copy of the regulations.

By letter dated March 4, 2005, petitioner submitted a Notice of Petition, Affidavit of Verification, Affidavit of Personal Service, and essentially the same letter of grievances previously presented to respondent, albeit with numbered paragraphs and a new date. Pursuant to �275.10 of the Commissioner's regulations, the petitioner must set forth a clear and concise statement of petitioner's claim showing that the petitioner is entitled to relief. Petitioner's letter of grievances does neither and does not constitute a petition. Petitioner's filing is still defective despite his being given an opportunity to correct such filing. Therefore, I am dismissing this matter pursuant to my authority under �276.9 of the Commissioner's regulations.

Petitioner's letter "appeal" is also untimely. An appeal to the Commissioner must be instituted within 30 days from the making of the decision or the performance of the act complained of, unless any delay is excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown (8 NYCRR �275.16). Petitioner was suspended in May 2004 and terminated June 30, 2004. However, he did not attempt to commence an appeal until February 2005. Accordingly, even if I were to construe his letter as constituting a petition, the appeal would be dismissed as untimely (Appeals of St. Villien, 44 Ed Dept Rep 69, Decision No. 15,101; Appeal of Eveillard, 42 id. 78, Decision No. 14,782; Appeal of Perez, 42 id. 71, Decision No. 14,779).

In light of this disposition, I need not address any other issues or petitioner's late submission dated March 28, 2005.