Education, Politics

Board of Education finds that Verletta White violated ethics rules

Baltimore CountyThe Board of Education of Baltimore County on Friday accepted the recommendation of the Ethics Review Panel and closed a complaint against Interim Superintendent Verletta White.

The Panel found that two of six allegations had merit.

According to 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 solutions, which were:

  1. To amend financial disclosure forms for the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years,
  2. To no longer participate in ERDI activities or be associated with ERDI in any manner,
  3. To 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.”

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