Dallas Dance was superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. Verletta White was selected to take over the job permanently after serving as interim superintendent. But on Wednesday, the state superintendent declined to approve White's appointment due to "concern" from the ethic review panel's findings on White.
For years, both earned outside income that they failed to report to the school system and the public.
But Dance was charged with perjury, to which he pleaded guilty in March. He was sentenced to six months in jail. White was not charged with a crime.
How have similar actions led to such different results?
The reason, say legal experts, is intent.
"What's needed in a case of a perjured filing is proof that the filing contains a misstatement and that the misstatement was knowingly and intentionally made," said Arnold Weiner, an attorney who defended former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon against perjury charges by the Maryland State Prosecutor.
- Disclosure forms are submitted, under oath and penalty of perjury, to detail financial transactions or interests that may pose conflicts or threaten impartiality.
- Dance admits deliberately concealing from the school system nearly $147,000 in income on forms for 2012, 2013, 2015. During those years he was paid by four school districts, four education nonprofits and two companies — Education Research & Development Institute, which represents education technology firms, and SUPES Academy, which trains school administrators. .
- A statement of facts read in court Thursday as part of Dance’s guilty plea made clear he went to great lengths to hide the payments, lying to school system officials and urging SUPES not to tell Baltimore County about their relationship.
- White admits she failed to report about $12,000 in consulting income, mostly from ERDI, from 2012 to 2016 when she was the school system’s chief academic officer.
- White has said she “made an honest mistake.” She was “under the impression that I was to only list companies with whom the school system had a contract or a pending contract.” She has amended her financial disclosure reports to the school system and says she will not accept outside work in the future.