New councilwoman faces charges

PAHOKEE, FL (WFLX) Last week Felisia Hill was elected a Pahokee Commissioner and this week she's been arrested and accused of stealing from the Palm Beach County School District.

Hill beat out incumbent Henry Crawford, Jr. for the Commission 1 seat with 63 percent of the vote in last week's local election.

Wednesday morning she was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail in Belle Glade. She faces more than a dozen charges including grand theft, petit theft, and obstruction of justice.

At her first appearance, her bond was set at $57,000 according to the clerk at the court and around 4 p.m. she posted bail.

When approached she said, "I'll call you."

When asked if she had a response to the charges she responded, "I don't, you'll have to talk to my lawyer."

A spokeswoman from the Palm Beach County School District said she was arrested for falsifying tutoring records.

"First of all I'm very disappointed in Miss Hill," Pahokee Mayor J.P. Sasser said. "I've known her for many years and it's embarrassing for the City of Pahokee."

Hill is the president of Glades Extreme Tutoring Inc.

According to a Palm Beach County School Board investigation, on 26 different occasions, the program charged the school district thousands of dollars for allegedly tutoring students.

In each accusation in the probable cause affidavit, students allegedly denied receiving the help from Glades Extreme Tutoring while the program still received money from the school board.

The program is paid to supply tutoring for low achieving students from low income families.

Glades Extreme Tutoring's web site boasts an excellent rating from the Florida Department of Education.

"If she's guilty and she knows in her heart the truth then she needs to step aside and avoid any further embarrassment to the City of Pahokee and herself," Mayor Sasser said.

Hill, a former Glade View Elementary School teacher, resigned from her teaching position during the investigation last school year, a school spokeswoman said.

In an interview with NewsChannel 5's Ryan Calhoun last week before her election she said she wanted to be elected to rid all of the corruption inside of Pahokee's City Hall.

"I think once we get the corruption out of there it would then give the citizens hope," she said on March 12th, one day before her election.

Now voters and the mayor are waiting to see what happens next.

"Well you're innocent until proven guilty so she can be sworn in if she's bonded out of jail," Mayor Sasser said.

Pahokee's Mayor said the only way she wouldn't be sworn in at next Tuesday's commission meeting is if she stepped down or if the governor stepped in.

Glades Extreme Tutoring Vice President Fashara Hill, who is a former Palm Beach County School District employee, and the program director, Brantley Sisnett, were also arrested in connection with the investigation.

Sisnett is currently a secondary tech support technician at the Pahokee Middle Senior High School, according the probable cause affidavit.

The Palm Beach County School District declined to comment on the arrest of the three other than what's listed in the probable cause affidavit.