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Union president addresses Baltimore County school board about length of time for misconduct investigations

Mike Williams, a former Baltimore County teacher, reported to work at this warehouse for more than a year. He was paid to sit inside while accusations about him were investigated.
Mike Williams, a former Baltimore County teacher, reported to work at this warehouse for more than a year. He was paid to sit inside while accusations about him were investigated. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

The head of the Baltimore County school administrators union said the majority of misconduct cases against administrators can "be resolved more expeditiously."

Speaking at the county school board meeting on Tuesday night, William Lawrence, executive director of the Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees, suggested that the union and the county work together on resolving cases more quickly.

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Currently, administrators and teachers can spend weeks and months investigating a teacher for misconduct, sometimes while they sit in a warehouse.

Lawrence said that in some cases the timing of the investigations into misconduct involve the police and other government agencies and are difficult to speed up.

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But, Lawrence said, most cases involve violations of policy, including misuse of property, malfeasance and other behaviors that could be handled more efficiently.

Instead, some of these employees spend time in a warehouse on Pulaski Hightway, until the investigations are complete, which he said can take weeks and months. "While BCPS investigates, the employee is in the warehouse," he said.

A new due process manual has just been put in place, and two new staff have been hired, he said.

"CASE hopes against experience that this represents improvement," Lawrence said.

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He said the union would work with administrators. "Together we can create a system that leads to swift and fair resolution."

In Baltimore County, the largest school system in the region, 230 employees from a workforce of about 18,000 were accused of inappropriate actions in the past year, more than any other area school system.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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