Howard County school board member Allen Dyer, who is battling the board's attempts to oust him, lost his bid for re-election Tuesday, finishing eighth among 14 candidates in a primary in which the top six move on to the November election.
He will likely continue to face the possibility of being removed before his term expires.
Board Chairwoman Sandra French said Wednesday that the panel has no plans to withdraw its request that the state remove Dyer. A board majority voted to have him removed, saying, among other things, that he breached confidentiality requirements and bullied fellow board members.
The matter is before an administrative law judge; hearings are to begin next month.
"The board has not met to even discuss the issue. Currently the case will proceed according to the schedule that was set forth by the judge," French said. "If there is to be any change in our decision, we would have to have a meeting and discuss it."
Dyer said Wednesday that the attempt to oust him might have been part of the reason he lost in the primary.
"I don't think anyone can pinpoint any one reason. Elections are a result of many different factors," Dyer said. "But certainly a very significant, and in my opinion, the most significant contributing factor, is the fact that Janet Siddiqui, Ellen [Flynn] Giles, Frank Aquino and Sandie French voted to have board counsel submit a request to the state board to remove me from the board."
Siddiqui, who was chairman last year when the board requested Dyer's removal, led in Tuesday's primary vote, while Giles finished third. Howard County Board of Elections officials said Wednesday afternoon that absentee and provisional ballots had yet to be counted.
Dyer said he welcomes the administrative hearing, though he had tried to have the matter dismissed. He says the allegations made by the board are unfounded.
Dyer said Siddiqui and Giles should be required to explain under oath their decisions to vote in favor of requesting his removal.
"Let's duke it out and let the public see what they have to say," Dyer said. "If those allegations turned out to be unjustified, that needs to come out. It certainly needs to come out before the general election because ... Giles and Siddiqui have to face the voters in the general election, and I think that before they face the voters, they need to explain what they've done."
Giles said the majority of board members believed they were justified in seeking Dyer's ouster.
"We also agree that everything should come out as the proceedings go forward," she said. "The voters decided what they wanted based on the information they had before them. ... I guess I would concur with him that obviously if we're accountable to the public, the actions by the voters are their opinion of our ability to serve and go forward."
The personality clashes and infighting led to calls by community groups for board members to resolve their differences or step down.
Challengers had said during the primary campaign that they would work to improve the tenor of discussion, while incumbents argued that despite their differences, they preside over an effective system.
Siddiqui said of advancing to the general election, "I am pleased with the results so far, and I'm looking forward to continuing my work on the board for the children of Howard County."
Several newcomers made strong bids to gain one of the three school board seats up for election. Coming in second was Ann De Lacy, former president of the Howard County Education Association, a teachers union. Jackie Scott was fourth.
"It says to me that the voters are looking for a change in the Board of Education," De Lacy said.
Challengers David Gertler and Robert Ballinger, who ran unsuccessfully in the last school board election, were in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
"I'm truly honored to receive so much support from the community in this important election," Gertler said. "Meeting people from across the county and discussing ideas to improve our schools has been a wonderful experience."