By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun
8:23 PM EDT, September 9, 2011
Howard County Board of Education member Allen Dyer will find out next month whether he has thwarted his fellow members' attempt to oust him from the panel. An administration law judge said Thursday that he would hear Dyer's request to have the board's complaint against him dismissed.
The school board passed a resolution June 9 to request that the Maryland State Board of Education remove Dyer, citing his repeated filing of lawsuits against the board and accusing him of, among other things, violating confidentiality agreements and bullying other board members.
The case was transferred to the Office of Administrative Hearings on July 13. Dyer filed a motion to dismiss the case.
On Thursday, administrative law judge Douglas Koteen set a motion-to-dismiss hearing for Sept. 27 and said that a decision will come no later than Oct. 27.
State school board officials said that if Dyer or the local board contests the administrative law judge's decision, the case could go before the state school board for further consideration. If that decision were contested, the case could then go to Circuit Court.
Dyer's term on the board ends next year, but he says he plans to run for re-election. The school board primary election is scheduled for April with the general election slated for the fall, meaning Dyer could be campaigning for a new term even as he is fighting his removal from the board.
"It's politics," Dyer said after Thursday's proceedings. "Their purpose is not so much to get rid of me as it is to make it less likely [for him] to be re-elected."
During Thursday's session, Dyer's lawyer, Harold Burns, argued that the complaint against Dyer has no merit because it does not provide details or evidence to support the charges against him.
"The resolution has no facts in it, it doesn't speak to any facts," Burns said. "It's all … allegations and charges. It's impossible to respond to it, because there are no facts alleged." He also argued, as Dyer has previously asserted, that a county school board letter requesting that the state board dismiss Dyer contained allegations that were not included in the resolution the local board voted upon.
Judith Bresler, the attorney representing the county school board in the case, said that Burns' assertions will be addressed in future proceedings.
A motion to intervene by board member Cindy Vaillancourt was also considered Thursday. Vaillancourt was one of two board members who voted against the resolution to remove Dyer.
Koteen said he would rule on Vaillancourt's motion to intervene when he rules on the motion to dismiss.