Dyer argues ouster case before judge

The case for removing Allen Dyer from the Howard County Board of Education is expected to stretch into election season, which means Dyer is likely to be fighting his own impeachment even as he runs for re-election.

Dyer is one of three board members whose term ends in 2012 and he has said he will pursue a second term on the board. That's the same board whose members sent a request to the State Board of Education in June, asking the state to remove Dyer from their ranks on charges of misconduct.

Dyer had filed a motion to dismiss the case against him, and he and his attorney, Harold Burns, argued before administrative law judge Doug Koteen Tuesday, Sept. 27 that those charges of misconduct were never specified. A separate motion from fellow board member Cindy Vaillancourt to intervene in the case as someone who does not have "a vested interest in being the victor in the result," was also argued Tuesday.

Koteen said he will issue a written opinion on the matter by Oct. 27.

Burns said the resolution passed by the Howard board to request Dyer's removal contains no facts, only conclusions, and the law requires Dyer to be notified of facts in the charges against him.

"Someone's got to give Allen notice of what he's being accused of, and no one's done that yet," Burns said.

Burns reiterated that point several times throughout the hearing, held in a small room packed with about 18 people at the administrative hearing office in Hunt Valley.

"If the board wants to put (the resolution) back up, clean it up, they can do that, but they have to put facts in there," Burns said

Judith Bresler, the board's attorney, said the state board has the authority to remove a local board member on various charges, including incompetence, immorality or willful neglect of duty.

While Burns said Dyer is not accused of any of those things, Bresler said, he did not mention the last charge that is grounds for removal: misconduct. The board's resolution, passed June 9, requested the state board remove Dyer, who has clashed frequently with fellow board members and sued the board on more than one occasion, for misconduct.

Bresler said specifics would be submitted during later proceedings.

The deadline to file documentary evidence for both sides is Dec. 2, and if either side disputes the evidence submitted, they must submit their disputes by Dec. 12. A hearing on the documentary evidence against Dyer is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2012.

A hearing on the removal is scheduled in May 2012, one month after primary elections. Koteen will make his recommendation on removing Dyer following the hearing. The final decision Dyer rests with the state board.

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