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Decision in Legal Proceedings to Share
October 8, 2020
Dear Lake George CSD Community,
The Lake George Central School District and Superintendent Rutnik have been respondents in an Article 78 legal proceeding since May 2018. An Article 78 proceeding is pursued when an individual or organization seeks to appeal the decision of a New York State or local agency to the New York courts. Dow et. al. sought a determination that the Board of Education failed to comply with the Open Meetings Law. The relief sought by petitioners were, “namely that the Board's resolution adopted March 13, 2018 be declared null and void, that the court order that the Board members receive instruction in the requirements of the Open Meetings Law, and that attorneys' fees be awarded to them.”
On October 6, 2020, the District received a decision from The State of New York Supreme Court Chambers. New York Supreme Court Judge Nolan made the following ruling on the merits of the Open Meetings Law claims raised in Dow v. Lake George CSD: In summary, the Court dismissed the petition without granting any of the relief requested by the Petitioners. While the Court did find that the Board of Education violated the Open Meetings Law in one respect (inadequately describing why the Board was convening executive session by citing “employment history” as the basis), the Court concluded that there was no evidence that this violation was the product of a “conscious or malicious or deliberate effort by the Board.” The Court held that there was no basis to award any relief to the Petitioners, including annulling the Board’s March 2018 resolutions.
This decision presents an opportunity for the LGCSD Board of Education and Superintendent to reflect and remain committed to fostering collaboration and unity with our district and community. We continue to be attuned to Open Meetings Law and transparency. The Board of Education and Superintendent look forward to moving forward with positivity and a renewed focus on our shared mission, vision, values, and goals of the district.
In Unity and Partnership,
Superintendent Rutnik and The LGCSD Board of Education