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Report: Principal lied to school board to protect teacher arrested for child porn, sex with minor

Posted: 11:15 PM, Jul 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-25 23:15:07-04

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — The principal of a new charter school in Manatee County defending his reputation to his new board, following a scathing letter of reprimand, that accuses Eddie Hundley of making “blatantly false” statements to protect, Quentin Peterson, a former teacher arrested on child porn charges.

Hundley telling members of the newly minted charter school Lincoln Memorial Academy, formerly Lincoln Middle School, his side of the story.

Related: Sarasota County teacher charged with possession of child pornography

“I would [have] preferred to have done this in an intimate setting, but because we are board, I have to do it publicly and therefore the media is allowed to be present,” Hundley said. “I would encourage people to read through the sensationalism and perhaps look at dates.  Some key dates would be when my recommendation was done.”

The letter of reprimand, dated May 2, 2018, was written by Manatee County Schools Superintendent Diana Greene. It calls into question Hundley’s comments made on a Sarasota County Public Schools Applicant Reference Form.  

The form shows Hundley gave Peterson “Superior” marks for every category of his evaluation.  And in the supervisor’s responses section, Hundley marked that Peterson’s job performance was “great, always organized and prepared.”  

In the section asking if Peterson had “any reason why this person should not work with students” Hundley marked “No.”

On Feb. 20, days before Hundley gave that glowing recommendation. Peterson was arrested for child porn and unlawful sex act with a minor.  

The Palmetto Police report says in May 2017 “a Lincoln Middle School student alleged that she had engaged in sexual relations with Quentin Peterson who is a teacher at the same school.”

The report goes not to state that a school resource officer at Lincoln Middle School positively identified images found on Peterson’s devices as a those of a student. The report states the “there were several pictures of (redacted) with exploded breasts as well as other images that included (redacted) and Peterson together.”

Addressing the board, Hundley denied Palmetto police report findings.

“Whatever this current case is, is not a Lincoln student, has nothing to do with Lincoln, and was not a student of Mr. Peterson’s,” Hundley said.

Peterson was employed at Lincoln Middle School from Jan. 2016 to Aug. 2017, when he resigned.  

Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells telling ABC Action News he had concerns about the investigation into Peterson and the connection to Hundley.

“There’s still some unanswered questions,” Wells said.  “And, I do have law enforcement partners still working the investigation.  I just think there is a conflict of interest for me to be on this board while we still have an ongoing investigation.”

At their very first board meeting, Wells resigned from the board.