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Pinellas recommends firing for troubled administrator



Embattled Pinellas school district administrator Janet Hernandez is being recommended for firing after an investigation concluded she failed to disclose an important fact: that her daughter was the longtime girlfriend of a teacher she recommended for a district job.

Superintendent Julie Janssen says Hernandez should be fired because she violated several board policies, including those barring conflicts of interest, using a position for personal gain and conduct unbecoming a board employee.

A 9-page summary of a district investigative report, released to The Gradebook late Monday, also suggests Hernandez was not truthful when investigators asked about the relationship between her daughter and Michael Hernandez, who coincidentally share the same last name.

Michael Hernandez and Janet Hernandez’s daughter bought a home together in May 2009. They became engaged in December 2009. They recently married. But while Janet Hernandez told investigators she knew they were friends, she said she was unsure when they became engaged and suggested she was not aware of her daughter’s living arrangements.

That’s “highly implausible,” wrote Jim Lott, who heads the district office that investigates employee conduct and authored the report after interviewing 14 current and former employees, including Janet Hernandez and Michael Hernandez.

Pinellas officials ordered the investigation in late September after a St. Petersburg Times story noted the close, personal relationship between Janet Hernandez and Michael Hernandez, who Janet Hernandez recommended for a job, tied to her department, that he landed at Gibbs High. It was the latest twist in a months-long saga involving Janet Hernandez, who, armed with a glowing recommendation from Pinellas Superintendent Julie Janssen, left a teaching job in Manatee County in the fall of 2009 to head the Pinellas office of professional development.

Read more here.

Click on the links below to see the investigative report and the recommendation to dismiss.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:37pm]


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