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BC School Board: Ethics review of Interim Superintendent now closed

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Baltimore County Public Schools Interim Schools Superintendent, Verletta White

The Board of Education of Baltimore County has accepted the recommendations of the Ethics Review Panel and has closed a complaint against Interim Superintendent Verletta White. The Panel found that only two of six allegations had merit.

In a statement released Friday by the panel, White violated Policy 8364 by failing to disclose consulting fees received from ERDI and violated Policy 8363 by accepting compensation for participating in a program in her capacity as a school official. The Panel noted, however, that while “the Financial Disclosure Statement Instructions, which is a separate document from the Financial Disclosure Statement, indicates that consulting activities were required to be reported on Schedule H of the statement, the truncated instructions at the top of Schedule H on the Financial Disclosure Statement were confusing and unclear as to whether consulting fees, such as the type received by White, were required to be reported."

In finding that ERDI “did not engage in ‘lobbying’ with the Board of Education or the Baltimore County Public Schools," the Panel concluded that the two allegations regarding “lobbying" were not applicable to this situation.

The Panel recommended acceptance of White’s proposed solution, which is to (1) amend financial disclosure forms for the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years; (2) no longer participate in ERDI activities or be associated with ERDI in any manner; and (3) not engage in any consulting activities while serving as interim superintendent.

In accepting the Ethics Review Panel’s Opinion and Order, the Board of Education of Baltimore County concluded that this solution “should assure the public that the conduct of public business is not subject to improper influence or the appearance of improper influence and that White’s impartiality and independent judgment will be maintained."

“I am pleased that this matter has been resolved," said White. “As I have said, it was an honest mistake. My focus has been and continues to be serving the students of Baltimore County Public Schools and ensuring that this great school system remains focused on effective instruction for all students."

Board Chair Edward Gilliss, Esq., said, “I am pleased that this matter has been brought to a close. I continue to have confidence in Mrs. White’s leadership and in her focus on students and staff."

 

Last month, former BCPS Superintendent Dallas Dance was indicted in four counts perjury charges.  According to the Office of the State Prosecutor, Shaun Dallas Dance failed to disclose payments for consultant work with several companies and school districts on financial disclosure statements for 2012, 2013 and 2015. His trial is set to start in early March. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison for each count. The 36-year old Dance abruptly resigned in April from the state's third largest school system, offering no reason for his departure. He was in his first year of his 2nd contract—a 4-year deal, paying him $287,000 annually.