Teacher convicted of sex offense, draws $51k+ pension in prison

Charlene Schmitz, a Washington County teacher who continues to draw pay more than a year after she was convicted of luring a student for sex.

Schmitz was convicted in February 2008 of using a cell phone and a computer to entice a 14-year-old boy for sex, and she was sentenced to 10 years and a month in prison.

The school system moved to fire Schmitz in May of that year, but she appealed the ouster. Under the state’s Fair Dismissal Act, her employment hearing cannot be held until her criminal appeals are resolved.

In the meantime, Schmitz continues to collect her $51,666 salary and could retire with pension benefits for life if she stays on the payroll another 2cm HALF years.

Finally, someone has decided to do something about this.  Glad to know my taxes are going to make sure Schmitz has enough money to buy cigarettes while in prison.

Teachers who are found guilty of felonies or crimes involving children would be fired and lose their pay upon conviction, under a proposal from state Rep. Chad Fincher, R-Semmes.

“Here we’re spending taxpayers’ money to pay a teacher that’s sitting in jail,” Fincher said. “We won’t continue to pay a teacher found guilty of a crime in this state if this law passes.”

Randy McKinney, a Republican state school board member from Orange Beach, said there should be a “complete overhaul” of state tenure law, and, McKinney said, Fincher’s bill doesn’t go far enough.

“Just because someone is not convicted of a crime does not mean that they’re fit to teach,” McKinney said.

Paul Hubbert, head of the 104,000-member Alabama Education Association, has staunchly defended the Fair Dismissal Act but said Friday that he would withhold judgment on Fincher’s bill until he saw it.

Still, Hubbert voiced skepticism, saying the Schmitz case was very unique.

“Generally speaking, you don’t write laws based on one case,” Hubbert said. “I think there’s plenty of law on the books, but we’ll be glad to take a look at it and react at the proper time.”

A few questions.  If Fincher was serious about this bill, wouldn’t he have done something when the Legislature was in session.  If Hubbert, who owns the Legislature, wanted something done about this sex offender, why has he waited so long?  This is a good example of the lengths the AEA will go to in the name of tenure.

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