After the cloak-and-dagger events in Wicomico County, one would think the Maryland State Education Association would stay far away from such stuff for a while. But check out this allegation from the school board in St. Mary’s County:
The majority of the St. Mary’s County Board of Education has taken the unusual step of voting to recommend that the State Board of Education remove member Marilyn Crosby for “immorality, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty.” School Board Chairman Dr. Sal Raspa, Vice Chairman Brooke Matthews and board member Cathy Allen voted for the resolution. Board member Mary Washington abstained; Crosby voted against it.
The resolution comes after the board hired an investigator at $300 an hour to find who was behind alleged leaks to the media of confidential personnel information.
The issue related to the candidacy of Assistant Superintendent Brad Clements to become interim superintendent and then his subsequent withdrawal from consideration.
The resolution states: “The independent investigator determined that all of the Board members, including Mrs. Crosby, had been provided with confidential personnel information in envelopes labeled ‘Confidential,’ to be reviewed and discussed during the Executive Session of the Board of Education and determined by a preponderance of the evidence that Mrs. Crosby provided copies of the confidential personnel documents, or at least their material contents, to the media and the MSEA UniServ Director without the knowledge or permission of the employee, which disclosure was in violation of Maryland Public Information Act and Board Policy BC.”
The resolution also says, “In disclosing the documents, Mrs. Crosby interfered with the effective operation of the St. Mary’s County Public Schools, interfered with the well-being of the employee whose rights were violated, violated Board Policy, and subjected the Board of Education to penalties under the Maryland Public Information Act.”
During discussion of the motion to approve the resolution, Crosby admitted giving the Enterprise a copy of Clemens’ letter announcing his withdrawal of candidacy, however she says there was no confidential personnel information contained therein. She flatly denies giving any information to or talking to Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) UniServ Director Liz Purcell-Leskinen.
There is far from enough evidence to draw a conclusion one way or the other. Clements withdrew his name from consideration because his candidacy – in his own words – “caused considerable controversy within the Board of Education, the community, and the employees associations.” However, the local teacher union president said she supported Clements for the interim position.
What we need is someone on the school board to leak the independent investigator’s findings. Which one should we call?