Florida school bus driver convicted of soliciting prostitution

Posted at 4:48 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 13:59:34-04

BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - A Manatee County Schools bus driver is convicted of soliciting prostitution and still fighting for his job.

50-year-old Jerome Heaven was arrested in an undercover operation conducted by Bradenton Police in July 2017. Heaven was convicted by a jury in February and sentenced to probation and community service.  A month has passed and still Heaven is employed by the district.

On Friday, legal counsel for Manatee County School District will take the issue in front of the school board and ask members to fire him. According to school board members, Heaven has a right to this hearing before he's terminated.

Since Heaven was arrested more than a year and a half ago, the district says he has not been around students. Instead, he's been washing dishes and doing desk work at the district support center.

This isn't the first issue the district has had with Heaven in his 13 years of employment.

Heaven was accused of leering at girls on his school bus back in 2010.

According to the district, school officials tried to fire him, but the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings overturned their decision, citing the district did not have enough evidence to do so.

ABC 7's Jess Doudrick sat down and talked with Heaven at his home on Wednesday. Heaven claims that he is innocent and that the undercover Bradenton Police Department officer approached him, not the other way around, as police claim. Heaven also says he never made any deal to exchange money for sex.

The Manatee County School Board will hear both sides of this case during their special meeting on Friday at 9:30 a.m.