The New York State Review Office, which reviews decisions of impartial hearing officers concerning students with disabilities, has been a source of controversy for years. The man who hears these appeals, State Review Officer Paul Kelly, has been the center of this controversy. Allegations of Mr. Kelly's bias abound and some reports have suggested that Mr. Kelly ignored the recommendations of his attorney staff in order to rule in favor of school districts and against parents. An interesting tidbit is that Mr. Kelly was rumored to be carrying on an intimate relationship and living with Kate Surgalia, a high-level lawyer at the State Education Department.
It appears that Mr. Kelly has finally resigned. Whether this was forced upon him or done voluntarily is unclear right now but, no doubt had to do with the extreme scrutiny he has been under and the harsh criticism he has received. The issue of who will replace Mr. Kelly is still being worked out.