A school board member in Maryland has asked a court to drop his bid for a restraining order against the panel’s chairman, whom he alleged shoved and threatened him after a tense meeting earlier this month.
Attorneys for school board member Edward Burroughs III and chairman Segun C. Eubanks confirmed the apparent end of the case, which was set for a Tuesday hearing that probably would have produced more embarrassment for the state’s second-largest school system.
Witnesses were expected to testify about what happened the evening of July 12, in a back room at school district headquarters, immediately after a board meeting. The alleged encounter followed the school board’s hotly contested decision to give the system’s embattled chief executive a payout of nearly $800,000.
Burroughs accused Eubanks of pushing him against a bookcase, pointing his finger “in and on” his face and yelling, “I will f--- you up” several times. Later that night, Burroughs filed for the restraining order and lodged an assault complaint.
Late Monday, neither side discussed whether an agreement was reached before the filing for dismissal was made. But Burroughs cited a Monday phone call with Eubanks and lawyers for both sides, which he said made a difference. He did not provide details.
“I am pleased that we have reached a resolution and that this will never happen again,” Burroughs said. “My major concern is serving without the fear of being attacked when there is a disagreement, and I think that fear has been alleviated as of this time.”
Eubanks’s attorney, Bruce Marcus, provided a brief statement.
“On behalf of our client, we are pleased that the matters involving Dr. Eubanks and Mr. Burroughs have been put to rest,” he said. “Dr. Eubanks looks forward to returning his full attention and focus to the citizens and school children of Prince George’s County.”
Eubanks, who has not commented on the allegations, said in a text message Monday evening that he had nothing to add beyond what his attorney said.
Burroughs’s attorney, Judith Danso, issued a short statement as well. “A resolution has been reached, and Mr. Burroughs has decided to focus on the matter of importance, which is serving the parents, students and residents of Prince George’s County,” she said.
Burroughs said Monday he is looking to put the incident behind him. But he also said he had not decided on whether to pursue the assault charge against Eubanks. That complaint must undergo a screening process, according to the state’s attorney’s office. Burroughs would have to appear on a set date, and prosecutors would have to find sufficient evidence.
The alleged incident came after a fractious school board meeting focused on the exit of the district’s chief executive, Kevin Maxwell, who was given a nearly $800,000 payout on his employment contract as he left amid a string of scandals.
During the board’s discussion, member David Murray called for Eubanks to resign, and Burroughs supported the idea.
Shortly after the meeting ended, the board’s attorney asked Burroughs to come to a back room, Burroughs said. Once he got there, Burroughs said Eubanks pushed and threatened him, challenging the call for his resignation. Burroughs said he asked school system police officers in the room to intercede, and Eubanks was escorted out of the building by police.
Last week, a judge granted a temporary restraining order. The judge was expected to hear from both sides and consider the merits of the case at Tuesday’s proceeding.
School system officials issued a statement late last week saying the circumstances are under review.
Burroughs said he had not changed his position on issues that preceded the incident.
“I stand firm in my opposition to giving someone $800,000 that could have gone to the classroom, and I stand by my comments that made him so angry: He was a very weak negotiator, and that money could have gone to the school supply budget, it could have gone to scholarships,” Burroughs said.