Lawyer's advice sought on status of schools chief

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education has hired a lawyer to advise it on issues related to the employment status of Superintendent C. Berry Carter II.

Mr. Carter has been on paid administrative leave since July 31, following the release of a state report that showed he knew of allegations of sexual misconduct made against a Northeast High School teacher in 1989 but failed to act on them.


Thomas Twombly, the school board president, announced the hiring of John Shay, a lawyer in the firm of Knight, Manzi, Brennan, Ostrom and Ham in Upper Marlboro, at last night's board meeting.

Mr. Shay, a specialist in contract law, will be paid $100 an hour.


"It is not unusual at all to seek the advice of outside counsel," said Mr. Twombly. "These are unique times we live in but this is a normal practice."

P. Tyson Bennett, the board's regular attorney, will continue to handle all other board-related matters, Mr. Twombly said.

Meanwhile, an independent investigation by lawyer Alan I. Baron continues to examine how the Anne Arundel school system responded to allegations of child abuse. The portion of the investigation dealing with Mr. Carter's role has been completed but has not yet been released.

The investigation was prompted by the case of Ronald W. Price, a Northeast High teacher convicted Sept. 9 on three counts of child sex abuse for having sex with students. He was sentenced Oct. 14 to 26 years in prison.