Sarasota Asst. Superintendent facing termination following sexual harassment claims

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – The assistant superintendent for Sarasota County Schools could soon be out of a job.

In the coming weeks, the school board will decide whether to fire him after a scathing report revealed sexual harassment claims against him.

Earlier this year, Cheraina Bonner, an administrative assistant, came forward to school leaders, claiming her boss- Assistant Superintendent Jeff Maultsby sexually harassed her.

A third party investigative report reveals hundreds of text messages between the two, many sent by Maultsby late at night, with kissing emojis and messages like ‘I love you Ms. Raina.’

Just before 1 am on Christmas Day, he even sent her a video of himself at a nightclub.

The report also alleges that Maultsby would say sexually charged comments about female staffers in the office.

But when she allegedly voiced her complaints, she felt threatened when Maultsby sent a text saying ‘snitches get stitches.’

Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden announced he is recommending that Maultsby be fired.

“I think we should have high expectations for all our employees,” said Bowden.

Maultsby will have time to appeal and the school board will make a final decision next month.

Maultsby was not available for comment today.

But the report also rebuked Superintendent Bowden and an HR official for mishandling Bonner’s complaints.

It also adds that policies should be improved to handle harassment complaints.

School board member Bridget Ziegler feels Bowden should step down.

“The confidence is absolutely lost…can you be an effective leader? Do you have the confidence behind you anymore? And I believe that answer is no,” said Ziegler.

Bowden disputes that.

“I do not believe that once we’ve had a chance to examine the report, and receive my rebuttal, that I’ve done anything that warrants the same response that Mr. Maultsby received, but ultimately that’s a decision that’s left up to the board,” said Bowden.

We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.

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