Monday, February 27, 2006

Acting guilty

In their responses to the Inspector General's report, Kendale advocates have made themselves look guilty even before they've been charged.

Like the criminal defense lawyer with the guilty client, those criticized in the IG report responded with a combination of silence, attacks on the legitimacy of the IG investigation, an attack on the integrity of the IG himself, more silence, a rebuttal, more attacks on the IG, then blaming a hapless elementary school principal.

Here's a short review of how the Kendale camp responded to the IG audit and report on Seven Locks:

1. Prior to the report's release, school board member Steve Abramoff wrote a secret five-page legal brief alleging that the IG had no legal authority for the investigation and saying that the school board would ignore the audit.

2. Most Kendale proponents on the Board of Education and the County Council were uncharacteristically silent. Councilman Steve Silverman gave the appearance of having gone into hiding.

3. Some County Council members who had strongly supported the Kendale project suddenly turned against it - and against the school board.

4. Superintendent Jerry Weast was silent for a week.

5. During that period of silence, Weast's spokesman assailed the IG report and publicly questioned the personal integrity of the inspector general himself.

6. Despite the controversy in the press, MCPS failed to post news about the audit on its website for a week, until Weast had issued his rebuttal.

7. Accompanying the Weast rebuttal, more name-calling from BoE and Kendale's County Council stalwarts. The report is "totally useless" and "hogwash" (Councilman Subin). The Inspector General and his staff, according to Councilwoman Cox, are "bereft of merit or credibility."

8. MCPS then tried to make the Seven Locks Elementary School principal and her staff share the blame.

In sum: Neither Superintendent Weast, a majority of the Board of Education, nor die-hards Subin and Silverman on the County Council, see any merit whatsoever in the Inspector General's audit - even though other board and council members, including previous supporters of the Kendale project, see a great deal.

This should be interesting. Citizens have already alerted the State's Attorney.