Baltimore, MD: (Reform Saccer) – The Maryland state Board of education has recently dismissed the appeal to remove a former Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) School Board member – 2 months after the man’s term ended and he left the board to become the New council man for District 8.
Former Board of Education Member and now council man Edward Burroughs III was first elected to the Prince George’s county board of Education Since he was a student at Crossland High School. Despite Union shenanigan raised by the school officials, he has been a public servant, rising from the student member on the Prince George’s County Board of Education to its youngest elected member when he was 18. Now at 29, he’s a County Council member representing Prince George’s county District 8.
Citizens for Accountability in PGCPS Board of Ed and the administration filed a petition with the Maryland state Board of education in 2021 asking that Edward Burroughs III be removed for misconduct in office, willful neglect of duty, immorality, and incompetency in office.
The Maryland state Board of education said in its written decision (See attached below) that the appeal now is moot, and the request to issue charges for removal of Edward Burroughs is dismissed.
“Given that Mr. Burroughs is no longer a member of the local board, we find the request for removal to be moot. The test for mootness is whether “there is no longer an existing controversy between the parties, so that there is no longer any effective remedy which the courts [or agency] can provide.” Mallardi v. Carroll County Bd. of Educ., MSBE Op. No. 00-07 (2000) (quoting In Re Michael B., 345 Md. 232, 234 (1997)). We find that Mr. Burroughs’ resignation has eliminated any controversy that may have existed, and that there is no longer an effective remedy.”
We recognize that we previously addressed mootness with regard to a local board member removal action in Dyer v. Howard County Bd. of Educ., MSBE Op. No. 13-20 (2013). We made a determination on the merits of that case even though Mr. Dyer no longer served as a member of the local board. In Dyer, the State Board had considered the removal request and issued charges against Mr. Dyer, thereby initiating the administrative process at the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”). Id. While the matter was at OAH, Mr. Dyer’s membership term expired and he lost his bid for re-election to the local board. Id. Thereafter, the
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued a proposed decision finding the Mr. Dyer had committed misconduct in office, and the State Board considered if the matter was moot prior to issuing a final decision in the case. Id.
The Dyer case is distinguishable from the case currently before us for two reasons. First, Dyer was in a different procedural posture than this case. At the time Mr. Dyer lost his seat as a board member, the State Board had already issued charges against him. The evidentiary hearing on the merits of the case had already taken place and, ultimately, the ALJ issued a proposed decision finding that Mr. Dyer had committed misconduct in office. Mr. Dyer argued that his character was tarnished due to the State Board’s charge of misconduct and that the remedy was to issue a final decision dismissing the charges against him. See Dyer at 2. In the case at hand, we merely have a request for removal on which this Board has taken no action.
Second, in Dyer, the State Board applied the “rules of future conduct exception” to the mootness doctrine which is used to hear cases that may otherwise be moot “when the urgency of establishing a rule of future conduct in matters of important public concern is imperative and manifest….” See Dyer at 5. The Board found that the case “present[ed] a matter of public concern – defining the contours of misconduct in office for local boards,” and proceeded to review the case on its merits and adopted the ALJ’s conclusion that Mr. Dyer committed misconduct in office. Id. Since the time the State Board decided Dyer in 2013, the Board has reviewed numerous cases involving the various bases for removal of local board members, and has provided guidance on the issues in doing so through State Board orders and opinions. See In the Matter of Nicholson, MSBE Order No. OR20-21 (2020); In Re Foote, MSBE Op. No. 19-37 (2019); In Re Harshman, MSBE Op. No. 17-17 (2017); In the Matter of Dimaggio, MSBE Op. No. 16-24 (2016). We find no basis to apply the future conduct exception here.
Therefore, it is this 25th day of January 2022, by the Maryland State Board of Education, ORDERED, that the request to issue charges for removal of Edward Burroughs is dismissed because it is moot.
MARYLAND STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Clarence C. Crawford
The dismissal of the petition is the second time Edward Burroughs III has been rebuffed recently on actions he charged against the Prince George’s county School District.
In 2018, a judge ordered Prince George’s County Public Schools Board Chair Segun Eubanks to stay away from board member Edward Burroughs after an alleged assault. The altercation happened after a heated vote at a board meeting during the summer of 2018. At that time, a judge signed off on a peace order, similar to a restraining order, that indicated Eubanks could no longer go near Burroughs for at least another week.
Eubanks was ordered to not harass, threaten, or become physically violent with Burroughs.
There is one exception, they are allowed to continue working together on the board.
Eubanks did not appear in court that Monday, but his lawyers were present. Burroughs did appear for the hearing.
Burroughs alleged Eubanks charged at him, grabbed him and threatened to “f— him up” after a Thursday’s board meeting.
“I am worried because I always state my views and they are often different from the Board Chair,” said Burroughs. “I don’t want to continue looking over my shoulder to see if he is going to go out of control.”
Burroughs said things got heated after he publicly criticized Eubanks who helped draw up an $800,000+ severance package for outgoing CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell. Burroughs called him a “weak negotiator”.
On Friday, Burroughs filed assault charges.
At the time, Eubanks was facing second-degree assault charges. It came with a maximum of 10 years in prison.
“I hope the law is followed,” said Burroughs. “Whatever the penalty is for second-degree assault is should be followed.”
At the time, the press reached out to Dr. Eubanks and he failed to return our calls.
A few days before the trial commenced, Edward Burroughs III was pressured to drop the charges by the Chief of Staff of the State Attorney Aisha Braveboy. Staff member of this blog witnessed the incident at the library within the court house. Later, the State Attorney Aisha Braveboy offered him a job overseeing the Teen Court Program. In the meantime, Dr. Eubanks moved on to work at the University of Maryland as part of public corruption cover up involving the county Executive.
Burroughs recently resigned from his job overseeing the Teen Court Program within the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said Burroughs helped grow the program and wrote legislation expanding the state’s definition of child abuse.
Burroughs’ campaign was not supported by everyone on the board. Some Prince George’s County Council members were missing from his swearing-in. One was said to have given him a middle finger as part of the campaign to retaliate.
In the meantime, more shenanigan continues within the Board of Education for Prince George’s county as politically connected friends led by CEO Monica Goldson and corrupt union operatives get entrenched as part of an organized scheme. There are reports the Prince George’s county Executive is getting ready to appoint a former PGCPS board member to make it easier for swindling of public funds to continue. Not only did County Executive Angela Alsobrooks know about the ongoing public corruption way back as the county State Attorney, she is part of it.
We will keep informing the public about the breach of public trust and/or abuse of position by federal, state, or local officials and their private sector accomplices in the county government and PGCPS.