Former Baltimore County schools superintendent S. Dallas Dance has been indicted on four counts of perjury, including charges that he lied about his work with the owners of two school consulting firms ensnared in a multi-million dollar kickback scheme.
Dance allegedly lied on his financial disclosures for multiple years, claiming he had no sources of income outside his superintendent’s salary when, in fact, his private consulting firm, Deliberate Excellence Consulting, was paid by several businesses, including one—The SUPES Academy—that had an $875,000 no-bid contract with the school system.
The charges against Dance, handed down by a Baltimore County grand jury, are related to the discrepancies in his district financial disclosure statements for 2012, 2013, and 2015. Altogether, Dance is accused of failing to report nearly $150,000 in earnings from his personal business.
Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt announced the charges against Dance on Tuesday.
“Parents of Baltimore County Public students should be able to trust that their Superintendent of Schools is carrying out his duties, honestly, with transparency and in the best interests of the students and the schools,” Davitt said in a prepared statement. “Any violation of that trust is intolerable.”
Dance led the 112,000-student Baltimore County schools, which is among the 30 largest districts in the country, from July 2012 to June 2017. He came to Baltimore County after serving two years as chief middle school officer in the Houston Independent School District. When he announced his resignation last spring, he said he planned to “transition to another chapter of [his] career.”
Dance signed theno-bid contract with The SUPES Academy, a company that trained superintendents, principals, and other school administrators in 2012, shortly after taking the job. The SUPES Academy and its related company, Synesi Associates, later paid him for consulting work in 2012 and 2013. Another former big-city schools chief, former Chicago schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, is serving time in federal prison for awarding no-bid contracts to the same businesses as part of a $20 million kickback scheme in that district.
The Baltimore Sun reported in September that the state prosecutor was investigating Dance.
While he was superintendent in Baltimore County, Dance briefly served on an advisory board for Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit publisher of Education Week.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.