Carey joins probe of sex abuse in Arundel schools Lawyer plans run for attorney general

September 08, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Eleanor M. Carey, a former deputy state attorney general making a second bid for the post of Maryland attorney general, is joining the legal team investigating how the Anne Arundel public school system dealt with allegations that teachers sexually abused students.

A lawyer in private practice in Baltimore, Ms. Carey said she agreed to volunteer "as much time as it takes" to get to the bottom of what she called a "terrible puzzle." The probe is supposed to be completed by Nov. 30.

The investigator hired last month for $106,000 by the school system, lawyer Alan I. Baron, said he sought Ms. Carey because of the growing scope of the probe and because he was impressed by her skills when they worked together on a previous investigation.

"I think she is a terrific investigative lawyer," Mr. Baron said. "I really needed some help. It's a big task and it's getting bigger all the time."

"There is nothing more important than making sure schools are safe," Ms. Carey said yesterday. "Citizens and taxpayers need to know how this happened and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Ms. Carey said that because the election is more than a year off, she could devote time to the probe. She is considered the major Democratic threat to J. Joseph Curran Jr., who is seeking a third term as state attorney general. She lost to him in 1986.

Ms. Carey and Mr. Baron, both 51, worked together at a Baltimore law firm nearly 20 years ago. More recently, they served as special counsel in 1991 and 1992 to the select commission charged with investigating the failure of Rhode Island's privately insured financial institutions.

In that probe, much of Ms. Carey's duties centered on government actions and recommendations for reform. Both are key areas of the Anne Arundel investigation.

Mr. Baron's state-ordered probe is to determine whether Superintendent C. Berry Carter II, who is on paid administrative leave, failed to report suspected child abuse to police or social workers, thus violating state law; to find out whether complaints of child abuse were properly handled by the schools; and to make recommendations for improvements.

Since Northeast High School teacher Ronald W. Price was arrested April 8 and admitted on television that he had sexual trysts with several female students, two other teachers at Northeast have been charged with one count each of child sex abuse.

Mr. Price's trial began yesterday.

Allegations that school officials knew for several years about Mr. Price's activities but did nothing sparked a state investigation, which concluded in July that key Northeast administrators did not report to police or social workers allegations made against Mr. Price in 1989.

State investigators also believed that Mr. Carter -- then the county's deputy superintendent -- was notified of allegations made against Mr. Price but took no action.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.