CREATED Sep. 20, 2012
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A Lee County School Board member blasting the Superintendent, saying he's not doing his job...but instead is violating school board policy. Tonight....some say this has more to do with politics than anything else. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason joins us now with more on this one.
Board member Jane Kuckel sends a scathing memo to the Superintendent and that has another board member calling her malicious and self-serving. Tonight, one thing is clear; this board is becoming a battleground.
It may seem like deja-vu, school board member Jane Kuckel issuing another scathing memo targeting Superintendent Joseph Burke.
Earlier this year....Kuckel issued a similar memo sparking a heated debate among board members. In her latest memo....Kuckel criticizes Burke on several issues including changing school bus stops, unapproved transfer of funds, and misuse of grant money.
Burke's second in command, Alberto Rodriguez, tells Fox 4...when it comes to that grant money; "Dr. Burke requested Florida's Department of Education to review past and current practices and no wrongdoing was found.”
Bob Chilmonik: "It's totally confusing, it makes absolutely no sense."
Bob Chilmonik is running for a school board seat and feels Kuckel is stirring things up before she leaves the District later this year.
Bob Chilmonik: "It appears there's a new series of attacks that will be made on the Superintendent."
Kuckel now criticizing Burke for not allowing buses to pick up students inside gated communities. The District's policy doesn't allow it but had been doing this as a courtesy for years.
In Kuckel's memo she criticizes Burke saying; "Any change should have only been implemented with a plan of action which followed Board policy."
She goes on to say Burke's decision was; "Haphazardly conceived behind closed doors and then shared with parents two days before the start of school which is in clear violation of District policy."
Burke's decision did spark outrage from parents who felt their children were in danger while waiting for buses on busy streets. Burke then assigned a task force to evaluate the safety of the new stops.....they determined they were indeed safe. Chilmonik wonders why Kuckel is still so upset.
Bob Chilmonik: "Here's the real question for the public; why this push at this particular time to try to remove this Superintendent from office?"
Kuckel declined to be interviewed for this story and we should tell you she is not seeking another term on the school board.