Commissioner of Education does not have jurisdiction to resolve FOIL or Title IX appeals
Application of Gary Berman to remove a member of the Boards of Education of the Valley Stream Central High School District and the Valley Stream Union Free District No. 13., Decisions of the Commissioner No. 15,537
Gary Berman asked the Commissioner of Education to remove Dr. Frank Chiachiere from his positions as president and member of the Board of Education of the Valley Stream Central High School District and as a member of the Board of Education of the Valley Stream Union Free School District No. 13. Berman, in support of his request, alleged that that Dr. Chiachiere ignored, and has permitted district officers to ignore, the requirements of the State Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law §§84-90) (usually referred to as “FOIL”) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (see 20 USC §1681 et seq.).
The Commissioner said that Berman’s complaints involving alleged violations of FOIL requests in January 2006, must be dismissed because §89 of the Public Officers Law vests exclusive jurisdiction over complaints alleging FOIL violations in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Accordingly, alleged FOIL violations may not be adjudicated in an appeal to the Commissioner.
Similarly, the Commissioner said that he did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate Title IX claims.
However, the Commissioner said that there was one additional administrative matter to consider in connection with Berman’s appeal -- Dr. Chiachiere’s request that the Commissioner grant him a certificate of good faith pursuant to Education Law §3811(1).
Granting such a certificate would allow the school board to indemnify Dr. Chiachiere for legal fees and expenses he incurred in defending a proceeding arising out of the exercise of his powers or performance of his duties as a member and, or, president of the board.
The Commissioner said that “[i]t is appropriate to issue such certification unless it is established on the record that the requesting board member acted in bad faith. Finding no evidence of bad faith on the part of Dr. Chiachiere in record before him, the Commission ruled that Dr. Chiachiere was entitled to receive a certificate of good faith.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
Copyright 2009-2023 - Public Employment Law Press. Email: email@example.com.