TOWSON, Md. —
Former Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance pleaded guilty during his perjury trial in Towson Thursday morning.
Prosecutors said Dance pleaded guilty to four counts of perjury arising from false filings of his financial disclosure statements for 2012, 2013 and 2015.
“I think it’s just very important that this be exposed. This was just an egregious abuse of trust and to put it simply, the students of Baltimore County Public Schools and their parents just deserve better,” state prosecutor Emmet Davitt said.
Dance was superintendent of BCPS for five years, from 2012 until April 2017.
Prosecutors said although Dance filed forms under oath claiming he had no interest in any other companies and no source of outside income, he actually owned Deliberate Excellence Consulting and earned nearly $147,000 for outside work between 2012 and 2015.
The indictment alleged that Dance failed to disclose the payments on school system financial forms, and worked for SUPES Academy, which is a company for which he helped negotiate a no-bid contract with the school system.
Dance had nothing to say outside of court, but prosecutors had plenty to share with the judge during the proceedings. A good bit of the material was taken from Dance’s bank records, emails and text messages.
In one instance, referring to Gary Solomon, who ran SUPES Academy, Dance talked frequently to Solomon about his need for additional income due to his divorce.
According to court documents relating to side contracts for his consulting business, Dance said, “I appreciate your help. Keep me as busy as you can.”
Dance apparently told the school board that he had given a portion of the money to the Baltimore County Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps to support school programs and activities.
“He did indicate that some money he did admit to receiving went to the Baltimore County Education Foundation Fund, and, again, that was a false document. No money went to the Baltimore County Education Fund at all. It went to him,” Davitt said.
Prosecutors said Dance used his consultant company to attract business, a company he said he was never affiliated with.
“We set forth in the statement of fact was that Dr. Dance had put that his father owned Deliberate Excellence, but in fact that was not true,” Davitt said.
Dance was facing 40 years in prison, but since he has come clean about money he hid from the school system, he may serve much less time.
Dance’s legal team might try to get his 18-month proposed prison sentence reduced, but prosecutors said not even time served can erase the negative record he’ll leave in Baltimore County.
“The students of Baltimore County and their parents just deserve better, and they deserve transparency. They trusted this man and that trust was clearly breached,” Davitt said.
Dance, who’s now living in Virginia, is due back in court April 20 to find out how much time he’ll spend in prison.
Dance left the school district last year, one year into a four-year contract.
BCPS issues statement on Dance’s guilty plea
Baltimore County Public Schools interim Superintendent Verletta White issued the following statement following former superintendent’s guilty plea:
“We are saddened by the news but trust the judicial process. Now, we must stay focused on our students, our school system, and the important work of teaching and learning that takes place in classrooms every day. Our 113,000 students, 21,000 employees, and the Baltimore County Public Schools community deserve no less.”