Action News Jax Exclusive: Video shows night Duval school board member reported being followed

An Action News Jax investigation reveals new video showing the night a Duval County School Board member says she was followed after a board meeting.

After the school district denied our request for surveillance video from the night of Nov. 3 meeting, a source sent Action News Jax video of the night of Nov. 3, 2015, the night Dr. Connie Hall said a black SUV followed her as she left a board meeting.

We also have audio records of Tuesday’s school board workshop where members and Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti detail the events of that night.

Surveillance video we obtained shows outside the Duval County School Board building. According to sources, the car being driven by Hall can be seen.

As she pulls away, a dark SUV parked at the end of the row vehicle pulls out behind Hall as she drives by.

Hall said she reported being followed to chief of Duval County School Police Michael Edwards, but nothing was ever done.

In an audio recording taken during Tuesday’s board workshop, Hall talks about her suspicions over who was driving.

Hall: “It's someone directly related, I feel, to the superintendent.”

We obtained surveillance video from inside the school district lobby. The woman seen on video is Rachel Vitti, the wife of Dr. Vitti, as she got a ride to her vehicle because it was raining.

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Fast forward a few minutes and you see chief of staff Wendy LeHockey getting into a black SUV.

Dr. Vitti addressed the video during Tuesday’s workshop.

Dr. Vitti: “I left in Wendy’s car, Wendy and Rachel stayed in Rachel’s car and continued to talk through the night, uh the video tape shows, possibly that they moved in the back, both in the vehicle, my understanding is they drove together."

While board members seemed to accept his explanation, several wanted to know why he school chief hadn't informed them of his decision not to investigate further.

Board member Jason Fischer: "If there's an incident that an investigation is done and based on whatever facts are available they choose to move forward or not, and so if he choose not to move forward, I’d like to hear him just say that."

Because of this incident, we've learned extra security has been assigned to school board meetings, metal detecting wands are now being used and bags are being searched. 

Duval County Public Schools released the following statement:

"As with any security concern, Duval County School Police evaluated the situation as communicated by a board member directly to school police and later described during a board workshop. Upon review of the board member's inquiry and surveillance video, school police determined no crime was committed and implemented additional safety measures to monitor security before, during, and after board meetings."

Rachel Vitti sent the following statement to Action News Jax:

"It is unfortunate that Dr. Hall felt that she was followed in a threatening manner and endured this experience. Also unfortunate is that Wendy and I would be accused of doing so solely based on the circumstances of staying and leaving the district parking lot late that evening. The entire matter is bizarre. There was no intent to threateningly follow Dr. Hall."

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