Dance agrees to re­port ad­junct pay af­ter ethics probe crit­i­cism

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Liz Bowie liz.bowie@balt­sun.com

Bal­ti­more County schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Dal­las Dance has agreed to re­port the pay he re­ceives as an ad­junct pro­fes­sor af­ter an ethics panel found he had vi­o­lated fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure rules.

Wil­liam Groth, a for­mer school sys­tem em­ployee who sought to have Dance in­ves­ti­gated over a va­ri­ety of al­le­ga­tions, brought a com­plaint to the county school board’s ethics re­view panel last spring.

School board mem­ber Ann Miller, who voted this year against re­new­ing Dance’s con­tract, said she filed the pa­per­work on Groth’s be­half.

“I shared many of the con­cerns,” Miller said. “There were things that I had been rais­ing to the board prior to that.”

Af­ter months of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the ethics panel con­cluded in Oc­to­ber that Dance should have dis­closed both his pay from the Univer­sity of Rich­mond and also the fact that he had cre­ated a lim­ited-li­a­bil­ity cor­po­ra­tion in 2012.

The school board will not make the panel’s re­port pub­lic, Pres­i­dent Charles McDaniels said. But the board did re­lease its opin­ion, in which it called for Dance to make the ad­just­ments to his fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure forms.

“There was noth­ing ma­te­rial or sig­nif­i­cant that came out of that in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” McDaniels said. The “ma­jor­ity of the board is not con­cerned about it.”

Dance had dis­closed to the board that he has taught an on­line course called the Foun­da­tions of Ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Rich­mond since 2008. He said the univer­sity paid him $17,812 last year to teach the cour­ses. He said he spends about four hours on Sun­day af­ter­noons on the teach­ing job.

The ethics panel said Dance erred in not dis­clos­ing in 2012 that he had set up a con­sult­ing com­pany called De­lib­er­ate Ex­cel­lence Con­sult­ing LLC. He be­gan re­port­ing it on the forms in 2013.

The LLC does no busi­ness and has had no in­come, Dance said, but he wants to keep the name. He said he set it up so that the Univer­sity of Rich­mond could pay the LLC rather than him di­rectly, but it never ended up be­ing used for that pur­pose.

The pri­vate univer­sity in Vir­ginia does not do busi­ness with the Bal­ti­more County school sys­tem.

Dance said he did not re­port his ad­junct pay be­cause “it is not clear on the fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure forms where that would go. I have no prob­lem re­port­ing it.”

The su­per­in­ten­dent is now seek­ing to clar­ify whether other school sys­tem em­ploy­ees should re­port in­come from area uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges.

Groth said he feels “some sense of vin­di­ca­tion” in the find­ings, but “I would like to note that this is not the first time this has hap­pened dur­ing Dr. Dance’s ten­ure.”

In 2014, Dance was found to have vi­o­lated rules when he took a con­sult­ing job with a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment com­pany that did busi­ness with the schools.

DY­LAN SLAGLE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

Sharon Yin­gling places a wreath dec­o­rated by Becky Stone­sifer & Clients of West End Place in prepa­ra­tion for the 19th an­nual Fes­ti­val of Wreaths at the Car­roll Arts Cen­ter in West­min­ster. The event opens Fri­day and runs through Sun­day, Dec. 4.

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