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Dyer files suit against fellow board members, claiming open meetings violation

Complaint says interviews with superintendent candidates were violations

By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun

9:34 PM EDT, May 22, 2012

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Howard County school board member Allen Dyer had four of his fellow board members served with a legal complaint moments before the panel recessed during Tuesday night's meeting.

Dyer, who is currently battling the school board's request that the state board of education oust him from the panel, filed the lawsuit May 4 in Howard County Circuit Court against fellow members Janet Siddiqui, Ellen Flynn Giles, Sandra French and Frank Aquino. The four voted in favor of a June 9 resolution requesting his ouster.

Dyer, whose term in office runs out later this year, has filed several lawsuits against the board in the past. This is the first time, he says, that he has filed a suit against individual board members.

Dyer has accused the four of violating Open Meetings Act requirements in five March interviews with candidates for the then-vacant superintendent position. He requested that the court levy civil penalties of $500, or $100 per meeting, against each of the four for their involvement in the meetings.

Dyer said that as a plaintiff he could not serve the lawsuits, so instead they were served by Glenn Amato of Elkridge, a former school board candidate.

After returning from recess, Aquino said he had not read the complaint. He added, "I think it's interesting that he found it necessary to serve us while we were fulfilling our board responsibilities, which is how I assume we were acting during the subject matter of the complaint."

Asked why he had a complaint filed May 4 served during a May 22 board meeting, Dyer said, "Convenience," adding that the four could all be served at once.

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

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