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Lundy will get administrative hearing

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Basketball coach under suspension

By Jenna McKenna

Levy County School board took action this week on a tabled recommendation concerning Chiefland High School ESE teacher Mark Lundy. Lundy was suspended without pay two meetings ago on a recommendation by Superintendent Robert Hastings over an allegation that he falsified classwork for a student. At the last meeting, Hastings asked the board to dismiss Lundy, but Bronson board member Cameron Asbell objected, saying he felt the investigation conducted by the personnel office did not conclusively demonstrate Lundy's guilt.

“I have to be very certain before I vote to take away a man's livelihood,” Asbell said.

At Tuesday's meeting, Hastings returned with a different action – a stipulation that he and Lundy would ask the board to “request the assignment of an Administrative Law Judge by the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH)” to hear the evidence in the case and make a recommendation to the board for the proper disposition.

The hearing by the Adminstrative Law Judge must take place within 60 days of the appeal being submitted. Upon the issuing of a recommendation by the judge, the board must then vote by majority to sustain or change the judge's decision.

The board voted 4-0, with Williston member Frank Etheridge absent, to accept Hastings' new recommendation and send Lundy's case to the DOAH.

A short while later, when the board opened the floor to non-agenda items and public comment, Lundy approached the podium.

“I want to thank the board for their willingness to examine more fully the facts of this case,” Lundy said.

In other non-agenda action, former Chiefland High School calculus teacher Don Stewart also spoke in the meeting. Stewart had addressed the board some months ago after he received a letter notifying him that his contract would not be renewed. His speaking then caused a great stir among students and parents, and Stewart said he was saddened that the tumult had hurt and offended some board members. He apologized, asking board members to try to understand the shock and hurt he felt, and then wished the board the best of luck making good decisions in hard economic times.

Superintendent Hastings also ran down a list of significant personnel changes for this period, noting that although they were mentioned in the consent agenda, he wanted to call attention to them. Chiefland Middle School Principal will become principal at Hilltop School, where that position has been vacant for several months. His assistant principal at CMS, Darby Allen, will ascend to the principal slot. Chiefland High School Administrative Assistant Dennis Webber will become the AP at CMS. Robert Lowyns, Administrative Assistant at Williston High School, will become the AP, replacing Reginald Williams, who retired at the end of this year.