BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Supporters rallied around Baltimore County Interim Superintendent Dr. Verletta White after the state superintendent blocked White’s appointment to the job permanently.

County Council chairman Julian Jones said he was “very dissatisfied” with the state superintendent’s decision.

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“We only have one school board, and whether you appreciate what that board does or not, they represent Baltimore County citizens,” he said.

Jones called it “egregious and outrageous” for a state official to take action against the local board.

“It doesn’t help adding politics to this discussion,” Baltimore County Del. Pat Young said.

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Baltimore County Del. Adrienne Jones said, “We got zinged yesterday by the [state] superintendent’s decision.”

State superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon expressed concern about a past ethics violation. A school board ethics panel said White failed to report consulting income.

White has called it an honest mistake and said she corrected and released her ethics forms.

Salmon says the ethics violation was a “serious breach of trust with the public.”

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School Board member Julie Henn told WJZ that she felt Salmon made the right call, and the process to approve White was rushed before the completion of an audit.

“We all share the concerns that this process was not transparent, it was not inclusive. The board committed to doing a national search, and they fail to live up to that commitment,” Henn said.

The state superintendent has the power to not approve a superintendent, although it has never been done in recent history.

Some lawmakers supporting White say they would consider legal action.

The controversy follows the scandal of White’s predecessor, Dallas Dance, who is serving jail time for perjury. He failed to disclose $150,000 in outside consulting income to the same company.

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“When you see the name Superintendent White, you put another name up there, Dallas Dance. They are not the same people,” Del. Jones said.

Dr. Salmon has given approval for Dr. White to remain the interim superintendent for the next school year.

 

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