A cloud of controversy continues to loom over the Manatee County School District but this time it isn't budget issue, instead school administrators are in trouble with the law.
"Any charges involving an employee of the school district is cause for great concern.," said Rick Mills Manatee County School Superintendent, as he read a statement about the four district administrators who are now facing felony charges that stem from the investigation of former Manatee High School Assistant Football Coach Rod Frazier.
"Each of the employees charges yesterday are placed on administrative leave in accordance with school district procedures," added Mills.
According to the paper work filed with circuit court Assistant Superintendent Bob Gagnon, Pameto High Assistant principal Greg Faller, Southeast High Assistant principal Mathew Kane, and Prine Elementary Assistant principal Debra Horne face several counts of failure to report abuse.. Horne is also charged with providing false information to law enforcement.
"When the charges include failure to report suspected abuse and giving false information to law enforcement they are especially troubling and they go directly to the primarily responsibility of this school district to insuring the safety of out students and employees", said Mills
But some say the charges are unfounded.
"the real question would be how does the state prove abuse beyond a reasonable doubt or at all under the definition under statute 39 or under the case law interpreting it, said Eddy Mulock. Mulock represents Rod Frazier who is charged with misdemeanor counts of battery. Mulcock says he's concerned the issues may be driven by other underling motives.
"To me when you take this case and propelled it into felons against these people its just bazaar. A couple of the Manatee County School Board Member s have expressed a lot of anger towards the Manatee High School and I hope this is not a product of that and of other issues in the community relative to football," added Mulock
The district also says they are conducting an internal investigation into the matter. They will decide the fate of four employees separate to the criminal charges.