Baltimore County Public School Board. Photo by John Lee.

A Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge has ordered the county school board to immediately renew the contract of the school system’s chief auditor who was fired six weeks ago.

The embattled school auditor has been targeted by some board members over the years for critical audits about how the board handles its budget and spends taxpayer money.

On May 17, the school board voted to terminate Andrea Barr’s annual contract, which expires June 30. Six of the 11 members present voted to renew Barr’s contract. The remaining five board members did not vote, instead either abstaining or recusing themselves.

There are 12 seats on the board, the last of which was vacant at the time of the vote. It takes at least seven votes for the board to approve any agenda items.

The temporary restraining order from Judge Nancy Purpura takes issue with that seven-vote threshold. It requires the school board to “correct its official record and minutes to properly, truthfully, and accurately reflect the lawful vote in favor of renewing plaintiff Barr’s employment contract.”

A separate lawsuit filed by Barr’s attorney alleges the May 17 vote was orchestrated to put an “illegitimate end to plaintiff’s career. They have acted outside the scope of their authority and with gross negligence and malice.”

Read more (and listen) at WYPR.