Ethics panel calls for removal, censure of Prince George’s Co. school board members

An ethics panel within the Prince George’s County, Maryland, board of education has called for a number of school board members to be censured or removed from their seats.

A school board spokesperson told WTOP that the ethics panel presented findings Wednesday during the board’s executive session, which was closed to the public. The board voted to “concur” with the panel’s report and recommendations.

Three “conflict of interest” complaints were filed with the board’s ethics panel, which is made up of five citizens.

A Maryland Matters report said that a “tentative finding” concluded the actions of the members were a “conflict of interest.”

The names and the number of the members charged were not released. The school board is comprised of nine elected, four appointed and one student board members.

Former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, who is representing three school board members Edward Burroughs III, Raaheela Ahmed and Kenneth Harris II, said the report focused on several complaints, including the hiring of a lobbyist.

Ivey also said the vote was illegal, as not enough members were able to participate.

“I think that they’re wrong on their face, and we’ll be able to get these overturned and thrown out as soon as we get to anybody who’s not politicized and understands actual ethics rules, and will take an objective approach to making the decision on this,” Ivey said.

The process moves forward to appointed Chair Juanita Miller, who elected members of the board have attempted to remove, alleging that she has “repeatedly violated board policy.” Ivey said his clients are prepared to go to the state education board, court or any other venue to fight the charges.

In a statement, Prince George’s County schools CEO Monica Goldson said that she has done her best to remain out of the internal conflicts within the county’s school board and will continue to do so.

“Unfortunately, these issues are a distraction from our accomplishments,” Goldson said. “With the new school year upon us, I will keep moving forward, solely focused on the best interests of our children.”

Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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