LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke has announced he will retire June 19th.
The announcement came this morning after months of criticism and investigations.
Dr. Burke initially announced his retirement plans at the end of March for family and health reasons. Then, he took a step back and said he may reconsider the decision. He said he wanted to wait for some medical tests for himself and his wife before making a final decision.
Today, he issued a memo to school board members that says, "At this time, I am planning to retire, effective June 19, 2013. The need and desire to attend important family health issues must now take precedence over professional goals and aspirations. It has been a great honor to serve as the Superintendent for the School District of Lee County. I am forever grateful for the community support over the years."
Burke says the ongoing investigations and accusations against him did not play a role in his decision. He calls the timing "uncomfortable" because he was already considering this retirement.
Now, the school board will have to decide how to move forward, whether to appoint someone within the district, appoint someone as interim superintendent, or launch a new search.
School board chair Mary Fischer says she is disappointed to see Dr. Burke leave but supports his decision to take care of his family and health. She says she would like to look back at the candidates from the last superintendent search to see if any of those people could be considered once again.