Martin County superintendent responds to cheating allegations
March 7, 2012 at 4:22 AM EST - Updated June 26 at 5:10 PM
MARTIN COUNTY, FL (WFLX) At Tuesday Morning's workshop, Martin County School board members discussed future capital improvements. But it's the recent past of school superintendent Nancy Kline that's making news.
In November of 2009, it was noted in press releases that Kline had passed the test for the "Florida Superintendent Special Certification Program.
Passing it allowed her to receive an additional 2-thousand dollars annually. But a memo sent this past January to the school district's attorney from Kim Sabol, the district's labor and employment representative, claimed that Kline had phoned a former district consultant for help on the exam.
The consultant told Sabol that Kline kept asking her things like "What about this one?" or "Listen to this" and would go over other questions.
"The superintendent wouldn't go on camera with us, but released a written statement saying the allegations were untrue and politically motivated."
Kline wrote, "I am confident the facts will prove that I have followed the requirements of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. Ms. Sabol's allegation is false and is nothing more than a smear campaign. It is unfortunate that this is what some individuals will stoop to during the political season."
Kline also noted Sabol has a pattern of filing complaints with the district. Kline is running for re-election this fall.
Board member Laurie Gaylord is the challenger. Gaylord denied having anything to do with the leak of the complaint to the press. "I had no knowledge of this until it came to the school district, until it was released."
Board member Dr. David Anderson, who is stepping down this year after 32 years, says this is a true test where "character counts". "I'd like to know what happened, is it true and if it isn't true to clear her and if it is true, we've got serious problems."
The school board attorney contacted the legal services coordinator at the Martin County Sheriff's Office shortly after getting the complaint in January.
The sheriff's office sent it to its internal affairs unit which determined that any alleged wrongdoing would have happened outside of Martin County, so it is outside their jurisdiction.
The matter has since been sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement which is reviewing the allegations but has not begun an active investigation.