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Sarasota Asst. Superintendent resigns following sexual harassment claims

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Sarasota County School Board Member has confirmed to News Channel 8 that Assistant Superintendent Jeff Maultsby submitted his resignation following accusations of sexual harassment.

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 a.m. 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 recommended that Maultsby be fired.

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

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.

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