Education

Judge says Hundley failed ‘to maintain honesty’ by recommending accused teacher

An administrative law judge in Tallahassee recommended a punishment for Lincoln Memorial Academy principal Eddie Hundley’s involvement in providing “misleading employment references” to a teacher who he allegedly knew was under criminal investigation.

In 2017, Hundley first recommended his former employee, Quentin Peterson, for a position as a substitute teacher just weeks after Peterson resigned from Lincoln in the middle of an investigation into a relationship with a former student, and once more in 2018 for a math teacher position at Booker High School in Sarasota.

Hundley has contested that the allegations against Peterson were not sustained at the time of his recommendations, but school officials say he shouldn’t have checked a box that said he had no reason to believe Peterson could not work with children.

On Friday, a judge said she agreed.

Judge Lynne A. Quimby-Pennock wrote that Hundley deserved to have his educator’s certificate revoked for five years, followed by five years of probation. The recommended punishment would also require that Hundley take an ethics course and pay a fine of $2,400 within one year.

According to Quimby-Pennock’s written opinion, Hundley failed to “maintain honesty in all professional dealings,” submitted “fraudulent information on a document in connection with professional activities, and failed to “disclose material facts in another’s application for a professional position.”

Former state education commissioner Pam Stewart wrote in an Aug. 23, 2018, letter that she found probable cause to justify sanctions against Hundley.

The Florida Department of Education’s Education Practices Commission will enter a final order in the case at a later date.

Peterson’s jury trial for possession of child pornography is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Ryan Callihan is the Bradenton Herald’s County Reporter, covering local government and politics. On the weekends, he also covers breaking news. Ryan is a graduate of USF St. Petersburg.
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