LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke is accused of suspending an active investigation into administrator Deedara Hicks. New documents say Hicks was accused of drinking on the job.
The State investigation in 2012 alleges Hicks was under the influence while at work. Just last month, the state said it wouldn't take any action against Hicks, but the documents also show Dr. Burke tried to shut down the investigation. WINK News obtained documents that show what Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke was allegedly trying to suspend.
It says in August 2011, employees observed Deedara Hicks having difficulty staying awake and walking. They said they could smell alcohol. Employees also said they saw two small bottles of wine in her purse. But just last month, the state decided not to take action against Hicks. In the documents, Dr. Burke says the accusations stemmed from a disgruntled employee, and he tried to have the investigation suspended. That's what the state is now looking into.
The other allegations against the Superintendent deal with moving grant funds. District officials tell us those issues have already been resolved. Former school board member Bob Chilmonik calls all of the allegations against Burke "politically motivated" and "a witch hunt." That includes the Hicks investigation.
"Some of the charges were libelous and slanderous, in my opinion, that were made against her. And as far as suspending, I don't know the details of whether that happened or not, but I can say that it was investigated as to my knowledge and it's all been clear," said Chilmonik.