14-000429TTS Walton County School Board vs. Harriet Hurley
 Status: Closed
Recommended Order on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.


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Summary: Respondent's actions in entering another teacher's classroom and loudly berating a student that she did not teach in order to assist her granddaughter constituted misconduct in office and warrants three-day suspension without pay.

1STATE OF FLORIDA

4DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HE

8WALTON COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD,

12Petitioner,

13vs. Case No. 14-0429TTS

17HARRIET HURLEY,

19Respondent.

20FINAL ORDER

22This cause came before the School Board of Walton County, Florida ("School

35Board"), for final agency action in accordance with Section 120.57, Florida Statutes.

48APPEARANCES

49For Petitioner: Holly A. Dincman, Esquire

55Coppins, Monroe, Adkins, and Dincman, P.A.

611319 Thomaswood Drive

64Tallahassee, Florida 32317

67For Respondent: Clay B. Adkinson, Esquire

73Adkinson Law Firm, LLC

7741 South 6 th Street

82DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435

86INTRODUCTION

87The Respondent, HARRIET HURLEY, is a teacher at WaltonMiddle School in

98office for actions set forth in the Notice of Charge of Misconduct in Office, dated December 18,

1152013.

116The Respondent requested a fonnal administrative hearing and one was held on

128March 27,2014, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALI"), F. Scott Boyd, in Tallahassee,

143Florida. On May 14,2014, the ALJ entered a Recommended Order finding that (a) Respondent

158was guilty of misconduct in office, and (b) the Respondent's misqonduct warrants suspending her

172employment, without pay, for a period of three (3) days. The Recommended Order has been

187forwarded to the School Board in accordance with Section 120.57(1), Florida Statutes, and a

201copy is attached to and made a part of this Final Order.

213The Respondent and Petitioner filed written exceptions to the Recommended

223Order onMay 29,2014. The Petitioner filed a response to Respondent's written exceptions on

237June 9, 2014.

240The School Board met on June 11, and July 1,2014, in DeFuniak Springs, Walton

255County, Florida, to take final agency action. At the hearing on June 11,2014, argument was

271presented by counsel for each of the parties. Upon consideration of the Recommended Order, the

286Respondent's Exceptions, the Petitioner's Exceptions, the Petitioner's Response to Respondent's

296Exceptions, and argument of counsel to the parties. and upon review of the complete record in

312this proceeding, the School Board finds and determines as follow:

322RULINGS ON EXCEPTIONS

325An agency may reject or modify an AU's finding of fact only if

338the finding is not supported by competent, substantial evidence, or the proceedings on which the

353finding was based did not comply with essential requirements of law. See Section 120.57(1)(1),

367Florida Statutes. The agency has no authority to reweigh conflicting evidence. The agency may

381adopt the ALl's findings of fact and conclusions of law in a recommended order, or the agency

398may reject or modify the conclusions of law over which it has substantive jurisdiction. See

413Section 120.57(1)(1), Florida Statutes. The agency may accept the recommended penalty in a

426recommended order, but may not reduce or increase the penalty without review of the complete

441record and without stating with particularity its reasons in the final order, by citing to the record

458injustifying its action. See Section 120.57(1)(1), Florida Statutes.

466The Respondent's Exceptions will be addressed in order.

474Respondent's Exception No.1. The Respondent's Exception No.1 is

482rejected because the finding of facts in the Recommended Order this Exception is directed to are

498supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

506Respondent's Exception No.2. The Respondent's Exception No.2 is

514rejected because it would require the School Board to make supplemental findings of fact on an

530issue for which the ALJ made no finding and the ultimate fact Respondent is asking the School

547Board to find is not a matter of opinion. The School Board has no authority to make such a

566supplemental finding of fact. In addition, the findings of facts in the Recommended Order this

581Exception is directed to are supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

594Respondent's Exception No.3. Respondent's Exception No.3 is accepted

602because there was no testimony from B.C. and hearsay statements cannot be used to establish this

618finding. As a result, there is no competent substantial evidence in the record to support the

634fmding this Exception is directed to.

640Respondent's Exception No.4. Respondent's Exception No.4 is rejected,

648except the next to last sentence of the Recommended Finding of Fact No. 15 in the

664Recommended Order is modified by deleting the first two (2) words of the sentence because

679there is no competent substantial evidence in the record to support the sentence without the

694modification. The exception to the finding of fact as so modified, is rejected because there is

710competent substantial evidence in the record to support the modified finding of fact.

723Respondent's Exception No.5. The Respondent's Exception No.5 is

731rejected because the findings of fact in the Recommended Order this exception is directed to are

747supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

755Respondent's Exception No.6. The Respondent's Exception No.6 is

763rejected because Respondent waived this exception at the hearing.

772Respondent's Exception No.7. The Respondent's Exception No.7 is

780rejected because Respondent waived this exception at the hearing.

789Remondent's Exception No. 8. The Respondent's Exception No.8 is

798rejected because the findings of fact in the Recommended Order this exception is directed to are

814supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

822Respondent's Exception No.9. The Respondent's Exception No.9 is

830rejected because the findings of fact in the Recommended Order this exception is directed to are

846supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

854Respondent's Exce.ption No. 10. The Respondent's Exception No. 10 is

864rejected because the findings of fact in the Recommended Order this exception is directed to are

880supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

888Respondent's Exception No. 11. The Respondent's Exception No. II is

898rejected because the findings offact in the Recommended Order this exception is directed to are

913supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

921Respondent's 12. The Respondent's Exception No. 12 is

929rejected because the findings of fact in the Recommended Order this exception is directed to are

945supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

953Respondent's Exception No. 13. The portion of Respondent's Exception No.

96313 to the first comma is accepted because this is what the Recommended Order provides in

979paragraph 43 of the Findings of Fact. The remainder of the Respondent's Exception No. 13 is

995rejected because the findings of fact in the Recommended Order this portion of the exception is

1011directed to are supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.

1022Respondent's Exception No. 14. Respondent's Exception No. 14 is rejected

1032because this exception is to a conclusion of law and there is competent substantial evidence in

1048the record to support this conclusion oflaw by the AU.

1058Respondent's Exception No. 15. Respondent's Exception No. 15 is rejected

1068because this exception is to a conclusion of law and there is competent substantial evidence in

1084the record to support this conclusion of law by the AU.

1095Respondent's Exception No. 16. Respondent's Exception No. 16 is rejected

1105because this exception is to a conclusion oflaw and there is competent substantial evidence in

1120the record to support this conclusion of law by the ALJ.

1131Respondent's Exception No. 17. Respondent's Exception No. 17 is rejected

1141because this exception is to a conclusion of law and there is competent substantial evidence in

1157the record to support this conclusion oflaw by the AU.

1167Respondent's Exception No. 18. Respondent's Exception No. 18 is

1176rejected because this exception is to a conclusion oflaw and there is competent substantial

1190evidence in the record to support this conclusion of law by the ALJ.

1203The Petitioner's Exceptions will be addressed in order.

1211Petitioner's Exception No. 1. Petitioner's Exception No.1 is rejected

1220because there is competent substantial evidence in the record to support the finding by the AU

1236that three (3) days suspension without pay is appropriate.

1245Petitioner's Exception No.2. Petitioner's Exception No.2 is rejected

1253because there is competent substantial evidence in the record to support the finding by the ALJ

1269that three (3) days suspension without pay is appropriate.

1278FINDINGS OF FACT

1281The School Board adopts the Findings of Fact set forth in paragraphs 1-9; 11-14

1295and 16-43 of the Recommended Order. The School Board also adopts the Findings of Facts set

1311forth in paragraph 15 of the Recommended Order as modified by the ruling on the exception to

1328this finding.

1330CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1333The School Board adopts the Conclusions of Law set forth in paragraphs 44-72 of

1347the Recommended Order.

1350PENALTY

1351The School Board adopts the penalty recommended by the ALJ in paragraph 72 of

1365the Recommended Order and finds the recommendedpenalty of three (3) days

1376without pay is appropriate.

1380WHEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUJDGED that the

1389Respondent, HARRIET HURLEY be, and she is hereby suspended from her employment with

1402the School Board of Walton County, Florida, without pay, for a period ofthree (3) days. This

1418Final Order shall take effect upon filing with the Superintendent of Schools as Secretary of THE

1434SCHOOL BOARD OF WALTON COUNTY, FLORIDA.

1440A copy of this Final Order shall be provided to the Division of Administrative

1454Hearings within fifteen (15) days offiling as set forth in Section 120.57(1)(m), Florida Statutes.

1468DONE AND ORDERED this 1 st day of July, 2014.

1478THE SCHOOL BOARD OF WALTON COUNTY, FLORIDA

1485BY:

1486olL.

1487Superintendent and Ex-Officio

1490Secretary to the School Board of Walton County, Florida

1499NOTICE OF RIGHT TO APPEAL

1504Any party adversely affected by this Final Order may seek judicial review

1516pursuant to Section 120.68, Florida Statutes, and Fla. R. App. P.9.030(b)(1)(C) and 9.110. To

1530initiate an appeal, one copy of a Notice of Appeal must be filed, within the time period stated in

1549the Fla R. App. P.9.110, with the Superintendent as Ex-Officio Secretary of The School Board

1564of Walton County, Florida, 145 Park Street, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435. A second copy of

1579the Notice of Appeal, together with the applicable filing fee, must be filed with the First

1595District Court of Appeal.

1599Attachment: Copy of Recommended Order

1604Copies furnished to:

1607Holly A. Dincman. Esquire

1611Coppins, Monroe, Adkins,

1614and Dineman, P.A.

16171319 Thomaswood Drive

1620Tallahassee, Florida 32308

1623Clay B. Adkinson, Esquire

1627Adkinson Law Firm, LLC

163141 South ()th Street

1635DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435

1639Carlene H. Anderson

1642Superintendent

1643School Board of Walton County, Florida

1649145 Park Street

1652DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435

1656Pam Stewart

1658Commissioner of Education

1661Department of Education

1664Turlington Building, Suite 1514

1668325 West Gaines Street

1672Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

1675Matthew Carson, General Counsel

1679Department of Education

1682Turlington Building, Suite 1244

1686325 West Gaines Street

1690Tallahassee, Florida 32399·0400

Select the PDF icon to view the document.
PDF
Date
Proceedings
PDF:
Date: 07/10/2014
Proceedings: Agency Final Order filed.
PDF:
Date: 07/10/2014
Proceedings: Written Exceptions to Recommended Order filed.
PDF:
Date: 07/10/2014
Proceedings: Petitioner's Exceptions to Recommended Order and Incorporated Memorandum of Law filed.
PDF:
Date: 07/01/2014
Proceedings: Agency Final Order
PDF:
Date: 05/14/2014
Proceedings: Recommended Order
PDF:
Date: 05/14/2014
Proceedings: Recommended Order (hearing held March 27, 2014). CASE CLOSED.
PDF:
Date: 05/14/2014
Proceedings: Recommended Order cover letter identifying the hearing record referred to the Agency.
PDF:
Date: 05/02/2014
Proceedings: Petitioner's Proposed Recommended Order filed.
PDF:
Date: 05/02/2014
Proceedings: (Respondent's Proposed) Recommended Order filed.
PDF:
Date: 05/01/2014
Proceedings: Order Granting Extension of Time.
PDF:
Date: 04/29/2014
Proceedings: (Respondent's) Motion for Extension of Time to File Proposed Order filed.
PDF:
Date: 04/21/2014
Proceedings: Notice of Acceptance of Late-filed Exhibit and Granting of Official Recognition .
Date: 04/14/2014
Proceedings: Transcript Volumes I-III (not available for viewing) filed.
Date: 04/09/2014
Proceedings: Petitioner's Proposed Exhibit No. 15 filed (exhibit not available for viewing).
PDF:
Date: 04/07/2014
Proceedings: Letter Judge Boyd from Melissa Leonard enclosing Petitioner's Exhibit Number 15 filed.
Date: 03/27/2014
Proceedings: CASE STATUS: Hearing Held.
PDF:
Date: 03/21/2014
Proceedings: Respondent's Notice of Service of Answers to Petitioner's First Set of Interrogatories filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/21/2014
Proceedings: Respondent's Amended Response to Petitioner's First Request for Admissions filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/21/2014
Proceedings: Joint Pre-hearing Stipulation filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/20/2014
Proceedings: Respondent's Response to Petitioner's First Request for Admissions filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/14/2014
Proceedings: Petitioner's Response to Respondent's First Request for Production of Documents filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/14/2014
Proceedings: Petitioner's Notice of Service of Answers to Respondent's First Set of Interrogatories filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/06/2014
Proceedings: Notice of Petitioner's First Set of Interrogatories filed.
PDF:
Date: 03/06/2014
Proceedings: Notice of Appearance (Melissa Leonard) filed.
PDF:
Date: 02/28/2014
Proceedings: Walton County School Board's First Requests for Admissions filed.
PDF:
Date: 02/28/2014
Proceedings: Respondent's First Request for Interrogatories filed.
PDF:
Date: 02/28/2014
Proceedings: Respondent's First Request for Production of Documents filed.
PDF:
Date: 02/28/2014
Proceedings: Notice of Service Respondent's First Request for Production of Documents and Interrogatories filed.
PDF:
Date: 02/10/2014
Proceedings: Notice of Appearance (Clay Adkinson) filed.
PDF:
Date: 02/04/2014
Proceedings: Order of Pre-hearing Instructions.
PDF:
Date: 02/04/2014
Proceedings: Notice of Hearing (hearing set for March 27, 2014; 9:30 a.m.; Tallahassee, FL).
PDF:
Date: 02/03/2014
Proceedings: Joint Response to Initial Order filed.
PDF:
Date: 01/27/2014
Proceedings: Initial Order.
PDF:
Date: 01/24/2014
Proceedings: Request for Administrative Hearing filed.
PDF:
Date: 01/24/2014
Proceedings: Agency action letter filed.
PDF:
Date: 01/24/2014
Proceedings: Notice Charge of Misconduct in Office filed.
PDF:
Date: 01/24/2014
Proceedings: Referral Letter filed.

Case Information

Judge:
F. SCOTT BOYD
Date Filed:
01/24/2014
Date Assignment:
01/27/2014
Last Docket Entry:
07/10/2014
Location:
Tallahassee, Florida
District:
Northern
Agency:
ADOPTED IN TOTO
Suffix:
TTS
 

Counsels

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