Lively Tech's Hildebrandt Claims Whistle-blower Protection In Leon Construction Funding Case

Jun 2, 2014

Woody Hildebrandt, Principal of Lively Technical Center in Tallahassee
Credit Lively Technical Center / Leon County School District

The Leon County School District is facing a second whistle-blower challenge about how it awarded school construction and maintenance projects. The principal of Lively Technical Center, Woody Hildebrandt, says he expressed concerns about the district's contracting process as early as December 2011 and again in September 2013.

Hildebrandt also allegedly showed school district administrator Rocky Hanna an 80-plus-page document calling the district’s construction and maintenance project award process into question.

In a hand-delivered letter addressed to Superintendent Jackie Pons, Hildebrandt claims money which should have been designated for students and district-related events has been misspent. He also repeats charges the district skirted the competitive bidding process by breaking projects that were estimated to cost more than $2 million into smaller amounts.

The district has said it did that to meet federal timelines for completing the projects and that it has not done any more work at schools in a similar manner.

Hildrebrandt and Hanna are both claiming whistle-blower protection under Florida law.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is still looking into the allegations. At least two reviews of the district’s contracting policies have not turned up any wrongdoing, and a state audit of the district that would encompass the period of time many of the projects in question is currently underway.

Hildebrandt did not return a request for comment.