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Decision No. 16,199

Appeal of NICOLA DEMARCO from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York regarding an appointment.

Decision No. 16,199

(January 27, 2011)

Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, attorney for respondent, Steven D. Weber, Esq., of counsel

STEINER, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the July 1, 2009 appointment of Joel I. Klein as Chancellor by the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York (“respondent” or “city board”).  The appeal must be dismissed.

On June 30, 2009, the provisions of Chapter 91 of the Laws of 2002, relating to the governance of the New York City Schools and the Chancellor’s appointment by the Mayor of the City of New York, expired.  On July 1, 2009, the Mayor and the Borough Presidents re-constituted the city board and on that same day, the city board re-appointed Joel I. Klein as Chancellor.  Petitioner commenced this appeal on August 7, 2009.  Thereafter, on August 11, 2009, Governor Paterson signed Chapter 345 of the Laws of 2009 which continued the New York City governance provisions including the Mayor’s appointment authority, retroactive to June 30, 2009.

Petitioner challenges the July 1, 2009 interim appointment and seeks Chancellor Klein’s removal.  Respondent contends that the matter is moot and maintains that its actions of July 1, 2009 were proper.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on August 25, 2009.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot.  The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 Ed Dept Rep 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; Appeal of Embro, 48 id. 204, Decision No. 15,836).  Joel I. Klein no longer serves as Chancellor of the New York City schools.  Accordingly, this appeal seeking his removal is moot.  Moreover, subsequent to the commencement of this appeal, Chapter 345 of the Laws of 2009 retroactively re-enacted the New York City governance provisions which, in effect, continued without interruption the Mayor’s authority to appoint the Chancellor.  Petitioner’s challenge to the convening of the city board and appointment of Chancellor Klein was thus rendered academic by the enactment of Chapter 345.

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