Attorneys presented closing arguments this week in the ongoing case to decide whether to remove Prince George’s County school board member Juanita Miller from her position.
Richard O’Connor, an administrative judge with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, has up to 90 days to provide a written decision. The clock began ticking Wednesday after legal representatives for Miller and six current and former school board members appeared before the judge.
Once issued, O’Connor’s recommendation would then go to the state Board of Education, which will decide whether to accept the judge’s ruling.
Miller faces allegations of misconduct in office, willful neglect of duty and incompetence.
The allegations have been made by six current and former board members: Raaheela Ahmed, Edward Burroughs III, Kenneth Harris, David Murray, Shayla Adams-Stafford and Joshua Thomas, who are represented by attorney Brandon Cooper. Ahmed, Burroughs and Thomas are no longer on the school board.
Some disagreements surfaced publicly between those members and Miller after she was appointed in January 2021 by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.
Miller’s attorneys are Bruce Marcus and Sydney Patterson, who took the case after the state Board of Education decided last year to move forward with the process to remove Miller from the board.
Miller requested an administrative hearing before O’Connor, which was conducted virtually for eight days.
A local group called the Citizens for Accountability in PGCPS Board of Ed requested this week the state education board withdraw all charges against Miller.
Tonya Wingfield, one of the group’s representatives, said in a brief interview Friday that Miller stood up against her current and former colleagues who are “ruining the integrity of the school system.”
“Nobody is saying that Dr. Miller [hasn’t] made any mistakes. I don’t think any chair we’ve had can say they didn’t make mistakes,” she said. “It was clear what she was trying to do is protect the integrity of our school system.”
Meanwhile, the Prince George’s school board selected a new chair, Judy Mickens-Murray, by an 8 to 5 vote on Jan. 12.
Adams-Stafford received five votes.
“We have a new chair. We have a new chair,” said Miller, who handed the gavel to Mickens-Murray during the slightly more than one-hour meeting.
It’s unknown who board members supported because the vote was conducted by secret ballot.