The Prince George's County school board chair accused of allegedly shoving and threatening a school board member has a restraining order in place against him until a hearing next week.
News outlets report that the order forbids Board of Education Chairman Segun Eubanks, from having unlawful contact with board member Edward Burroughs III, but doesn't mean Eubanks agrees to the accusations.
Eubanks' attorney Bruce Marcus told The Washington Post the order granted Monday by Judge Bryon Bereano in county District Court "basically says not to conduct yourself in an unlawful manner."
Burroughs sought the order and filed an assault complaint Thursday night. He says Eubanks attacked him after he joined a call for Eubanks to resign at a school board meeting Thursday where members voted on a deal to terminate the contract of the outgoing CEO of schools, Kevin Maxwell.
After the meeting, Burroughs told News4 that Eubanks grabbed him by the throat, pushed him into a bookcase and threatened him.
"His attorney asked me to come to the backroom," Burroughs said. "When I went to the backroom, he pushed me against the bookcase and whipped his finger in my face."
"He told me he was going to 'blank me up' several times," Burroughs said.
According to Burroughs, Eubanks said: "You were talking all that s--- out there. Why don't you talk that same s--- now?"
Three school system police officers pulled Eubanks away and escorted him off the premises, Burroughs said.
Some witnesses said they saw more of an argument than an assault.
Eubanks refused to comment on the advice of his counsel.
Prince George's County sheriff's deputies went to the Board of Education to try to serve Eubanks Friday, but the offices were closed Friday.
Tensions ran high as the board debated the terms of the departure agreement, which involved paying Maxwell $790,000.
Amid the debate over the settlement, board member David Murray called on Eubanks to resign.
"I want to take this opportunity to ask you, Dr. Eubanks, publicly to help us turn a new leaf by stepping down along with Dr. Maxwell," Murray said.
Burroughs spoke next.
"I think this board would be better off with absolute new leadership," Burroughs said. "If we're really going to turn a new leaf, we can't do it with a relative of the county executive leading the board."
"So I referred to him as a weak negotiator," Burroughs said. "I also mentioned that he is the former brother-in-law of the county executive. I think that kind of set him off a little bit as well."
Both calls for Eubanks' resignation were met with clapping and cheering from the crowd gathered at the meeting.
The board then voted to accept the payout for Maxwell — with Burroughs and Murray voting against the package — and Eubanks announced the meeting was adjourned.
Eubanks' attorney then called Burroughs into the room where the alleged assault occurred, Burroughs claims.
Burroughs said he got a stay-away order and that second-degree assault charges are pending.
Speaking to News4 on Friday, Burroughs said taxpayers were hurt the most.
"I was assaulted last night, but the biggest assault was to the taxpayers," Burroughs said. "Their money — over $800,000 — going down the drain. Not helping students or teachers at all. I think was the biggest assault of the night."
Kevin Maxwell is set to leave Prince George's County Public Schools after several tumultuous months, as teachers protested pay raises for central office staff and a school aide was sentenced for abusing children.
There was also a grade-tampering scandal.
Eubanks was appointed by County Executive Rushern Baker, his former brother-in-law. His term is set to expire in 2021. A statement from Baker's office said, "The county executive is aware of the alleged altercation between Board member Burroughs and Board Chair Eubanks. He believes that, whatever happened, it is unfortunate that they did not address their disagreement in a more professional manner."