Thursday, February 16, 2006

Did school board & Weast break state law?

The Montgomery County school board and Superintendent Jerry Weast may have broken state law.

That's what lawyers in the Seven Locks neighborhood are discussing right now. In rejecting the county inspector general's scathing audit of the Seven Locks Elementary School scandal by challenging the IG's legal authority, school board member Steve Abramoff may have set up himself and his colleagues for real legal trouble.

Abramoff tried to deflect the IG's audit, saying that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is actually a state institution, and therefore not legally under the county IG's authority.

He has concealed that legal document from the public, citing attorney-client privilege.

County Council leaders and others dismiss Abramoff's legal maneuvering as absurd, but if one was to accept his argument, it would mean that Weast and the Board of Education followed Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan's request toward shutting down a public school and illegally handing the multimillion-dollar piece of real estate to the county government.

Either way Abramoff, Duncan, Weast, County Councilman Michael Subin and others might have broken the law. Could they be prosecuted? Should they? That's what some Seven Locks folks are discussing right now.