UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - "Not my responsibility" - that's what Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said on Friday after FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan asked "what is next for the county’s school board?"
This comes after Alsobrooks blasted the board earlier this week, for the ongoing turmoil and drama within the school district.
Her statement comes just less than a week after an ethics panel recommended that six board members be removed— following an investigation into multiple instances of alleged wrongdoing and unethical conduct.
The ethics findings say board members violated policy when they hired a board lobbyist and when they decided to reorganize the board office, making staffing changes and prompting a "federal discrimination lawsuit."
Some board members are also accused of a pay-to-play scheme involving a labor union they received campaign contributions from.
Alsobrooks said that the unprofessionalism demonstrated by the school board’s elected members during public meetings, is a distraction at the worst possible time; in the midst of a pandemic.
The members who are being accused, reject the allegations and several of them have hired attorneys.
This also comes at a time, where the school district is grappling with restoring in-person learning for students as the Delta variant surges in the D.C region.
On Friday, following a media event surrounding discussion of affordable housing at the Residences at Glenarden, Khan asked Alsobrooks, if it is fair to say, that she is indeed waiving all responsibility of how the board is conducting itself?
"I am so glad that you are asking this question," Alsobrooks said, "I don’t have responsibility for the school board, these are elected individuals and the public has responsibility for the school board."
"Let’s be honest about it, the public is not confused about that, this was here before the current CEO and the current chair," she said.
Alsobrooks has asked the state to intervene and review the ethics panel report regarding the findings.
When Khan asked her about the status of her request, Alsobrooks said that at this point, it is beyond her control and that she would rather focus on educating county students instead of talking about what she says, are adults who have their differences.
"Your question is a great one because I think the public believes that I control the school board, but the people control the school board," Alsobrooks went on to say.
"I’m very frustrated about it and you know why? Because this is a problem that is going on now for at least a decade on the school board at a time where we can scarcely afford it."
A spokesperson said earlier this week, that the Maryland State Board of Education had not yet received an appeal of the ethics report; state law provides a 30-day window after a local board’s decision for an appeal to filed at the state level.