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LCS upholds suspension of Chiles High School principal

Leon County Schools
Posted at 3:34 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 15:53:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The decision to suspend Chiles Principal Joe Burgess for two weeks without pay was upheld Tuesday night by the Leon County School Board.

ABC 27 first reported on the incident leading up to the suspension in July 2021. Independent investigators hired by Leon County Schools recommended disciplinary action for Chiles High School principal Joe Burgess after finding evidence they say proves he paid employees in a way that was, quote, "grossly improper."

The investigation focused on claims that Burgess misdirected Advanced Placement funds at Chiles High School.

Later in July, Burgess hired attorney Stephen Webster to appeal the proposed suspension and the board turned the matter over to the Division of Administrative Hearings before any district disciplinary action.

The matter resurfaced at Tuesday's board meeting after a special meeting was held on April 4 to discuss the matter.

Originally, according to the LCS agenda from the meeting, Burgess filed exceptions to a recommended order in February 2022 which Superintendent Rocky Hanna responded to later that month.

A PDF of these exceptions and the final order was attached to the LCS agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

This document, shown below, outlined every exception and explained why it was being rejected.

In the conclusion of the document, it states that the school board adopts the recommended order for a two-week suspension without pay.