Angry parents prove Hernandez was on two school districts' payrolls

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Parents say after months of digging, it basically comes down to documents proving Jeffrey Hernandez was working in Memphis, Tennessee while still being paid by the Palm Beach County School District.

What they want to know is did his former boss, Art Johnson, know about it and try to cover it up.

The grace period for new school board members didn't last long. Just after they took their seats for the first time Tuesday night, a group of concerned parents held them to their campaign promises of increased accountability and transparency.

"As parents and stake holders, we have been able to put these pieces together," said one parent.

"There are many documents that have been withheld," another added.

"Why is our district deleting records?" asked a parent.

"They've been digging through public records, looking into former Chief Academic Officer Jeffrey Hernandez's departure. He resigned after an unsuccessful attempt to implement a new curriculum.

Parents say Hernandez was paid for leave and sick days with their tax dollars under his Palm Beach County Schools' contract - all while working out of state. "We know that he was in Memphis, working days in Memphis, when he was paid to be here. We have those documents, the board has those documents. They know that's true," said Peter Kimball, a concerned parent.

But they and the school board say it's not Hernandez they are most concerned about. "It is about our superintendent and his responsibility to supervise employees which clearly wasn't done based on the documents we provided to the district," Christina Howley, another concerned parent.

On Tuesday, the school board approved a plan to investigate what Johnson knew about Hernandez's last few months in office.

What they find just might determine the length of the superintendent's employment. "I and the staff will work openly and completely with the audit company that is chosen to resolve this thing to everyone's satisfaction," said Johnson.

Another telling sign of which way the new school board is leaning in this situation. During Tuesday night's meeting, board member Frank Barbieri, one of Johnson's and Hernandez's most vocal critics, was unanimously voted in as the new school board chairperson.

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