Embattled Lee County administrator faces cameras for the first time
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED May. 10, 2013
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - For the first time on camera we're hearing from from Dr. Deedara Hicks.
The Lee County school administrator was accused of coming to work drunk.
While a state investigation cleared her of any wrongdoing, they are now investigating her boss, Dr. Joseph Burke, over how he handled the case.
Four in Your Corner's Kelli Stegeman standing shares the story you'll see on only on FOX 4.
In an interview with Lee Pitts Live set to air this weekend on FOX 4, Dr. Deedara Hicks appears calm and confident.
This is the first on camera interview for Hicks since district employees accused her of being drunk on the job just days after being hired by Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke. Hicks says what people thought they saw was different from reality.
"Sometimes when people don't know you they can assume," Dr. Hicks said. "And unfortunately I lost my husband about 4 years ago, tragically, and I had some elective surgery that caused me problems and Dr. Burke knew about that."
Hicks believes these false claims came from something bigger; board members criticizing the superintendent's hires to get him out of office.
"Unfortunately, Dr. Burke will tell you, I've been the victim of, he'll state that, its about not having him here," Hicks said.
Lee Pitts says after coming on his show his perception changed about Dr. Hicks.
"She had a lot of courage and I felt a lot more respect for her for coming on and sitting down in front of the camera for 30 min," said Pitts.
He expects this isn't the end of the story.
"I sense that there is a lawsuit coming down the pipe," said Pitts after the time he spent with Dr. Hicks off camera. "I think now that Deedara Hicks will be setting up herself to defend herself from what she may perceive with the onslaught of people trying to get her removed from the position."
The Florida Department of Education cleared Dr. Hicks of any wrongdoing. But, Dr. Burke is under investigation for telling district officials to stop digging into the Hicks matter.
Hicks says she's now moving forward.
"My only person that has to judge me in life is God," she said.
As the state investigation into Dr. Burke's actions continues, Burke says he will retire at the end of the school year to deal with medical issues involving his wife.
You can catch the full interview with Dr. Deedara Hicks this Sunday morning at 8:30 on Lee Pitts Live right here on FOX 4.