Thursday, May 11, 2006

Law enforcement officials receive complaint against Abrams

Blogger's note: Because of threats against PTA members who raised the issue, we have deleted the names of the private citizens involved with the following story.

School board member Steve Abrams is the subject of a formal allegation of wrongdoing filed with the Montgomery County fraud-hunter and the state of Maryland's top law enforcement officials.

The allegation centers on an alleged incident in which Abrams indicated he decided to shut down Seven Locks Elementary School in retaliation for the action of one individual in the community who had filed a complaint with the county Inspector General.

A member of the Seven Locks Elementary School PTA formally made the allegation against Abrams with the county Inspector General, the State Attorney General, and the State's Attorney for Montgomery County on May 10.

He passed word of it to County Council President George Leventhal, telling him in a message that he thought the Council "should be aware of this allegation prior to your actions on the Seven Locks issue."

"Prior to the Board of Education public hearing on May 1 on the task force report on Seven Locks Elementary School I asked Mr. Abrams why he had turned against the community that had helped him get elected by not supporting keeping Seven Locks school at its current location," the PTA member told the Council president.

"There were many witnesses to the conversation including a reporter from the Gazette who took a picture of the conversation with Mr. Abrams."

"His response was: 'Your school is gone. You lost my support when someone in your community went to the IG [Inspector General]. I advised you not to raise your issues in a larger way.'

"By this time [name deleted], who is the husband of one of the Seven Locks coalition leaders, joined in my conversation. Mr. Abrams then told Mr. [name deleted] that his wife was the one that sent the information to the IG and that our school was gone.

[Note: This is another case of Abrams getting his facts wrong. Abrams blamed the wrong person, and we can prove it.]

The PTA member continued, "He [Abrams] also pointed at and stuck his index finger in the chest of Mr. [name deleted] as he continued his rant against the community for going to the IG.

"It is unfathomable that an elected official would punitively damage the children and community in which he was elected to serve because somebody wanted to have the facts investigated," the PTA member said.

"I would like to have Mr. Abrams investigated about whether his statements and behavior break any whistleblower laws or any other laws that protect the right of the community to have potential waste, fraud, or abuse investigated without retaliation."