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Principal facing sanctions after providing "false employment references" for former employee under criminal investigation

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PALMETTO, FL (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Education says they have found probable cause to justify sanctions against Lincoln Memorial Middle School Principal Ed Hundley after he gave a favorable review of a former employee who is now charged with possessing child pornography.

Principal Hundley came under fire after recommending his former employee, Quentin Peterson, for a teaching position in Sarasota County, despite knowing the 25-year-old was under criminal investigation.

At the beginning of this year. Peterson was hired as a math teacher at Booker High school; a job he received in part because of Hundley's recommendation.

On April 24 Peterson was arrested and charged with possessing child pornography, following an investigation by the Palmetto Police Department.

Hundley received a reprimand from the Manatee County School Board for providing "false and inaccurate employment references" and an investigation was launched by the Department of Education.

On Aug. 23, the State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart sent Hundley a letter stating that after the investigation probable cause exists to justify sanctions against the principal's Florida educator certificate.

Hundley now faces disciplinary action which ranges from a fine to suspension. He does have the option to appeal.

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