Lee County School District releases Browder's 2010 W-2 tax form

CREATED Apr. 11, 2011

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LEE COUNTY – Dr. Jim Browder left the Lee school district during a deepening budget crisis that's been forcing the district to lay off employees and consider digging into its reserves just to stay afloat.

Four in Your Corner Investigator Rob Koebel now showing you exactly how many of your tax dollars ... went to Dr. Browder.  He's uncovered the former super's w-2 from last year.

Adding up the numbers you might not be surprised its way over the roughly 160 grand he was being paid a year as superintendent.  Something one former school board member warned could hurt the district big time if the economy didn't turn around.

Reporter Rob Koebel asks, "Why don't you take a look at the bottom line figure there?"

Bob Chilmonik says, "WOW -- Oh My!".

Former School Board Member Bob Chilmonik checks out ex- Lee County Superintendent James Browder's W-2 tax form from 2010.

Chilmonik says, "The first thing that comes to my mind is academic Enron we have children going without needed services in the school district".

The bottom line -- including his salary, perks and buys out -- Browder made 418,000 bucks.   Almost a half a million dollars. The bill picked up by you --- the taxpayer.

Chilmonik says, "Its gone too far I am hopeful that the public now is engaged on this and we need to bring salaries under control".

Chilmonik who sits on a search committee to help select the new superintendent says he voted against Browder's contract years ago.  But fellow board members like Jane Kuckel and Janine Dozier were all for it and Browder's golden parachute.

Chilmonik says, "Right now it's an operational mess down there and we are in the process of hiring a new superintendent I think there's a lesson to be learned from this when we go out and make the decision on the new superintendent we must get a salary structure that is fair but also holds people accountable".

Chilmonik says with spending out of control and the district digging into emergency reserve funds -- it's like running your engine in the red and it's ready to blow.

Bob Chilmonik says, "they are using reserves to fund ongoing operations the problem is going to come back next year."

You might remember that Edison State College is refusing to release President Ken Walkers or Jim Browder's W-2's to Fox Four citing a state statue that the college claims makes it exempt.  But the University of Florida and the Lee County School District had no problem turning them over.