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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

IN RE: PATROLMEN'S BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION OF the CITY OF NEW YORK, INC., et al., Petitioners-Respondents, v. The CITY OF NEW YORK, et al., Respondents-Appellants, The New York City Board of Collective Bargaining, et al., Respondents-Respondents.

Decided: March 28, 2006

ANDRIAS, J.P., SULLIVAN, WILLIAMS, GONZALEZ, CATTERSON, JJ. Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, New York (Victoria Scalzo of counsel), for appellants. Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O'Shea, Albany (Ronald G. Dunn of counsel), for Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of New York, Inc. and Sergeants' Benevolent Association of the City of New York, Inc., respondents. Steven C. DeCosta, New York, for New York City Board of Collective Bargaining and Marlene A. Gold, respondents.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Carol Edmead, J.), entered on or about March 1, 2005, which, inter alia, remanded to the Board of Collective Bargaining the issue of whether the City can direct petitioners to request certain documents and information through the Municipal Labor Committee, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The administrative refusal, on mootness grounds, to determine petitioners' separate improper practice claim was arbitrary and capricious in light of a viable controversy manifested by, among other things, the City's repeated insistence that petitioners, the exclusive bargaining representatives for its members, proceed through another entity that it often worked with only upon consent.   In this regard, the administrative determination was not entitled to deference (see Matter of KSLM-Columbus Apts., Inc. v. New York State Div. of Hous. & Community Renewal, 5 N.Y.3d 303, 312, 801 N.Y.S.2d 783, 835 N.E.2d 643 [2005] ).   In view of the foregoing, it is unnecessary to address whether an exception to the mootness doctrine applied (see Matter of Hearst Corp. v. Clyne, 50 N.Y.2d 707, 714-715, 431 N.Y.S.2d 400, 409 N.E.2d 876 [1980] ), or whether the administrative body improperly departed from its own precedent.