5 Manatee school administrators recommended to be fired - WFLA News Channel 8

5 Manatee school administrators recommended to be fired

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Rod Frazier. File photo Rod Frazier. File photo
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Manatee County School District has spent some time investigating groping claims against a Manatee High Football Coach.

Former assistant coach Rod Frazier was charged for having inappropriate contact with teachers and female students.

On Thursday, the superintendent announced he wants to fire five school administrators.

In a statement, the superintendent said these administrators failed to provide a safe environment for students. And so, since he lost confidence in them, he's going to ask the school board to let them go.

The Bradenton police department has some serious claims made against former Manatee High Assistant football coach Rod Frazier.

Officials say there were allegations that he groped teachers and students, dating back to 2008.

He later resigned and now faces seven misdemeanor counts of battery.

But before the Bradenton police stepped in, a number of school officials were either notified or investigated themselves. Now the superintendent is not happy with them.

The school system recently completed an internal investigation and on Thursday the superintendent announced he wants to fire five school administrators.

They include:
-Assistant Superintendent Robert Gagnon (former Principal at Manatee High School)
-Palmetto High Assistant Principal Greg Faller (Former Manatee High Assistant Principal)
-Southeast High Assistant Principal Matt Kane(former Manatee High Assistant Principal)
-Robert Prine Elementary Assistant Principal Deborah Horne (former investigator with the Office of Professional Standards)
-Staff Attorney Scott Martin (Former Manatee Co. Assistant Superintendent)

All of the officials with the exception of Martin are already facing felony charges for failure to report child abuse.

In a statement, Superintendent Rick Mills said, “All employees of this District are expected to make students their primary professional concern.  Moreover, as leaders, district administrators have a paramount responsibility to meet the expectations of providing a safe and secure environment for students and staff. Unfortunately, the findings of the Frazier investigation reflect that these administrators failed to fulfill these obligations; causing me to lose all confidence in their abilities to serve as administrators in this District.  I further found that just cause exists to terminate their employment.

Attorney Derek Byrd said, "It just smells of a witchhunt, lookin' for scapegoats."

Byrd is Deborah Horne's attorney. She is a former investigator from the Office of Professional Standards.

Byrd says Horne did everything in her power to investigate Frazier and no wrongdoing was found.

Byrd said, "She reported her findings. She didn't cover up anything. She didn't hide anything. She had no motive. To be honest with you, she was no big fan of Rod Frazier."

The school district cannot comment at this time.

School officials could not comment at this time. Under Florida law, the investigation's findings cannot be released for 10 days. A school spokesperson says the report will be available Oct. 5.

So on that date, we will know why exactly the superintendent wants to fire these five officials.

The recommended terminations of the five administrators will be considered by the School Board during a regularly scheduled meeting Oct. 14 at 5:45pm.


Related story: 08/16/2013 Manatee school district investigates charges against coach



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