Taxpayer dollars paying for soundproofing school chief's office

Taxpayer dollars paying for soundproofing school chief's office

By John Rupolo. CREATED Jun 5, 2012 - UPDATED: Jun 5, 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. - It's all in black and white.  The work orders to soundproof three rooms in the Superintendent's wing at the Lee County School District headquarters.  It cost you more than $1,000.  District union president Bob Rushlow has concerns.

"I guess my question is why," said Rushlow.

Here is the District's explanation.  In a letter the District justified the work saying a staff member could hear all conversations from the District's COO Dr. Alberto Rodriguez.  So, the District soundproofed Dr. Rodriguez's office with extra insulation.  In addition to that , crews hadded a door seal in Dr. Burke's office and in his two conference room.  Rushlow says it amounts wasted taxpayer dollars.

"We have no construction money.  It''s all going to charter schools so hwy we doing it now it doesn't make sense," said Rushlow.

Bob Chilmonik served two terms on the Lee County School Board we asked him if this was ever done in the past.

"Did Browder have this done and has this ever been done before as far as you know," asked Fox 4 reporter John Rupolo.

"To my knowledge no.  It's never been done at least the 8 years that I was on the board," said Chilmonik.

But Chilmonik is defending Burke's spending of tax dollars on soundproofing saying he is working in a hostile work environment with some staff and board members trying to oust him from office.

"Essentially this gentleman is surrounded by folks that may not be reliable to him or loyal to him so as far as the investment I think he's doing the right thing at this point," said Chilmonik.