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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Ethics Panel and Code of Ethics

The Ethics Panel consists of five members who are residents of Baltimore City. The panelists are appointed by the Chair of the Board of School Commissioners for overlapping terms of three (3) years, or until their successors are appointed. 

City Schools has accepted the resignation of Benjamin Neil as chair of its Ethics Panel. We thank Mr. Neil for volunteering for this service.  

Current members

Click a name in the caption below to read about that member of the Ethics Panel.

The Ethics Panel  

Pictured, left to right: Paris Lee; Nicole Leonard; Aaron S. Merki; LaTina Burse Greene, vice chair.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the Ethics Panel and Baltimore City Public Schools' Code of Ethics.

Ethics regulations

Members of the Board of School Commissioners (Board) and designated employees of Baltimore City Public Schools are covered by the Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics includes
  • Conflict of interest
  • Outside employment
  • Gifts and honoraria
  • Use of prestige of office
  • Disclosure of confidential information

Financial disclosure

Board members and designated employees are required to make certain disclosure statements on an annual basis because of their relationship to the decision-making steps for the expenditure of public funds. Download the list of vendors doing business with City Schools for the current fiscal year. For information regarding vendors doing business with City Schools outside of this time period, please contact the Procurement Department at 410-396-8757.

Lobbying disclosure

Any person whose intent is to influence a Board member or any employee or any person who has business with Baltimore City Public Schools and expends, within a reporting period, in excess of $75 in food, entertainment or gifts for that person must disclose this fact by registering as a lobbyist with the Ethics Panel.

Disclosure of gifts

An official may not solicit any gifts. However, an official may under certain circumstances accept gifts. Please see Section III.C.6 of the Code of Ethics policy.


Violation by any Board member or employee of the provisions of these regulations shall constitute grounds for discipline or personnel action or removal from office where provided by law, consistent with procedures set forth in the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland or the policies of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. Persons or organizations found in violation of the lobbying provisions of Code of Ethics shall be publicly identified and subject to other penalties as provided by law.


Exemptions may be granted by the Ethics Panel if the interests of the employee are to remote and insubstantial to affect the integrity of public actions, or if it is determined that application of the provisions would: (1) constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, (b) significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service, or (c) not be required to preserve the purposes of these regulations.

Advisory opinions

One of the duties of the Ethics Panel is to provide advisory opinions to persons subject to the regulations as to the applicability of these provisions. The panel provides interpretation of these regulations based on the facts provided or reasonably available to the panel at the time of deliberation. Advisory opinions issued by the panel are available to download from this page.

Forms and procedures


The Ethics Panel also handles and makes determinations as to complaints filed by any person(s) alleging violation of these regulations. The panel will meet within 15 working days of receiving a complaint. All complaints are treated confidentially and will, upon determination of the Ethics Panel, be referred to the Board of School Commissioners. Download the complaint form, or request a form by emailing or by calling 410-396-8709.