Friday • June 19, 2020
Updates on HCPSS Ethics Panel Disbanding & Selection Process
By Steven Keller
Summary of new updates:
– A letter from HCPSS Board of Education (BOE) Chair Mavis Ellis has been obtained which details the investigation process on the recent Ethics Panel leak.
– MPIA request that sought this information was denied for a potentially illegitimate reason (incomplete citation of the laws surrounding exceptions to MPIA releases)
– BOE members Mallo & Taj, who recently violated the National School Board Association (NSCA) Code of Ethics are serving on the screening committee for the selection of the new HCPSS Ethics Panel
– The Howard County Democratic Central Committee reportedly is privately soliciting members of its political community to apply for positions on the new Ethics Panel
A speculative question to consider: Was the leak that led to the decision to disband the HCPSS Ethics Panel intentionally committed to provide the Board with the excuse to disband the Panel and the opportunity to stack the new Panel with members who are deemed to be politically favorable?
The HCPSS Ethics Panel was dissolved in April 2020 after an Ethics Panel advisory opinion was leaked to a member of the public (ScottE’s blog) in November 2019 ; since the Board was unable to determine the source of the leak after conducting an investigation, they chose to disband the existing Ethics Panel and select a completely new panel.
In late April, some initial questions and concerns about the disbanding of the HCPSS Ethics Panel and the need for transparency in the selection process for the new Panel were discussed in a previous post. Here are the latest updates:
DETAILS ON THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS & CONCERNING MPIA REQUEST DENIAL
The attached letter has been obtained, which describes the investigation process into this Ethics Panel leak and the formal announcement of the Panel’s disbanding.