Florida Keys

Monroe County School Board paying $100,000 to avoid sex-abuse lawsuit

The Monroe County School Board on Tuesday approved a $100,000 settlement with a family stemming from an alleged sexual assault committed by a former School District substitute teacher.

The parents of the minor involved alleged the teacher, William Britt, 58, sexually assaulted the child between Sept. 15, 2012, and Nov. 1, 2012.

On Nov. 8, 2012, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office charged him with 128 counts of possession of child porn and seven counts of possession of photographs of a sexual performance by a child.

The case was moved to federal court and after pleading guilty to one count of receiving child porn and another of possession of an unregistered gun -- a 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun -- U.S. District Court Judge Jose Martinez sentenced him on July 1, 2013, to 18 years in prison. He's at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumterville, Fla., with a release date of Oct. 29, 2028.

According to the district, Britt was hired Aug. 12, 2010, as a teacher and was making $44,970 annually. He was terminated June 9, 2011. He was hired again on Aug. 29, 2012, for $100 a day and let go that Sept. 13.

In between, from Aug. 22, 2011, to Aug. 6, 2012, he was a "paraprofessional." He also was terminated from that job.

He was arrested following a search of his recreational vehicle, parked at the U.S. Navy's Sigsbee Park in Key West, where he reportedly moved from Cudjoe Key. Cops were put onto Britt when his former Cudjoe Key landlord saw child porn in a box as he helped Britt move. The landlord called police.

"My office cannot comment to the press contractually," School Board attorney Dirk Smits said at the board's Tuesday meeting at Coral Shores High School.

"Records in most lawsuits become public once settlement is executed, but not in such instances because minor identity is involved," School Board member Ed Davidson said.

In other action, the board unanimously approved a final property tax rate of $3.55 per $1,000 of assessed value for the 2015-16 fiscal year. A homeowner with an assessed property value of $300,000, before the $25,000 homestead exemption, would have a district tax bill of $1,065. With the exemption, the homeowner would pay $976.25 in school taxes.

The board also formally approved a contract between the district and United Teachers of Monroe that will result in teachers getting at least a $700 increase in pay. The increase is in addition to the increases teachers make based off his or her 2014-15 evaluation and whether they are part of the old salary schedule or a new performance-pay based salary schedule.

The contract runs until June 2016.

Go to KeysNet.com to read more.