Boca Raton High School’s Former Athletic Director Found “Not Guilty,” But Still To Be Fired.
Accused Of Seeking Pay For Work Not Performed. Jury Disagreed.
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Despite being found “not guilty” of stealing more than $24,000 from the Palm Beach County School District, former Olympic Heights High School Athletic Director Cindy Lucia is set to be fired during Wednesday’s School Board meeting.
Lucia was arrested in June of 2021 and charged with fraud and falsifying documents. At issue: Lucia was accused of receiving funds for coaching a team that she allegedly never coached. But a jury on September 15th decided that Lucia was NOT guilty of the charges brought against her. The Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts documented the Jury’s finding by writing, “not guilty on all counts, not guilty on all counts.”
In a termination letter sent on September 8th, 2022 and obtained by BocaNewsNow.com, Palm Beach County Superintendent of Schools Michael Burke wrote this to Lucia:
“On or about June 19, 2019 you became the subject of an Office of Inspector General investigation based upon a referral from School Police. On or about October 7, 2021 you became the subject of an Office of Professional Standards investigation based on a referral from the Office of Inspector General and allegations of policy violations related to Allegation 1: Misappropriation of District funds (athletic supplements) for duties not performed, totaling $24,836, beginning in Fall of 2016 through Fall of 2019. At the conclusion of the investigation, the allegations were substantiated.”
While the school district claims the allegations were “substantiated,” criminal charges led to the “not guilty” finding just days after the termination letter was sent. It was unclear early Tuesday morning if the “not guilty” finding will have any impact on the termination which is set to be approved on Wednesday, and will take effect on October 18th.
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