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Former Carroll schools chief testifies on construction


William H. Hyde, former superintendent of Carroll County public schools, returned from Montana and spent 2 1/2 hours yesterday testifying before a grand jury about possible illegalities stemming from school construction projects during his tenure.

Appearing harried, but dapper in a navy blue suit, Hyde dashed from the grand jury room about 3:30 p.m., saying he had no time to comment about his testimony.

Hyde's announcement in July that he would retire as chief of the county public school system surprised the county school board and other county officials.

Hyde, whose last day at work was to have been Sept. 1, left to begin work Aug. 21 in Seeley Lake, Mont., as superintendent of a school system with 240 students for about half the $119,000 annual salary he earned in Carroll.

Jerry F. Barnes, state's attorney for Carroll County, said he could not comment on the grand jury proceedings. "I am hopeful that the special grand jury report will be completed soon," Barnes said, declining to elaborate.

Hyde, 59, served as superintendent of Carroll's 27,000-student system for two years.

During that time, the school system was entangled in a contract dispute with the original builder of Cranberry Station Elementary School in Westminster and settled a lawsuit with a family whose driveway had been paved over by the school system without the family's permission.

The grand jury began looking into school system construction in May 1999.

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