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Decision No. 15,477

Appeal of DONETTE DARROW from action of the Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District regarding a district election.

Decision No. 15,477

October 11, 2006

Harris Beach PLLC, attorneys for respondent, Herbert J. Glose, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner, an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Board of Education of the Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District (“respondent”), appeals the conduct of respondent’s administrators regarding the district’s May 2005 election.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner alleges that preceding the election, respondent’s superintendent and assistant superintendent permitted another school board candidate to distribute fliers promoting her candidacy from a booth rented by respondent at an event sponsored by the local chamber of commerce.  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner asserts that respondent used district facilities to promote the candidacy of another individual and requests a ruling regarding the alleged impropriety.  Respondent contends that its administrators did not promote any candidates and that petitioner has failed to meet her burden of establishing a claim upon which relief can be granted.

In an appeal to the Commissioner, a petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to the relief requested and the burden of establishing the facts upon which petitioner seeks relief (8 NYCRR §275.10; Appeal of Patton, et al., 42 Ed Dept Rep 226, Decision No. 14,832; Appeal of Pope, 40 id. 473, Decision No. 14,530).  Petitioner’s allegation of impropriety is controverted by the sworn affidavits of respondent’s superintendent and assistant superintendent.  The superintendent avers that the school board candidates were in the public walkway at the event sponsored by the local chamber of commerce and that he did not see any candidate distribute literature.  The assistant superintendent also states that no school board candidate entered the booth used by the district and that he never saw any candidate distribute literature.  Petitioner acknowledges that she has been unable to obtain any affidavits to corroborate her allegations.  Accordingly, I find that petitioner has not met her burden of establishing the facts upon which she seeks relief.