Former Manatee County Charter School principal under fire

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A former Manatee county charter school principal has refused to step down, and now the state is taking action.

State officials feel the former principal of Lincoln Memorial Academy is a danger to students.

For Eddie Hundley, the former principal of the charter school Lincoln Memorial Academy, his troubles started last year.

In 2018, Hundley recommended teacher Quentin Peterson for a job with Sarasota county schools.

Peterson was later charged with child porn possession and it was soon discovered Hundley knew about the investigation, yet gave him a glowing review anyway.

Just this past May, Hundley’s teaching license was revoked.

But instead of stepping down, Hundley and the board of Lincoln Memorial gave him a new title- ‘CEO.’

“Mr. Hundley’s name change of the position does not diminish the responsibilities,” said Manatee County school district attorney Mitchell Teitelbaum. “It’s not a hands-off job. You can’t do this remotely.”

The Florida Department of Education says this is illegal. And not only that- Lincoln’s financials are a mess. A few teachers are not getting paid, and the state says the gross mismanagement possibly borders on fraud.

The state wants Hundley gone by next Wednesday.

8 On Your Side tried to reach him and also went to the school, but staffers inside refused to open the door.

Despite the controversy, Hundley still has supporters.

“He’s an awesome guy. I been in the Army 28 years, I worked with him for a year and I believe in the community, I believe in him, and he’s awesome at what he’s doing,” said school employee Grady Huggins.

If Hundley does not step in by next Wednesday, then the Florida Department of Education will step in.

“It is not the desire, plan or goal of the school district of Manatee county remove Lincoln Memorial Academy’s charter or to see it cease its operations,” said Manatee County school district spokesman Mike Barber.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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