TO SEARCH this database type in a key word or phrase in the box in the upper left and any material containing the word or phrase will be displayed for your review.

State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

April 14, 2011

A school board member seeking the removal of another member must demonstrate willful misconduct or neglect of duty of the part of the member

A school board member seeking the removal of another member must demonstrate willful misconduct or neglect of duty of the part of the member
Matter of Powell and Elliott, Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision 16,216

Willa Powell, a member of the Board of Education of the Rochester City School District asked the Commissioner to remove another member of the board, Cynthia Elliott, alleging that Elliott had “willful and substantive disclosure of confidential information” acquired in the course of her official duties to a newspaper.

The Commissioner denied Powell’s application.

The Commissioner explained that a member of the board of education or a school officer may be removed from office pursuant to Education Law §306 when it is proven to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the board member or school officer has engaged in a willful violation or neglect of duty under the Education Law or has willfully disobeyed a decision, order, rule or regulation of the Board of Regents or Commissioner of Education.

To be considered willful, the actions of the individual must have been intentional and with a wrongful purpose.

Here, said the Commissioner, Powell had not met her burden of proving that Elliott had engaged in behavior constituting a willful violation or neglect of duty requiring her removal from office to his satisfaction. As to the evidence advanced by Powell, the Commissioner ruled that the fact that the draft report released to the media “contains a code linked back to the copy intended for [Elliott], does not in itself prove that [Elliott] released it, much less that she intentionally released it.”

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on