BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance pleaded guilty Thursday morning to charges of perjury.
Dance, 37, was indicted in January on four counts of perjury by a Baltimore County grand jury for allegedly failing to report nearly $150,000 in outside income on his financial disclosures. The discrepancies are on his 2012, 2013, and 2015 Financial Disclosure Statements that were filed under oath.
He is accused of stating he had earned no money from his consulting company, Deliberate Excellence Consulting, during 2012, 2013, and 2015. Dance allegedly earned nearly $150,000 despite reporting that he “had no source of earned income other than BCoPS.”
Dance worked with school districts across the country such as Chicago, Providence, Rhode Island and New York.
Documents show he manipulated the purchasing process to award a contract to SUPES Academy in Chicago, which was paying Dance for private consulting. Dance said he needed to make more money due to a divorce, saying “any remote work for any district, I’m good to do. Keep me as busy as you can.”
The documents have copies of checks Dance deposited, totaling $147,000 he never disclosed to the Board of Ethics.
Documents show when the Ethics panel requested details from SUPES, Dance was concerned and said if SUPES turns that over: “he might as well kill himself. ”
Dance later told them the side income was going to the school system’s education fund.
“Again, that was a false document and no money went to the Baltimore County education fund. It all went to him,” Davitt said.
Dance abruptly resigned from his superintendent position in April 2017. He became superintendent in 2012 and had signed another four-year contract in 2016.
“I think it’s very important that this be exposed. This was just an egregious abuse of trust and to put it simply, the students of Baltimore County public schools and the parents just deserve better. They deserve transparency. They trusted this man and that trust was clearly breached,” said State prosecutor Emmet Davitt.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 20th on Dance’s 38th birthday.
Baltimore County Public Schools released the following statement:
“We are saddened by the news but trust the judicial process. Now, we must stay focused on our students, our school system, and the important work of teaching and learning that takes place in classrooms every day. Our 113,000 students, 21,000 employees, and the Baltimore County Public Schools community deserve no less.“
Prosecutors say it appears Dance filed taxes on the income he earned in private consulting.
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of five years and want Dance to serve at least a year and a half behind bars.