Resigned First Coast Tech president waives final pay
First Coast Technical College’s former president, Sandy Raburn-Fortner, agreed to “waive entitlement to her leave,” according to St. Johns County School District records.
Last week, the First Coast Technical College board and the St. Johns County School District board agreed to terminate the college’s charter because of its state of financial emergency. St. Johns County School District will officially take control of First Coast Technical College operations July 1.
On June 8, St. Johns County School Superintendent Joseph Joyner released the findings of a financial investigation that revealed misuse of in-house funds, failure to comply with federal wage reporting requirements, lack of internal controls and deficient administration of the purchasing card program under Raburn-Fortner’s leadership.
Raburn-Fortner submitted her letter of resignation the same day.
The college board voted June 14 to accept Raburn-Fortner’s resignation, but only if she waives her rights to compensation and claims against the college.
First Coast Technical College attorney Brandon Beardsley said Raburn-Fortner requested she be paid for the paid leave she accrued during her time at the college.
“She resigned before we heard the accusations,” college board member John Browning said. “To accept (Raburn-Fortner’s resignation) is gracious on our terms. … She’s been accused of a lot of things, any one of which would have got her fired.”
If Raburn-Fortner didn’t agree to the terms by Friday, college board members said she would be terminated “with cause.” Putnam County Chamber of Commerce President Dana Jones was the only college board member who didn’t support the terms of Raburn-Fortner’s resignation.
In an email Friday to St. Johns County School District attorney Frank Upchurch III, Raburn-Fortner’s attorney, Tad Delegal, said she agreed to waive entitlement to her leave.
“She sincerely hopes that her resignation will put an end to the efforts to publicly humiliate her,” Delegal said. “She believes that she worked hard to provide a good educational opportunity to the community, and is saddened at the very public nature of the investigation and statements made to date.”