A video about a Maryland school board is getting national attention and pitting Democrat against Democrat in Prince George's County.
In a video tweeted by More Perfect Union, a pro-union activist group, some elected members of the Prince George's County School Board allege there's an effort to overthrow their election. They allege problems began when they voted for an agreement guaranteeing union-scale school construction jobs for county residents.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was one of the public figures to retweet it.
The elected members say once they asked for an audit into school construction project costs, they became targets of inaccurate ethics complaints.
“They were determined to remove us and they were going to do it by any means necessary,” Board Member Edward Burroughs says in the video.
Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce President David Harrington objects to the video.
“It was full of bias,” he said.
He was featured in the video after appearing at a rally calling for the state to review an ethics report filed against the elected members.
“There is no effort that I know about funded by the business community to unseat or overturn any election,” Harrington said. “I think that is bogus, at best, and irresponsible to even come to that conclusion.”
“I thought that my rights were violated because of the voting,” said Phyllis Wright, who has two children in the school system and appears in the video. “They wanted to just take all of the school board members off who we voted for.”
The video accuses County Executive Angela Alsobrooks of appointing members to the board, like its new chair, to silence the majority voting bloc in meetings.
Alsobrooks released a statement to News4 saying she has nothing to do with the school procurement or building process.
“This is nothing more than slanderous propaganda intended to deflect attention from the matters at hand,” the statement read. “I urge our community to be vigilant and watch closely the actions of those who took an oath to work for our families and our children.”
Former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey, who represents some of the elected board members, appears in the video. He told News4 it's outrageous someone is weaponizing the School Board’s ethics rules against some of its members. A representative with a Board of Education watch group said the elected members should make the ethics report public.