Former superintendent of Baltimore County (Md.) schools charged with perjury

Jan. 25, 2018
Indictment alleges that Dallas Dance, who left his job last year, failed to disclose outside income.

The former superintendent of the Baltimore County (Md.) school district has been indicted on four counts of perjury after he failed to disclose nearly $147,000 in pay he received for private consulting.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Dallas Dance is accused of making false statements when he said on financial disclosure forms filed with the district that he earned no additional income personally or through his consulting company, Deliberate Excellence, in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Prosecutors allege that Dance negotiated a no-bid contract between the school system and Chicago-based SUPES Academy in 2012 while he was earning about $90,000 from the company. The former CEO of Chicago Public Schools received a 4 1/2-year prison sentence in 2017 after pleading guilty to taking kickbacks from SUPES' owners.

The indictment against Dance states that when he was superintendent of Baltimore County schools, he failed to disclose payments he was getting from districts in South Carolina, California, Rhode Island and New York. It also said he failed to disclose payments from other entities — including the Educational Research and Development Institute (ERDI), a company that represents educational technology firms seeking to get contracts from school districts including Baltimore County.

Interim Superintendent Verletta White also worked as a consultant for the company for four years without disclosing the payments to the school system or the public, The Sun reported.

White has acknowledged that she received about $3,000 a year for attending twice-yearly conferences where she gave advice to ERDI’s clients. She later apologized to the school system and pledged not to accept payments for outside work. White has not been charged with any crime.

Baltimore County school employees submit annual financial disclosure forms so that the district can avoid financial matters that could present a conflict of interest.”

Dance, 36, who took over Baltimore County schools in July 2012, abruptly resigned as superintendent of the nation’s 25th largest school system in April 2017. It later emerged he was under investigation.”

Baltimore County school ethics officials ruled in 2014 that Dance had violated ethics rules by taking a part-time job training principals with the SUPES Academy in Chicago. The ethics officials again reprimanded Dance in November 2016, ruling that he had violated financial disclosure rules by not initially reporting the $79,000 he received as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond and for not reporting he had created a limited-liability corporation in 2012.

State prosecutors more than a year ago began delving into Dance’s involvement with SUPES Academy. Shortly after Dance became superintendent, the school board approved an $875,000 no-bid contract with SUPES to train Baltimore County principals.

In 2017, two co-owners of SUPES and former Chicago school CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett received prison terms in connection with corruption charges.

Byrd-Bennett was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison after admitting she had steered more than $23 million in no-bid Chicago Public Schools contracts to SUPES. In return SUPES officials provide her with tickets to sporting events and meals and promises of kickbacks.

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