Friday, May 26, 2006

Duncan arranged for sale of public school for fraction of value

County Executive Douglas Duncan arranged for the sale of Montgomery public school property to campaign cronies for a fraction of the assessed value, the May 26 Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, "the assessed value of the property in 1998 was $9.7 million; the sale price under the agreement was $1.75 million."

The MCPS superintendent at the time, Paul L. Vance, said that the school system "wanted to modernize the facility and keep it public. The County Council backed Duncan and authorized the transaction," according to the Post.

"A group of residents sued the county to block the transaction, arguing that 'the result will be an unlawful permanent transfer of public property to a private interest at a grossly inadequate price,'" the Post reports.