Probe into allegations against Manatee High coach nears end

eearl@bradenton.comJuly 19, 2013 


Rick Mills is a candidate for Manatee County Schools Superintendent. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald


MANATEE -- An investigation into a Manatee High School football coach is set to close this month, and more people may be implicated in the investigation.

As the investigation into allegations made against Manatee High School football coach Rod Frazier is poised to close, Manatee Schools Superintendent Rick Mills is preparing for what's next.

Mills said he met with two assistant state attorneys at the end of June for an update on the case and a timeline for when the investigation will close.

"I asked to meet with them for the purpose of getting an understanding of when this will come to a conclusion," Mills said.

Mills said the State Attorney's Office told him the investigation would be closed this month.

The Bradenton Police began an investigation in February into allegations Frazier, a parent liaison in charge of student discipline, had inappropriate contact with a student. Among the allegations were that Frazier sent a female student a text message asking for nude photographs.

Bradenton police handed the investigation to the state attorney in April.

Mills said the assistant state attorneys told him that the case may involve other district officials, although he said

they did not tell him who else might be implicated.

"I did not get into that," Mills told the Herald. "They told me they are re-interviewing witnesses and that it may lead to other people being implicated, but I did not probe further.

"I was respectful, and they were just giving me an understanding of how much longer it would be," the superintendent added.

Deputy Chief of Police Warren Merriman said he is unaware of any other district staff being investigated.

"If anyone else is being investigated, it would be through the state attorney," Merriman said. "Once we turned it over, we were done with the investigation."

Mills said he is waiting to hear the results of the investigation to determine his next steps.

"We will put together some considerations for what the outcome is, whatever it is, and I will respond," Mills said. "How do we approach it from a community perspective? How do we approach the outcome from a school district with employees that may be involved?"

Erica Earl, education reporter, cam be reached at 941-745-7081.

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