I firmly believe the following reasons prove Andy Johnson’s firing from the Okaloosa County School District was a travesty of justice.

1. As stated on the Florida State Attorney’s website concerning grand juries. “It is important to keep in mind that no individual should be unjustly criticized or held up to scorn or public resentment, particularly when it is remembered that the individuals who may be criticized had no opportunity to defend themselves or give reply to the charges. A grand juror must keep in mind that the grand jury is the ultimate instrument of justice and should never be subverted to become the vehicle for harassment or oppression.”

2. State Attorney Bill Eddins’ subjective comment concerning Mr. Andy Johnson’s testimony being evasive and inconsistent was a vehicle for harassment.

3. Appointed Superintendent Chambers only justification for termination was that Mr. Johnson’s name was mentioned in a grand jury report. The School Board voted in agreement even when it violated their own School Board Policy which specifically states the only reasons for termination are: ‘1) A crime constituting a felony; 2) A misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; 3) A charge or evidence of personal conduct which, if substantiated, could seriously reduce the employee’s effectiveness as an employee of the district.”

4. The termination was ludicrous. There was no formal investigation thus no charges filed or evidence provided. The public termination and humiliation of Mr. Johnson is seemingly malicious because: A) The reason cited does not meet School Board Policy. B) There was never a formal investigation of Mr. Johnson. C) Circumvented due process by making the termination decision public without allowing Mr. Johnson a chance to appeal.

Eventually Mr. Johnson was allowed to present his case to the School Board. They again voted unanimously to uphold the termination. I am convinced the sequence of events by the appointed superintendent and school board members will cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars of our taxpayer money. Once again, political scheming and vengeance drowns out truth and common sense.

Diane Barnes, Crestview