LEE COUNTY, Fla.- WINK News has learned a Lee County School administrator, at the center of an investigation, was fired from her previous job.
The Florida Department of Education says it terminated Dr. Deedara Hicks from her state-funded position at Florida Atlantic University in 2011.
Hicks served as a Regional Executive Director, who supported and supervised other schools and districts. It goes on to explain that she wasn't meeting the job's goals and responsibilities, and request she be terminated from the position.
This was just months before Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke hired Hicks to be a top administrator in Lee County. He says, "I was completely unaware of it, I haven't seen the letter, I can't speak to it in any context."
He says he doesn't believe she has knowledge of the letter either, and doesn't believe she was fired. "She resigned. She has I believe a copy of her resignation letter she sent to the Commissioner of Education." The two worked together previously in Orange County.
The April 2011 letter says in part, quote, "Dr. Hicks has failed to support the mission, purposes, and best interests of the Department and FAU. Dr. Hicks has failed to meet the expectations as required in her present role as Regional Executive Director. Dr. Hicks has been insubordinate by her failure to obey reasonable orders given to her by her supervisor. Dr. Hicks has had excessive absences without authorization. The Department cannot allow Dr. Hicks to continue to jeopardize such an important mission."
Board member Jeanne Dozier says she's shocked by what's in the letter and that Burke says he didn't know about it. "It is pretty alarming if the back up work was not done ahead of time that should have been done."
FAU confirms to us, Dr. Hicks last day at the university was May 2, 2011, but would not comment further.
State officials say the letter terminated Hicks from her state-funded position at FAU, not necessarily from the university itself.
The state is looking into whether Dr. Burke inappropriately suspended an investigation into allegations Dr. Hicks was drunk at work at Lee County in August 2011.
The superintendent says Dr. Hicks suffered from a medical condition which made her sick on the day in question, and he suspended the investigation because it violated policy.