A Florida high school teacher was arrested at his school and charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill another teacher.
In a Sept. 13 phone call, James Pepe, 55, allegedly told an undercover officer that he was willing to pay $2,000 for ”an issue that he might need taken care of,” according to a report by ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV /ABC Action News.
Pepe, who was arrested Thursday, is a social studies teacher at Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County.
He is accused of trying to put out a hit on Robert Meredith, a former co-worker. The two men had worked together at Strawberry Crest High School, WFTS reported.
Both schools are in the Hillsborough County public school district.
In the recording made just two weeks ago, in which Pepe allegedly told the undercover officer he would be willing to pay him $2,000, Pepe balked at the officer’s request for an in-person meeting.
Meredith told WFTS he knew of Pepe, but did not socialize with him and has no idea why he would be targeted.
Pepe is being held at Hillsborough County jail on one charge of solicitation to commit murder. He was not offered bail.
Pepe taught in the Hillsborough school district for 28 years, WTSP-TV in Florida reported. Students told WFTS he liked to have students call him Doctor Professor Pepe in class.