Chief Operating Officer for the Sarasota County School District placed on paid administrative leave following allegations of sexual harassment

Chief Operating Officer for the Sarasota County School District placed on paid administrative leave following allegations of sexual harassment
Assistant Superintendent Jeffery Maultsby

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A lengthy text message exchange was just released by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office between the Chief Operating Officer of the Sarasota County School District Jeff Maultsby and his administrative assistant.

After the text messages became public, Maultsby was placed on administrative leave. Some of the dialogue includes Maultsby saying, “I love you Raina, You know I love you Ms. Raina.” In another exchange he says that he loves her and mentions he’s over it. And his assistant replies, “I see how you operate, okay it’s over. But I know your kind.”

At Tuesday afternoon’s school board meeting Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden talked about the action being taken.

“I made the decision this morning to place Jeff Maultsby on administrative leave, effective immediately," said Bowden. "He had already been removed from his work space and now will no longer work along staff until the investigation is concluded.”

Maultsby’s assistant filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after she says he propositioned her. He also allegedly bragged about sleeping with other female employees from the school district.

Patricia Gardner, President of the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association, tells us the superintendent took a step in the right direction Tuesday.

“I think it was a correct thing to do. I think it’s a little late, it should’ve happened weeks ago when the complaint was first made," said Gardener. "That’s what they do with any other employees, but I am glad that it happened finally.”

An outside investigator will continue to take a closer look at these sexual harassment allegations against Maultsby. A final report on this is expected in the coming weeks. Since this is an ongoing investigation, the school district could not comment but one school board member says she’s satisfied with the superintendent’s decision and they will stay on top of this situation.

“We’ll look at what actions were taken, what complaints were brought forward,” said Shirley Brown, a Board Member with the Sarasota County School District.

Jody Dumas, the current executive director for facilities, planning and construction will take over Maultsby’s position while he remains on paid administrative leave.

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