New Board of Ed. Members, Same Old Pay-to-Play Allegations (Demo)

Three new Members of the Board of Education sworn in on Monday, County Executive Baker accused by Illinois Company AST of awarding a contract to a company
Three newly appointed members of the Prince George’s County Board of Education were sworn in Monday, June 17, WTOP and the Washington Post reported.
Curtis Valentine, the council’s nominee, is also a former Oxon Hill middle school teacher; he worked in the Prince George’s district that he will now help lead
Daniel Kaufman once taught in Atlanta public schools and now heads the K-12 educational consulting branch of communications firm Widmeyer, and has a daughter who is a second-grader in Prince George’s County.
Beverly Anderson, served as an instructor, provost and vice president in her 40-year career at the University of the District of Columbia.

pic from pgpsmess
pic from pgpsmess

New appointees will work alongside nine other elected school board members. All will work with Board Chairman Segun Eubanks, who was appointed June 1. New members say they are dedicated to making a hybrid board and a lagging school system work. Eubanks says there’s still one more step to completing the overhaul of the school system.  “The next missing piece is to hire a new CEO who is going to bring the background knowledge and skills that we need. If we get that missing piece, we think we can make it work,” says Eubanks.
*Sidebar* I don’t know how I missed that Segun Eubanks in County Executive Baker’s former brother-in-law. *End Sidebar
Rushern BakerArticle by Washington Post reports on County Executive Baker‘s upcoming run for another term.  Details of his hits and misses, but what is a major emphasis is the complaint by a company that lost out on a contract with the county, “In a formal complaint filed with the county’s procurement department, the company, AST, based in Naperville, Ill., alleged that politics caused it to lose out on the $42 million contract to overhaul the county’s financial records and payment system. Specifically, the company alleged that several people affiliated with what became the winning bid from LSI Consulting of Sudbury, Mass., threw a fundraiser for Baker in January. LSI chief executive Mark J. Schexnaildre did not respond to requests for comment.
The fundraiser was attended by Vennard Wright, the county’s information technology chief. Wright was part of a panel examining the bids. “We believe that this fundraiser, topic of discussion, hosts and attendees compromised the integrity of the county’s selection process,” wrote Rick McGaughy, a regional sales director for AST. “It presents a clear conflict of interest for the county and LSI Consulting and/or its subcontractors to have participated in this event.”
But an internal review led by the county’s procurement chief, Monica J. Johnson, found no wrongdoing, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.  “The conduct of a political fundraiser during a competitive solicitation does not present a compromise to the process,” wrote Johnson, whose Office of Central Services handles purchasing and contracting for the $2.7 billion county government.  Still, the circumstances of the fundraiser and the bidding process create, at minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest, said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland.”

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