…to address numerous areas of work
The Prince George’s County Board of Education has created six committees to help carry out the work of the school board.
The formation of the new committees comes more than a year after the board was overhauled. The reconfigured board, which was a fully-elected body changed to a hybrid board with several appointed members, had a rough transition after County Executive Rushern Baker III pushed for a school takeover.
Elected members said they were marginalized by the new leadership, while appointed members were trying to adjust to the demands of the job. The board, in turn, hired a corporate foundation to help smooth the transition. >>> Read more Washington Post
The six committees are:
- Academic Achievement,
- Chief Executive Officer and Board Evaluation,
- Finance, Audit and Budget,
- Parent and Community Engagement,
- Policy, Legal and Legislative,
- Board Development and Governance.
The role of each Board member
- Board members Sonya Williams (District 9) and Zabrina Epps (District 1) ~> committee on academic achievement,
- Eubanks and Vice Chairman Carolyn Boston (District 6) ~>will chair the committee on evaluations.
- Appointed board members Beverly Anderson and Daniel Kaufman ~>will head the budget committee,
- Board members Curtis Valentine (appointed) and Amber Waller (District 3) ~> will lead the parent and community engagement committee.
- Board members Edward Burroughs (District 8) and Verjeana Jacobs (District 5) ~> will steer the policy, legal and legislative committee
- Boston and Board member Lyn Mundey (District 7) ~> will head the board development committee.
At this point, there appears to be a conflict of interest (COI) involving Ms. Verjeana Jacobs in particular in regards to these appointments. Voters and the Maryland General assembly rejected Ms. verjeana Jacobs – and her ideas – overwhelmingly in 2012. We hope this board won’t follow her and anybody else involved in a conflict of interest to lead and steer the policy, legal and legislative committee among others. Why stay where you aren’t wanted? Ms. Verjeana Jacobs and other employees of the Board of Education who are facing multiple lawsuits in courts, should not be allowed to lead in those areas where they have cost the Board of Education money. Among the accusations involving Ms. Jacobs is fraud, conspiracy, breach of contracts, bribery, cell tower fiasco, false claims inter alia. Of course we do not expect Ms. Jacobs to be the judge, the jury and the prosecutor all rolled into one? Let us scrutinize and call our elected officials for proper changes and accountability.
The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs. We hope Segun Eubanks and others advancing this corruption will see the sense in these issues and do the right thing.
A widely used definition is: “A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.” Primary interest refers to the principal goals of the profession or activity, such as the protection of clients, the health of patients, the integrity of research, and the duties of public office. Secondary interest includes not only financial gain but also such motives as the desire for professional advancement and the wish to do favors for family and friends, but conflict of interest rules usually focus on financial relationships because they are relatively more objective, fungible, and quantifiable. The secondary interests are not treated as wrong in themselves, but become objectionable when they are believed to have greater weight than the primary interests. The conflict in a conflict of interest exists whether or not a particular individual is actually influenced by the secondary interest. It exists if the circumstances are reasonably believed (on the basis of past experience and objective evidence) to create a risk that decisions may be unduly influenced by secondary interests.
MITIGATION AND CALL FOR ACTION.
The best way to handle conflicts of interests is to avoid them entirely. For example, someone elected to political office might sell all corporate stocks that they own before taking office, and resign from all corporate boards. Or that person could move their corporate stocks to a special trust, which would be authorized to buy and sell without disclosure to the owner. (This is referred to as a “blind trust“.) With such a trust, since the politician does not know in which companies they have investments, there should be no temptation to act to their advantage.
Those with a conflict of interest are expected to recuse themselves from (i.e., abstain from) decisions where such a conflict exists. The imperative for recusal varies depending upon the circumstance and profession, either as common sense ethics, codified ethics, or by statute. For example, if the governing board of a government agency is considering hiring a consulting firm for some task, and one firm being considered has, as a partner, a close relative of one of the board’s members, then that board member should not vote on which firm is to be selected. In fact, to minimize any conflict, the board member should not participate in any way in the decision, including discussions.
Judges are supposed to recuse themselves from cases when personal conflicts of interest may arise. For example, if a judge has participated in a case previously in some other judicial role he/she is not allowed to try that case. Recusal is also expected when one of the lawyers in a case might be a close personal friend, or when the outcome of the case might affect the judge directly, such as whether a car maker is obliged to recall a model that a judge drives. This is required by law under Continental civil law systems and by the Rome Statute, organic law of the International Criminal Court.
Call your elected officials now and the media. Let us demand an end to this fraud and the madness!