FORT MYERS, Fla. - A law firm hired by Edison State College to investigate president Kenneth Walker's performance at the school says it found grounds to terminate him, if his contract is even valid.
In November, the college put Walker on paid leave, then hired the firm Fowler White Boggs to build a case to fire him. With cause to terminate, the school says it would not have to pay out the $1.7 million left on Walker's contract.
Saturday, attorneys released their investigative report on Walker, giving Edison's leader of more than 20 years a failing grade. It lists 10 reasons why, including his presiding over a period when students were allowed to graduate without required courses, and attempting to interfere in an investigation into discriminatory hiring at the school.
The firm also cites a case where Walker "attempted to alter to his benefit" a cut in his pay the Board of Trustees approved. The report says Walker proposed the salary reduction in April as part of his succession plan, but after trustees signed off on it, he drafted a written copy with an added line they didn't agree to, which read, "involuntary termination of Contract for Employment... would result in the restoration and payment of any wage reduction..."
According to the report, there are also concerns with the validity of Walker's current contract. It says minutes from board meetings confirm sessions where Walker and the board discussed his contract "were not open to the public". The law firm says that would be a violation of the Sunshine Law, making the contract itself void.
The 30 pages of findings conclude with attorneys saying Walker fell short of his duties, by placing "his personal, self interest above what was in the best interest of the College."
Walker tells WINK News the firm's report is "riddled with inaccuracies," but says his attorney has advised him not to comment any further.
The school says the firm's findings will be discussed at Tuesday's board meeting.