Manatee releases report on former coach investigation - WNCN: News, Weather

Manatee releases report on former coach investigation

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Manatee County School District has just released its report on an investigation into former football coach Rod Frazier.

Frazier resigned after he was charged for allegedly groping students and teachers.

Related: more about Rod Frazier's case.

The report offers a scathing indictment against five other school administrators.

There are allegations dating back to 2008 that former Manatee High assistant football coach Rod Frazier groped female students and teachers.

He later was charged with seven counts of battery and resigned.

Now, five school administrators are in the hot seat, and the superintendent wants them fired.

-Assistant Superintendent Robert Gagnon (former Principal at Manatee High School)

-Palmetto High Assistant Principal Greg Faller (Former Manatee High Assistant Principal)

-Southeast High Assistant Principal Matt Kane(former Manatee High Assistant Principal)

-Robert Prine Elementary Assistant Principal Deborah Horne (former investigator with the Office of Professional Standards)

-Staff Attorney Scott Martin (Former Manatee Co. Assistant Superintendent)

The five school officials who were initially tasked with investigating claims made against Frazier.

A lengthy internal investigation that started over the summer is now complete and the investigator said the school administrators were negligent in their duties.

Debra Horne was with the Office of Professional Standards, and was assigned to do interviews during a 2012 investigation.

Frazier was briefly placed on administrative leave and no wrongdoing was found.

The report showed Horne did not interview alleged victims, and did not do a thorough job.

The investigator wrote: "Horne's actions and inactions demonstrated deliberate indifference and allowed Frazier to remain at MHS and place the safety and well being of students at risk."

Scott Martin was assistant superintendent at the time, and it was his decision to place Frazier on administrative leave.

"Even though Martin had knowledge that alleged victims existed and were not interviewed, he told Horne not to continue her investigation because a victim had not come forward."

The investigator questioned Martin about this.

The report listed the transcription:

Investigator Troy Pumphrey: "Do you know whether Debbie Horne interviewed any of the victims, prior to placing Frazier back to work?"

Martin: "I don't believe she did."

Pumphrey: "Was that something that you think is important in order to understand the dynamics of a case of this magnitude?"

Martin: "Every case is different; it depends."

Robert Gagnon is a former Manatee High Principal, and the investigator believes Gagnon wanted the case wrapped up so Frazier could coach a playoff football game.

"Based on the recorded interviews of Martin and Gagnon, It appears that Martin and Gagnon influenced the investigation process in order that Frazier be afforded the opportunity to coach in the upcoming football playoff game."

Gagnon had tried to defend himself in questioning. In question Gagnon recalled telling Martin: "You need to get out there [and investigate these claims] now because if the guy's innocent, his presence will be missed. He's a fifth string assistant football coach, but innocence is innocence and if he's guilty why would we delay an investigation into the most horrific acts that anybody could do?"

Gagnon added: "I have no affiliation with him, that team, whether the win or lose I could care less. Bury him under the school, were my first words."

The investigator believes all five school officials failed in their duties and put students at risk.

The school board will decide whether to fire the five officials at a meeting next Monday.

Attorneys for the school administrators were not available for comment.

The officials have until October 25th to file for an appeal.

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