Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando teacher reaches deal to keep her job after showing up drunk

BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County middle school language arts teacher who was intoxicated while on duty in December has reached a deal that will allow her to keep her job, according to the Hernando County School District.

Erin Cougill, 47, signed an agreement April 30 admitting she was drunk while working at West Hernando Middle School on Dec. 11.

In exchange for the superintendent not seeking termination, Cougill agreed to see an addiction or abuse expert and complete all recommended programs and requirements. She agreed to remain suspended without pay through the 2013-14 school year, according to the agreement.

She must also consent to drug and alcohol testing for the 2014-15 school year; any positive test brings immediate termination.

The agreement, called a "stipulation for employee discipline," goes before the School Board for approval at today's regular School Board meeting. Superintendent Lori Romano has recommended approval of the item.

On Feb. 4, the School Board approved Romano's recommendation that Cougill be suspended without pay and that the case be referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings.

According to the district's investigation, Cougill, a 14-year veteran of the Hernando School District, showed signs of impairment on the morning of Dec. 11, including slurred speech, dilated pupils, unsteadiness and incoherent conversation. That afternoon, around 2:30 p.m., Cougill took a "reasonable suspicion" test, which showed positive results for alcohol "well above the legal limit of 0.08" at which a motorist is presumed impaired in Florida.

A lawyer representing Cougill did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Hernando teacher reaches deal to keep her job after showing up drunk 06/09/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2014 7:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Drier pattern ending in Tampa Bay as front brings building rain chances throughout weekend

    Weather

    The drier, hot weather pattern across Tampa Bay will remain in place Friday before rain chances start to ramp up yet again through the weekend and into next week.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Police investigating death of child in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — An investigation is underway into the death of a child Thursday night at a mobile home park and a 25-year-old man has been named as a suspect, the Largo Police Department said.

  3. Goodbye, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle: Apple kills products as music moves to phones

    Science

    SAN FRANCISCO — The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have played their final notes for Apple.

    An iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are displayed at an Apple store in New York in 2015. The company discontinued sales of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle on Thursday, July 27, 2017, in a move reflecting the waning popularity of the devices in an era when most people store or stream their tunes on smartphones. [Associated Press]
  4. Review: Sherman Alexie's 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' a moving mother-son memoir

    Books

    Grief has no timetable and abides by no map or pattern. Nor, despite the efforts of the most skilled storytellers, does it surrender to our narratives about it.

    LOVEIS WISE   |   Special to the Times
  5. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership

    Business

    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]