Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Abrams and Subin attack legitimacy of IG probe

But others apparently do not want to get to the bottom of the scandal, They responded defensely, attacking and questioning the IG report and not discussing the merits of its findings, as if desperate to cover up something.

School Board member and audit committee chairman Steven Abrams (R) suddenly disputes county law, claiming that the Montgomery County Public School system is not a county entity at all, but a creature of the state of Maryland. Consequently, Abrams argues in a five-page brief, the county inspector general has no authority to investigate it.

Abrams tells the Gazette, "I’m convinced the school system is an entity of the state, and not the county government."

Councilman Michael Subin (D), chairman of the education committee who has attacked constituents in the past for their concerns about official wrongdoing on Seven Locks/Kendale, says the county IG has no business in the county school system either.

"I’m aware of Mr. Abrams’ letter and the other legal opinions," he tells the press. "And while I tend to agree with those, the council does not interpret the law the same way . . . I would question [the inspector general’s] ability to look at state agencies."

Subin lost control at a council meeting in May 2005 when a constituent voiced concerns.

MCPS Chief Operating Officer Larry A. Bowers also questioned the authority of the IG.

Bowers said that he would look into a finding that MCPS failed to follow proper contracting procedures, but added: "In terms of anything else, we’ll certainly not be responding to it."