Former Bradenton Prep teachers’ suit to receive back pay continues

BRADENTON — Private school owner Hendrik Lamprecht’s efforts to have a lawsuit against him dismissed were turned down Thursday morning in Manatee County court.

The Prep Learning Academy owner asked Manatee County Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas to throw out a lawsuit filed by 12 teachers who worked at Bradenton Preparatory Academy. Lamprecht, through his attorney Edwin Mulock, said there were many unclear things about the lawsuit’s wording.

Mulock told Nicholas that the teachers’ complaint sues Lamprecht personally. But they weren’t employed by Lamprecht, Mulock said. They were employed by another corporation — The Children’s Place Inc. He added that the legal paperwork goes on to refer to a trust that would serve as a source to pay the teachers.

Mulock said “We don’t know what funds he’s talking about. It needs to be dismissed. But I have no objection to clarifying the language.”“There’s nothing (unclear) about this complaint,” Tommy Meyer, attorney for the 12 teachers, countered. “We alleged this individual took money owed to the plaintiffs.”

The judge agreed certain titles and relationships weren’t clear in the legal paperwork. But he didn’t throw out the lawsuit.Nicholas said the purpose of the lawsuit is “not to determine issues of fact. That’s the purpose of a hearing.”

The 12 teachers sued Lamprecht in mid-October. In the lawsuit, the teachers contend they are owed more than $200,000. Neither the teachers nor Lamprecht attended Thursday’s hearing.

The private, for-profit school has faced financial problems in the last year including owing more than $1 million in federal payroll taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. A lender won a $3.68 million foreclosure judgment and repossessed the school’s former campus on 40th Avenue West.

Lamprecht changed the school’s name to The Prep Learning Academy.

The Prep, however, has continued to have problems including having classes held at several different locations throughout Bradenton. It started the school year housed at the Bridge Church at Palma Sola Bay’s fellowship hall. It then moved to a Cortez Road West hotel. Then, it held classes at Braden River Baptist Church at 5412 S.R. 64 E. A permit was filed for the school to hold classes at the 7700 Cortez road site. Those permits are still pending.

Mulock has 30 days to file further paperwork in the case.