Ex-Baltimore County School Leader Sentenced in Perjury Case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ex-Baltimore County School Leader Sentenced in Perjury Case

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 2:25 PM Updated:

BALTIMORE (AP)- A former Baltimore County school superintendent who served on prominent national education panels was sentenced Friday to a five-year prison term with all but six months suspended after his perjury conviction.

The sentencing marked another milestone on a dramatic downward trajectory for Shaun Dallas Dance, a charismatic and highly ambitious administrator who was just 30 in 2012 when he was chosen to lead Baltimore County schools. The suburban county ringing the city of Baltimore is the country's 25th largest public system, with more than 170 schools, 111,000 students and 21,000 district employees.

Over years, Dance failed to report that he earned nearly $150,000 for part-time consulting work while superintendent. Evidence presented in court showed that he also worked on the side for an Illinois-based administrative training company called SUPES Academy that won an $875,000 no-bid contract in his district shortly after he took leadership.

Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said Dance sought consulting jobs shortly after he became superintendent in 2012, apparently motivated to make more money because of a divorce. When he came to the district, Dance had only two years of teaching experience and was working as one of three chief school officers for Houston schools.

About two years after coming to Baltimore County, Dance was appointed to President Barack Obama's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Dance, who is African-American, was also chosen to serve on a number of other national education organizations.

But in April 2017, Dance abruptly announced his resignation as Baltimore County's superintendent, citing only vague family concerns. He was in the first year of his second contract, a four-year agreement paying him $287,000 annually. It later came out Dance was under investigation.

Indicted by a grand jury on four counts of perjury, Dance was accused of failing to disclose his work for the now-defunct SUPES Academy and a related company called Synesi Associates.

Authorities said Dance negotiated and signed a no-bid contract with SUPES and Baltimore County schools, even vowing to a company official that he would fire a district employee to secure the contract, which the school board eventually approved.

Dance pleaded guilty to the perjury charges in early March.

Dozens of Dance's supporters - including pastors, colleagues and his ex-wife - wrote the judge asking for lenience. The sentencing date coincided with his 37th birthday.

But Judge Kathleen Cox imposed a sentence of five years with all but six months suspended. Dance will also face two years of supervised probation after his six-month term at the Baltimore County Detention Center and 700 hours of community service.

Earlier this week, Baltimore County's school board voted to make the district's interim superintendent its official leader. The specifics of Verletta White's four-year contract are being negotiated.

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