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Leon County School considers disciplinary action against Chiles High School Principal

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 23:24:28-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Independent investigators hired by Leon County Schools recently 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."

Superintendent Rocky Hanna said the district first learned of potential misconduct in June. Tuesday, he told the school board he reported: "that we had some information about Lawton Chiles High School and that I was going to conduct an investigation about some potential wrongdoing."

It pertained to undocumented hourly pay from Advanced Placement project funds.

"We hired an external council to look at this matter and bring back a review of exactly what took place," Hanna said.

According to the review, Burgess "falsified District records by approving, signing, and submitting payroll documents he knew or should have known were inaccurate."

Burgess and his attorney requested a name-clearing hearing, which the district denied.

His attorney, Stephen Webster, told ABC 27 quote "The district's refusal to provide a name clearing hearing only furthers his belief that this action is retaliatory."

Webster filed an appeal on Burgess's behalf.

Tuesday, the Leon County School board voted to send the appeal to the Division of Administrative Hearings prior to any District disciplinary actions.