TOWSON, Md. – A former Baltimore County schools superintendent pleaded guilty Thursday to perjury charges for failing to disclose nearly $147,000 he earned from private consulting jobs while running Maryland's third-largest district.
The Baltimore Sun reported that prosecutors are recommending that 37-year-old Dallas Dance spend 18 months in jail.
Thursday's plea marks the latest step in the charismatic leader's downward trajectory. Dance resigned his $287,000-a-year job in April, citing family concerns. It later became known that he was under investigation.
Speaking in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Thursday, Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt offered a detailed account of Dance's work outside the district and efforts to cover it up.
Davitt said that Dance sought consulting jobs shortly after he became superintendent in 2012. Dance had told a Chicago firm's executives that he wanted to make more money because of a divorce.
"Keep me as busy as you can," Dance reportedly told a SUPES Academy executive, Davitt said.
Dance also vowed to a SUPES official that he would fire a school district employee to secure a no-bid contract for SUPES, which the school board approved, Davitt said.
Dance lied to ethics officials about payments from his SUPES job and begged SUPES executives not to provide information to an ethics panel about his consulting work.
Davitt said Dance also provided false documents to the panel that showed that any income he had earned was going to the school system's education foundation. It was not, Davitt said.
As Davitt went through the charges, Dance sat with his two lawyers and read along with his own copy of the indictment. He declined to comment outside the hearing.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 20.
Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com