Chancellor charged with soliciting

Author: Lynn Porter
Date Published: 08/31/1999

CLEARWATER – A man who was slated to become chancellor of a planned Pinellas County Greek immersion charter school has been charged with trying to pick up a female undercover detective posing as a prostitute.

Koumninos N. Hatzileris, 52, is accused of stopping in a vehicle in the 1400 block of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard about 1:45 p.m. July 30 and offering the detective $20 for a sex act, according to court records and a police spokesman.

Hatzileris, who also lists his first name as Komninos, has resigned as chancellor for the Athenian Academy, which, if given final approval by the Pinellas County School Board, would open in Clearwater.

George Poumakis, president of the planned school’s board of directors, said Hatzileris resigned Aug. 21 after Poumakis asked him about the charge.

Hatzileris had been slated to give advice to the academy’s board.

The board held an emergency meeting Thursday and agreed to remove Hatzileris’ name and title from the school’s letterhead, he said.

”He’s no longer appearing in the literature,” Poumakis said. ”He’s no longer going to appear with us.”

But Poumakis said he does not want to prejudge Hatzileris, who has a pretrial hearing set for Sept. 16.

In court records, Hatzileris listed the Helenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church, 1910 Douglas Ave., as his home address, and the Greek Orthodox Church as his employer.

No one at Helenic Orthodox could be reached for comment Monday to discuss his status.

Poumakis said Hatzileris has gone to Greece to talk to church officials there.

The academy was given tentative approval by the school board in March.

The board unanimously approved its application, authorizing negotiations with organizers for a school charter that will go before the board for consideration.

Half the subjects at the charter school would be taught in Greek and half in English, which is considered a ”partial immersion” program.

The school would offer Greek culture, Greek Olympic history and that country’s art and dance.

Pinellas schools spokesman Ron Stone said state law calls for the board of directors of charter schools to be fingerprinted and criminal background checks to be run on them.

The law takes effect this year.

”Part of the process is making sure that anyone who runs a charter school is above moral reproach,” Stone said. Lynn Porter works in Pinellas and can be reached at (727) 799-7413.