HCPSS Interim Superintendent Martirano’s Contract Miscites the Termination Statute

With all of the attention paid to terminating Superintendent Foose’s contract and Delegates Atterbeary and Ebersole’s bill to permit Howard County to directly terminate a superintendent, it is ironic that the contract for Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano miscites the state statute regarding termination for cause.

Maritirano Interim Contract Termination
Superintendent Martirano’s Contract Incorrectly Referencing Section 4-201(d)

As seen in Superintendent Martirano’s contract, the termination for cause refers to Section 4-201(d). However, Section 4-201(d) regards a vacancy and a contract for an interim superintendents and not termination for cause which is Section 4-201(e).

 

Section 4-201 Education Code Termination
Section 4-201 Education Code

 

Contracts in other counties correctly reference Section 4-201(e) regarding termination of the superintendent:

Baltimore County Interim Superintendent's Contract
Contract for Baltimore County Interim Superintendent Verletta White, June 13, 2017 
MoCo Superintendent Contract Termination
Contract for Montgomery County Superintendent Jack R. White
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4 thoughts on “HCPSS Interim Superintendent Martirano’s Contract Miscites the Termination Statute

    1. These details are important. Good catch, Mr. Hurewitz.

      Dr. Wu, MPIA #2018-024 lists their attorneys.
      https://mpia.hcpss.org/requests/2018-024

      Additionally, elsewhere there is some indication they were receiving advice from their current general counsel before his official hire date.

      The minutes from a closed meeting on May 2, 2018 provide the below information:

      “ITEMS CONSIDERED, ACTION TAKEN, AND RECORDED VOTES:
      Also present: Judith S. Bresler, Esq., Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett, and Scherr, LLP; Michael J. Martirano (arrived at 4:39 p.m.) …”

      “1. To discuss and receive legal advice related to the employment of one or more specific individuals and related personnel matters.”

      “Board members received legal advice regarding the employment of specific individuals. The Board voted on the employment matter.”

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    2. Specific details — they have a very expensive lawyer:

      Dr. Martirano signed his contract on June 22, 2017.

      From January 2017 to May 2017, the board paid Saul Ewing, LLP $524,205.22 for legal services related to board operations. That figure is more than the board paid for all non-special education legal expenses in FY 2016.

      FY2016 non-special education legal expenses = $462,628.39
      FY2017 non-special education legal expenses = $1,180,055.75

      “Board Operations: legal guidance and interpretations provided for board governance”

      Links for sources:
      FY2016 (see p. 3):
      http://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/files/ACQLKT56344F/$file/08%2018%202016%20Legal%20Fees%20Monthly%20Report%20BR.pdf

      FY2017 (see pp. 3 & 4):
      http://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/files/AP6QTQ6ADC72/$file/07%2018%202017%20Legal%20Fees%20Monthly%20BR.pdf
      Note: On page 4, the column to the far right is labeled “FY 2016 YTD” although I think it actually is for 2017.

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