BCPS Agrees To Pay Chief Auditor $115,000 In Settlement
BALTIMORE COUNTY - Baltimore County Public Schools have agreed to pay the school board's chief auditor $115,000 in non-economic damages and attorney's fees in a settlement.
BCPS Chief Auditor, Andrea Barr, filed a lawsuit in July alleging that the board fired her in May as a punishment for not following orders while performing an external audit.
According to the agreement obtained by WYPR, the board will pay $115,000 to Barr for her troubles and to cover her attorney's fees. Barr will also be awarded a new employment contract as part of the settlement.
Barr has agreed to drop her complaints filed with the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland Office of the Inspector General for Education in exchange for the agreement.
The controversy started when the board voted on renewing Barr's contract in May. Seven "yes" votes are required to approve a motion, and Barr's contract renewal only received six.
Barr later received an injunction in July blocking the board from firing her while the lawsuit played out. During hearings in July, Barr testified that she had been subject to threats and intimidation from former board chair Kathleen Causey.
"They were asking me to do things unethical and improper," Barr said. "It always felt like my head was in a guillotine."
Barr said that board members Russ Kuehn and Kathleen Causey pressured her to refrain from including information about board members' financial disclosure forms in her report to the external auditor. Barr says she refused, inciting the threats and controversy.
Only two of the five members who voted against renewing Barr's contract in May remain on the board. Causey, Lisa Mack, and Lily Rowe did not run for reelection in 2022, and Kuehn has announced he will leave the board once Wes Moore takes office.
Members Julie Henn and Russ Kuehn are set to remain on the board through 2024.