Former Osceola County School Board Chairwoman Cindy Hartig has applied for unemployment stemming from her defeat at the polls last August, and so far the state has approved her claim.
The state's unusual decision to give an ousted elected official unemployment compensation is being appealed by the school district in a case that could be heard as early as Tuesday.
The district pays the state for unemployment, so unless the state Department of Economic Opportunity reverses its decision, Osceola taxpayers would have to pay Hartig after voting her out of office.
In its appeal, the district argues that Hartig is not eligible for unemployment.
"Cindy Hartig was not an employee of the school district of Osceola County, Florida," the appeal states. "She was an elected official who was not re-elected by the voters of Osceola County."
The appeal notes that the district did not have the ability to fire, discipline or supervise Hartig, as it would an employee. "Therefore, she is not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits."
Hartig was defeated by Tim Weisheyer in August after a contentious term marked by the departure of two superintendents within two years. If her claim is upheld, Hartig could get up to $275 per week. Her salary as a School Board member was $35,368, according to the district...(click pic to continue reading)