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  • Fellow Editors

Wicomico School Board Chair Conducts Unethical Meeting and Falsifies the Record

The Wicomico County Board of Education had a board meeting on February 14, 2023 where the board's Chair Gene Malone conducted an unethical meeting along with Allen Brown, Vice Chair. In order to avoid disclosure and discussion by lumping several agenda items into one vote, several things occurred all at one time. We will break it down to show you the unethical conduct along with the falsified record of votes, which completely invalidates the meeting.

Below is the board agenda, which includes a contract for a van, a document management solution (copiers for the school system), a new Internet Service Provider, athletic equipment reconditioning, and several board policies, which there has been no review or discussion by the board in any meeting. Malone ramrodded the agenda with a "nothing to see here folks" approach. Look at the agenda carefully, and look at the record of voting for 5.1 - 5.6 for approval of consent items in 5.7.

* Now see what really happened and who voted.*

Yes, you heard and seen correctly. Malone makes a motion to lump all consent items 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6 together. He removed 5.4 from the batch of items for a separate vote, so that he could recuse himself for a conflict of interest with the service provider. A motion was called by Gene Malone on these items, which Allen Brown made a motion to approve and David Plotts made a second to the motion. John Palmer and Bonnie Ennis were the only ones who voted YEA. The rest were completely silent, including the call if anyone opposed.

For item 5.4, Allen Brown asked if there was a motion to approve the Internet Service Provider. David Plotts said "I'll approve" instead of "Motion to Approve." Bonnie Ennis made a second to a motion that never occurred. Brown then said, "All in favor" and then said "Aye" when all other board members said nothing. Brown was the only one who voted and he never called to see if anyone opposed. Brown carried the motion and approved it. Roberts Rules of Order clearly was not followed, and Brown did not have legitimacy or the votes to carry the motion.

There was a call for two separate votes, yet the meeting minutes below were recorded as a SINGLE VOTE for both, with ALL IN FAVOR OF SAYING AYE.

This meeting is completely invalid, and these consent items must be brought up again and voted on at the next board meeting in March. The "ramrodded agenda" by the Chair and the Vice Chair was a clear abuse of the seat. If a board member supported one agenda item or opposed another, it didn't matter. The board was placed in a position of all or nothing. This kind of conduct is completely unacceptable. Board members must wake up and speak up, as they are allowing Malone to manipulatively and blindly lead the board in a totalitarian manner. Incumbent Gene Malone has broken through the thin ice, and he's clearly not doing the right thing. Please contact your board members to let them know what you think and what you expect of them.

WCBOE Board Members

Gene Malone -

Allen Brown -

Kristin Hazel -

Bonnie Ennis -

Susan Beauchamp -

David Plotts -

John Palmer -

Fellows & Editors

February 15, 2023 Copyright

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