TOWSON, Md. (WMAR) - He has spent years running from the truth surrounding how he profited on the side as the Baltimore County Superintendent of Schools, and Dallas Dance dodged questions again as he left the courthouse on this day.
But through a plea agreement, Dance agreed to plead guilty to four counts of perjury as he tried to hide $147,000 worth of fees he received as he moonlighted on the side as the head of the Baltimore County School System.
"The state's going to be recommending a sentence of five years with all, but 18 months suspended,” said Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt, “So, therefore, 18 months to serve. The defense is free to argue for a lesser disposition, so it will be up to the court to consider all the factors and make her decision."
Dance signed off on the state prosecutor's account of how he willfully sought to make money with companies that lured school administrators to meet with tech companies seeking lucrative contracts with school systems claiming as far back as 2012 that he had a "need for additional income due to his divorce".
When faced with an ethic inquiry, he even asked one of those companies to withhold financial records or quote---"he might as well kill himself", not to mention his attempts to conceal his extra income funneled through his consulting business, Deliberate Excellence LLC even if it meant shifting the blame to his own father.
"Dr. Dance had put that his father had owned Deliberate Excellence, but in fact that was not true,” said Davitt, “So he had put that down. His father was not involved in any way."
As investigators closed in on him, Dance kept running---resigning from his $287,000-per-year job with the district for what he deemed personal reasons before time finally ran out for him today.
"I think it's just very important that this be exposed,” said Davitt, “This was just an egregious abuse of trust and to put it simply, I mean the students of Baltimore County Public Schools and their parents just deserve better and they deserve transparency. They trusted this man and that trust was clearly breached."
During one of his Ethics Board inquiries, Dance even pledged to donate any of his unreported outside fees to the Baltimore County Education Foundation, but it never happened.
His formal sentencing is scheduled for Friday, April 20th, and that's when he'll learn what, if any, jail time that he must serve.
Dance resigned as superintendent last year and was replaced by Verletta White who was also accused of failing to report side income to the county. She called it an oversight and apologized for the mistake.