Sarasota Co. Superintendent to resign, will receive big severance package

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Sarasota County Superintendent has agreed to resign, but it comes with a price tag.

Assistant Superintendent Jeff Maultsby recently resigned because of sexual harassment allegations from his assistant, Cheraina Bonner.

A report found Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden mishandled her case.

Bowden has now announced he will resign. Board members will vote on a separation agreement next week, but officials tell 8 On Your Side it’s virtually a done deal.

After the meeting on Nov. 19, Bowden would be placed on paid administrative leave until Dec. 31st.

He will also receive severance pay, reimbursed attorney fees, and other funds totaling more than $240,000.

Caroline Zucker had been one of Bowden’s staunchest defenders, but she changed her mind after last week’s contentious meeting.

“They wanted an end to the chaos, they wanted an end to it and, realizing that and recognizing that I know it had to be done,” said Zucker. “There’s no right or wrong here. It is what it is.”

Bonner’s attorney Sara Blackwell feels the taxpaying public has been wronged.

“Giving him anything is atrocious and I think he should not have it,” said attorney Sara Blackwell.

Blackwell plans to move forward with Bonner’s lawsuit against the school district.

“We need justice for her. We need to prevent other women from this happening to them,” said Blackwell.

Dr. Bowden released a statement-

“For three years I have had the privilege of serving Sarasota County schools as superintendent. I have witnessed excellence among our teachers, dedication between our principals, care from our staff and innovative approaches to learning by our administrators. Because of their efforts, our students have excelled academically and are well-positioned to become caring and informed citizens of the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve so many, and I hope the next superintendent will further propel this outstanding school district to excel even more. Personally, my wife and I plan to remain in the area where our two children will continue their education in Sarasota County schools.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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