Tag Archives: maryland scandal boe

The Rot that is PGCPS Sasscer.

The Epicenter of the PGCPS Corruption:

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PGCPS Chief Board of Education Legal Counsel and manipulator of Labor relations office – Abbey Hairston.

There are serious problems with our education system today in Prince George’s County public schools (PGCPS). The school system, whether discussing the schools or the Unions, within the PGCPS school district offer perspective that is not cordial to the perspective of students, staff and parents of the community. Most teachers enter the education field armed with enthusiasm, hope and a desire to positively impact the children. The agents of PGCPS have proven through their conduct that all teachers don’t share those characteristics. But what is more regretful is that some of the teachers who do have those characteristics are antagonized for their virtues and/or penalized in their efforts to spread those virtues.

If only for the sake of ensuring accountability and redress, these issues need to be brought to light. The School system’s compliance with its duty to the community has to be achieved. But more importantly, it has to be prioritized in a proper and in an accountable way. A rush to create an additional 15 positions directly answerable to the board as a whole or its members only and without proper scrutiny by the incoming leaders et al, is an affront to undermine the future leadership using corruption. The PGCPS Board led by Ms. Verjeana Jacobs has similar characteristics to those of Miller County schools and Dekalb schools in Georgia.

The reformation of the PGCPS unions is a necessary step in the reconstruction; the lack of representation provided by the unions and their inadequate grievance address will not fit, or be tolerated, in the reformation. While this article won’t be able to address all of the problems in the PGCPS education system, the elevation of Mr. James Whattam as the Director of Labor Relations is a start. Mr. James Whattam, who retired from Maryland State Educator Association, is awarded by PGCPS with a paycheck for his protection of corruption. In exchange, PGCPS maintains status quo or advances the corruption. When James Whattam could no longer forward the corrupt objectives of PGCPS, he was vested with the privilege of appointing someone who would continue the tradition. Mr. Damon Felton Esq was pleased to continue in James Whattam’s destructive footsteps at the Maryland State Educator Association (MSEA). There is clear conflict of interest, regardless of the angle from which you examine Mr. Felton’s appointment.

The continuation of Mr. James Whattam, or any one that is appointed by him, is a continuation of Union corruption in Maryland. Mr. James Whattam has asserted the message: “Long Live Shenanigans”.

As the new age of the school system approaches, identification and accountability will prove to be priceless. In the spirit of identification and accountability, the Director of Employee and Labor Relations must be identified as a key culprit in the institutionalization and furtherance of corruption. Although Mr. Whattam is identified as the Director, an internal PGCPS document labels “Kathy Jones” as the Director of Employee and Labor Relations. Moreover, Mr. James R. Whattam, Esq., is a lawyer who functions out of both the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Employee and Labor Relations. Mr. Whattam is covering all of the bases!

Anyone else would be under suspicion for fraud (at the very least), misrepresentation (at the most), and conflict-of-interest (certainly). However, only the faction of the community that challenges the corruption come under scrutiny, to put it mildly.Corruption

The newly-formed ethics panel (Chaired by Sidney Gibson and Vice-Chaired by Lilia B. True) and the law enforcement community are vested with the task of weeding out the BOE’s entrenched corruption that has proven costly to all. While the ethics panel and this community may not have the cadre of lawyers that the BOE has/had at its arsenal, we have the truth and an unwillingness to accept any alternative to community progress and empowerment.

The Reform Sasscer team, which is composed of professionals, teachers, students and parents, advocates innovation, fiscal stability and transparency for the purpose of redress PGCPS corruption. A considerable portion of corruption emanates from the Office of Chief Legal Counsel and Labor Relations. Both offices can say “job well done” after they have paid off attorneys, including hearing examiners reviewing worker-related cases.

There is no question that the epicenter of the corruption in all Prince George’s county public schools (PGCPS) owes its existence to the General Counsel’s office, which was managed by previous Chief legal officer Mr. Roger Thomas Esq. When Roger Thomas Esq. could no longer sustain the corruption, Mr. James R. Whattam picked up the torch. James R. Whattam now wields the power and commands the community’s lawyers in the direction of the school system’s destruction. We must collectively demand and end to this culture.

A closer look into the General Counsel’s office demonstrates that the corruption is second-nature to the office; previous Chief Human Resouces Synthia J. Kucner and (Director of Employee and Labor Relations) James R. Whattam, Esq. are both affiliated with the Office of General Counsel. Synthia J. Shilling aka Kucner was formerly the Deputy General Counsel before becoming the chief Human Resources Officer. According to reports in Washington post, she had been caught red-handed several times drunk driving. (Read more).

Furthermore, as indicated above, Mr. James Whattam Esq. formerly worked with the teacher’s union as legal representative. This definitely creates a conflict of interest at many levels and promotes Union corruption. Someone should investigate how many positions/titles these individual actually have. According to the school system website, Mr. Whattams office is supposed to conduct thorough and timely investigations for employees and students filing harassment/discrimination claims. The functions of the Employee and Labor Relations are so integral that those functions are expressly enunciated.

Employee and Labor Relations – Also referred to as The Employee and Labor Relations Office (ELRO) Works to provide the following;

  1. Works cooperatively with all departments within the school system to address employee performance and conduct concerns in such a manner as to maximize student achievement.
  2. ELRO is also responsible for the facilitation of effective and efficient operations through the maintenance of positive relations with the labor organizations representing school system employees.
  3. ELRO provides assistance, training and support to employees requesting reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and conducts thorough and timely investigations for employees and students filing harassment/discrimination claims.

To enhance their corrupt illegal activities, the legal department awarded a $5 million legal tender to Thatcher law Firm to represent PGCPS and Dr. William Hite. That award was implemented in the absence of any competitive bind against the rules of Board of Education in 2011 (Read the story here). The said law firm (Thatcher law Firm) is being used to conduct illegal activities in support of corrupt agendas, which include the bribery of attorneys and the defense of illegal activities against staff with legitimate cases. Tax payer’s money is being used by the legal department; all the while, Mr. James Whattam and Verjeana Jacobs are undermining transparency and accountability with no opposition. In addition, the Thatcher Law Firm led by Ms. Abbey Hairston, awarded close to $8,000 towards political contributions to the chairman of the Board of Education, Mrs. Verjeana M. Jacobs Esq. That award created a conflict of interest in light of the $5,000,000 that was awarded. This is unacceptable. The future Board should demand a return of this money from Thatcher law firm. Failure to do this, corruption would have been rewarded.However, that is not true. This office is involved in deep-rooted corruption, which includes systematic delays and the tampering of evidence. The corruption does not end with that office. That office also engages in corruption with the Unions. The office is the center of corrupt Union politics and should be abolished at a minimum. As the school’s reformation demonstrates a new idea, hiring new attorneys to achieve these reformations is the only logical next step.

A reform of the PGCPS Board of Education in the absence of a “clean house sweep” will create some accountability but might not result in the reform needed to improve PGCPS. It is important to take a closer look into the activities of this office and the role it has played in denying job opportunities to staff, as well as educational opportunities to thousands of students. For example: Ms. Synthia J. Shilling, Esq. was in the center of a Filipino teacher’s fiasco (read the story here), Roger Thomas Esq. has been involved in shady deals, which includes questionable contracts involving Washington Plaza and Dr. Andrea Horsby , who is now serving jail time. The illegal tender activities and other questionable tricks of the trade are endless, just like the list of practitioners, which includes Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson’s pay to play corruption is still alive in the PGCPS. (Others read article here).

The time has come to seek new and fresh leadership for General Counsel Office within PGCPS, thus severing all ties of corruption. Roger Thomas Esq was in that position for close to 19 years before being fired for corruption (read more). He left the county with his corruption exposed. To our surprise, the other attorneys associated with him did not take a hint to resign on their own. While the other attorney’s acknowledgement for the need of redress would have been nice, any step toward address is welcome. If the incoming board of education would not do anything to enact any change in this office now, we are asking the general public to exercise its right and vote them out once and for all in the future elections. The Board of education has power to do many things; they can suspend with or without pay pending investigations. They can terminate their employees! Despite the endless ability to scrutinize their employees, the Board of Education has not applied that review to themselves. Let us demand full investigations concerning this office and let the chips fall where they may. Time has come for the school system to move in a new direction, beginning on June 1, 2013. We are watching!

General Counsel provides advice on legal representation, including:

  1. The Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools, Executive staff, and principals
  2. Supervises and manages legal services provided through attorneys in Office of General Counsel
  3. Supervision and oversight on liability and litigation claims
  4. Advice of counsel and legal representation in areas of student support services and student appeals
  5. Advice of counsel in areas of procurement, CIP, business and finance, contracts, leases, MOUs
  6. Represent the Board and Administration in appeals before Maryland State Board of Education
  7. Legal counsel and representation in all other substantive legal services areas provided through the Office of General Counsel.

Once again, as we have articulated before, the PGCPS status quo of continuous unabated corruption, conmanship, gerrymandering and professional misconduct involving the current Sasscer adminstration with the support of the corrupt unions and other conspirators etc, is not the answer!

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Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County

“Our hope for the future depends also on our resolution as a nation in dealing with the scourge of corruption” ~ Nelson Mandela

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Dr. Alvin L. Crawley Resigns.

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Dr. Alvin L. Crawley – above – The right thing a little too late for innocent victims.

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) superintendent and the Board members are reacting to our expose yesterday. The Board has now sent out an email to all Staff that Dr. Alvin L. Crawley will be resigning as of June 3, 2013. (See News release).

Such changes are what we would love to see and there are others. Kudos to interim Superintendent Crawley and the Board of Education for responding to these needs. We just hope that the Board of Education for Prince George’s County supporting the County Executive Baker will properly scrutinize the next Superintendent who will come in the school District and help fix the issues identified by our group in corroboration with other stake holders within the school system.

Potential replacements for Dr. Crawley include up and coming prospective candidates such as Daryl V. Williams – Chief of Student Services or Lisa D. Price, PMP, CGPM – Performance Officer for PGCPS to act as interim superintendent in case of a delay in selecting the next superintendent of Schools by June 1, 2013. Both individuals are competent leaders with proven track records in their areas of expertise.

Director of Communication Mr. Brian Coleman, who has been on our radar lately for bad behavior including disrespect and cover ups at Sasscer Administrative Building (Board HQ), sent out the attached email at the bottom of this post to cover up as usual.

People would expect a bit of self-circumspect considering what has transpired under Dr. Alvin L. Crawley’s watch. These emails demonstrate what is wrong with the culture of impunity in PGCPS. One is bound to think Dr. Crawley is leaving under normal circumstance. Why do we shed tears for perpetrators and conspirators? Who is sad for the poor defenseless little children who were molested by the brutes during this man’s watch? Please let us be more reverend and repentant.  These are not normal times. Let us not “normalize” the abnormal.

The sentiments expressed in the end are very revealing and expose the Business as usual lesfaires attitudes in PGCPS School District.

There is no smoke without fire! The gentleman had two and half months to go before resigning. What doesn’t he want us to find out? Dr. Crawley is a clear manifestation of a man who forgot his mission and disregarded the 21 commandment he went to uphold and implement from our blogs. He can only blame himself for the calamity which has befallen him!

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From: Prince George’s County Public Schools <PGCPS@public.govdelivery.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 8:38 AM
Subject: Statement from the Board of Education regarding the earlier departure of Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvin L. Crawley
To:

Statement from the Board of Education regarding the earlier departure of Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvin L. Crawley

April 26, 2013

For Immediate Release

CONTACT:

Office of Communications

301-952-6001

communications@pgcps.org

On Thursday, April 25, Prince George’s County Public Schools Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvin L. Crawley notified the Board of Education of his intent to resign effective June 3, 2013. The Board has accepted Dr. Crawley’s resignation.

Statement from the Board of Education regarding the earlier departure of Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvin L. Crawley: “We are saddened by Dr. Crawley’s decision to leave early; however, due to the passage of the recent legislation changing the governance structure of our school system, we fully understand. We regretfully accept Dr. Crawley’s resignation and express our gratitude and appreciation for his consistent dedication to student achievement.”

Statement from Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvin L. Crawley: “It is with mixed emotions that I submit my letter of resignation effective June 3, 2013. I have enjoyed my tenure as Interim Superintendent of Schools and appreciate the support of our Board, staff, parents, students, and members of the community. I am very proud of the accomplishments we have achieved during my tenure.”

Background: Dr. Crawley was hired in August of 2012 under a contract that was set to expire on June 30, 2013. Maryland House Bill 1107, which passed on April 9, 2013, significantly changes the governance structure of PGCPS by giving the County Executive the authority to appoint the Superintendent of Schools as well as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Education.

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Outrageous Petition Drive in PG County.

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Today we received news through the Washington post that Shameful display of misplaced sympathies and loyalties are in play with some few individuals who want to maintain the status quo within PG County schools. Where is the outrage when it is needed the most to defend “helpless kids and staff” who are not popular or connected to these self-rightious groups?

The papers are stone dead and quiet when the same system has subjected its students and staff to abuse and conditions which are unfathomable in other school districts such as MPCPS, Carvert etc.  Why do we have to be on the wrong side of righteousness? Let us try something new, which can bring accountability to this madness in PGCPS school District. Enough is enough. We can no longer hide under the banner of democracy. Democratic society requires strong protection, but also carries with it equal responsibilities and creates accountability measures.

We support Mr. Rushern Baker and we will be watching developments as well as providing unsolicited advise during his tenure. We are not going give anyone a blank check. However, let us give a chance and try something new. Everyone in the Board of Education have had their chance, it is Mr. Baker’s chance now.

The question we are asking the critics is this, What are the motives of these groups and persons opposing the new school governance structure?  Who is standing for the poor students and staff members? The PG County chapter of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) should not adopt the tactics and bad attitudes of some corrupt Unions with some hidden agenda. We will not let a very good organization be high jacked by a few misguided individuals who are out to rubble rouse some naive elements in PG County.

Instead of these organizations trying to defend the power brokers with ill gotten wealth, they should be fighting for the less fortunate instead of trying to maintain the status quo. The only thing constant in life is change. Unless they learn to adopt, they are destined to obsolesce .

Lastly, there are people and cases which are beginning to be derailed for lack of representation in various forums. The Unions are not performing their rightful roles and keeping the PGCPS management accountable. We must say “NO” to such misplaced allegiance and false solidarity.

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