Councilman says he would quit teaching

February 25, 2010|By Bryan P. Sears | Patuxent Publications

Baltimore County Councilman Vincent J. Gardina said he will quit the substitute teaching job he began last month if the county attorney finds that it violates a county charter provision barring council members from employment by the state or county.

The councilman sought legal advice before taking the job and is awaiting a ruling from the county attorney.

Gardina said he has been teaching engineering and technology at Patapsco High School as a long-term substitute since Jan. 29. The five-term Democrat has said he plans to retire from politics when his council term ends in December.

"I was actually applying for a job for next year as a math teacher," Gardina said, adding that soon after he applied he was told that a position was available immediately.

The county charter states that a council member cannot "qualify or serve as a member of the County Council while he holds any other office or employment for profit of or under the state or county."

Gardina said the county attorney is researching whether the school system is a state or county agency and would provide an advisory opinion.

Had Gardina started teaching in September, he would be facing the same questions, since his council term wouldn't be over until December.

County Attorney John Beverungen did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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