To the Editor,

Last year, former Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance pleaded guilty to perjury for not disclosing $147,000 in income from consulting work, including work with a company he helped win a no-bid contract.

For many, including myself, the punishment was too light. White collar corruption in public office cannot be tolerated.

Interim superintendent Verletta White also received payment from one of the very same entities paying Dance, Education Research and Development Institute. She failed to disclose, although later amended her financial disclosure forms, having receiving payment of nearly $3,000 a year over four years.

Education Research and Development Institute boasts a stable of client technology companies that benefitted from no-bid contracts with Baltimore County Public Schools while both Dance and White were paid Institute contractors.

Late last December, former officer in community and government relations, Robert Barrett finished his jail time for filing a false tax return. He failed to report his acceptance of almost $60,000 in bribes received between 2011 and 2013.

This time cash came from real estate developers and undercover FBI agents. Barrett took the bribes while serving for the school system. In exchange for the bribes, among other trespasses, Barrett used school system letterhead to laud the undercover FBI agents’ businesses.

It feels like there is a Maryland official going to jail for corruption every time you turn on the television. Over the last year, Baltimore County Public Schools financial documentation has been destroyed in the middle of an audit and original ethics disclosures have been destroyed.

The same people sweeping the chronic problems with our public school system under the rug have created a culture of corruption where the authority of the office is being exploited for personal gain. I don’t believe in cutting deals with criminals so that they can walk away without consequence to terrorize another school system. White collar corruption in public office cannot be tolerated. Our students deserve better!

For media questions or comments, Delegate Grammer can be reached at 667-214-6611.

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