BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance was sentenced to 6 months in prison for failing to disclose nearly $147,000 he earned from part-time consulting jobs.
Dance pleaded guilty in March to four counts of perjury. On Friday, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison, with all but 6 months suspended. He was also given 2 years of probation.
The punishment was less than what prosecutors were hoping for.
“I think that there was a period of incarceration is the most important thing here,” said prosecutor Emmet Davitt.
The reason for Dance’s sentence was because while Dance was Baltimore County Schools superintendent, he was paid a consulting fee of $147,000 by SUPES Academy, an education company.
Dance never filed it on mandatory ethics forms.
SUPES Academy subsequently received a contract to do business with Baltimore County Public Schools.
When it came to light, he claimed he was going to donate the side income to the schools’ education fund, but instead, he kept it.
Lying triggered four purgery charges and the guilty plea.
“When you’re in a position of trust and you abuse that trust, it’s extremely harmful to the public,” Davitt added. “And it just simply can’t be tolerated.”
Dance told the judge he is extremely remorseful for his actions and the impacts it has had on students, teachers, and parents, and takes full responsibility.
Weighing the self-inflicted damage to what had been an outstanding career, the judge imposed the lesser sentence of six months:
[Reporter: “You satisfied with the sentence?]
“Yes, yes I am,” said Baltimore Co. School Board Member Roger Hayden. “I think it shows the seriousness of what this was, because it wasn’t brushed under the rug.”
Dance was not taken into custody at the courthouse.
He will turn himself in Friday, April 27, at the Baltimore County jail.
Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 5 years, and reportedly wanted Dance to serve at least a year and a half behind bars.