Baltimore County school board approves Columbia firm to do audit of system's contracts

Liz Bowie
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore County school board hired an accounting firm on Tuesday night to do a year-long, $413,000 audit of the system’s contracts in the wake of the conviction of its former superintendent.

The accounting firm of UHY, a national firm with offices in Columbia, will look into the expenditures that are related to travel, conference fees and professional memberships for school administrators in the executive office. The audit, which will cover a time period between January 2012 through December 2017, will look at the effectiveness of controls over spending and whether the spending complied with regulations and laws.

The board voted unanimously to hire the firm.

The long-awaited audit, which had been called for by state and local legislators, comes after former superintendent Dallas Dance was convicted on four counts of perjury and sentenced to six month in prison. Dance was paid about $147,000 over five years for consulting work he did largely without the knowledge of the school board. He worked part time for a company that did business with the school system and failed to report the income on his financial disclosure forms.

Maryland’s State School Superintendent Karen Salmon blocked the school board’s request to make Verletta White the next superintendent in part because the board had not yet taken action on the audit. The board asked Salmon to reconsider, saying that it was moving forward on the audit and had sent out requests for bids several times.

White also worked as a paid consultant, however, she has pledged not to as interim superintendent. The board had wanted to give her a four-year contract, but Salmon has said she would only approve another year as interim superintendent. Salmon has not responded to the board’s request for a reconsideration.

White had originally suggested a limited audit of the system’s contracts nine months ago before Dance was charged. That audit was expanded after the charges were filed, and the County Council and state legislators asked for an expansion.

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