Another Sexual Misconduct Related Suspension, This Time In Baltimore

The 11/9/2018 edition of the Baltimore Sun published an article by Sarah Meehan that reports the decision by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) to suspend their concertmaster, Jonathan Carney, for what the orchestra defined as “inappropriate behavior.”

Adaptistration People 195The alleged incident that led to Carney’s suspension occurred at the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra where the victim accused Carney of verbally attacking her. As a result, a district court granted a temporary peace order against Carney.

According to the Maryland Judiciary, a peace order “provides protection to people experiencing certain kinds of abuse who are not eligible for protective orders.” Petitioners must file complaints within 30 days of when the abuse occurred while definitions of abuse include:

  • Act that causes serious bodily harm;
  • Act that places the petitioner in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
  • Assault;
  • Rape or sexual offense;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Harassment;
  • Stalking;
  • Trespass under Title 6, Subtitle 4 of the Criminal Law Article; or
  • Malicious destruction of property

The 11/9/2018 edition of the Baltimore Sun published another article, also written by Meehan, that provides additional details related to the alleged incident:

The complaint alleges that on Oct. 31 at about 8:30 p.m., Carney approached the employee in the lobby of the First English Lutheran Church in Baltimore’s Guilford neighborhood, where the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra had been rehearsing. In the court documents, the woman alleged Carney verbally attacked her.

“You have a lot of nerve coming here after what you did. You had no right to say what you said, and you will be hearing from my lawyer,” Carney said, according to the peace order application. “Your teacher … will never work again, and you will never see the light of day when I’m finished. Don’t even think about coming to the concert tomorrow night. I don’t want you there. I don’t want you anywhere near me.”

[The judge] ordered Carney not to threaten the petitioner, not to contact her, not to enter her residence, and to stay away from the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, according to court documents.

The hearing on whether the peace order will become permanent, along with any other potential judgements, is scheduled for today.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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