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Pinellas attorney announces resignation



jim_robinson.jpgPinellas County school board attorney Jim Robinson on Tuesday announced his plans to resign his post at the end of August 2012, about 14 months shy of his contract end date.

"Sometimes you just realize that a change is appropriate," Robinson said following the school board workshop at which he made his announcement.

Robinson, pictured left, was hired by the Pinellas County School Board in 2005. Before that he served as staff attorney and director of Human Resources in Alachua County. He has also served as general counsel at the Florida Department of Education and school board attorney in Martin County.

Board members gave him mixed marks in their most recent evaluations, though, as he pointed out today, the average rating across all seven was favorable. He has weathered some tense political times, notably a very visible feud with former superintendent Clayton Wilcox in 2008

Asked Tuesday about his plans, Robinson said he hopes to spend time writing, specifically working on a "legal treatise" for school board members and administrators.

His announcement comes on the heels of Superintendent John Stewart's notice last week that he will be departing the district in December.

"So, everyone the board hires is leaving us," quipped board member Peggy O'Shea.

Here is the letter from which Robinson read aloud to the board in making his announcement:

Dear Members,

I will be leaving the District at the end of August 2012, and wanted to give you as much notice as I could to enable you to plan for the transition.

I am grateful to each of you for the privilege of serving as general counsel. I am especially grateful to Mrs. Lerner, Ms. Clark and Mrs. O'Shea who have been with me from the beginning and who supported me through some difficult times. I am grateful to my staff in the office of general counsel who have made it possible for me to provide you high quality legal representation throughout my tenure. I have always said that none of us has any value in the district system except to the extent that we advance student academic achievement. I hope that my efforts have assisted you and district staff in doing just that.

I am particularly pleased to have been part of the Bradley mediation efforts resulting in the memoranda of understanding in student achievement, student discipline, assignment to programs and classes, and administrative and faculty assignments. I am also pleased that in partnership with risk management I have helped to significantly reduce the amount of tort liability and litigation costs.

While you will no doubt find an attorney who is brighter and possessed of greater skills and abilities than I, you will not find a more zealous advocate or one more dedicated that I to the best interests of the Board, the administration, faculty, staff and students.

My personal thanks to each of you, Members, and very best wishes as you face the challenges ahead.

Sincerely and respectfully,


Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect Robinson's position that the average rating across all seven of his board evaluations reflected a favorable score.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:40pm]


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