Superintendent: 2 senior Manatee schools officials suspended in Rod Frazier case

rdymond@bradenton.comAugust 5, 2013 

MANATEE -- Manatee schools Assistant Superintendent Bob Gagon and staff attorney Scott Martin have been suspended with pay, "as the result of information obtained in an internal investigation of the Rod Frazier case at Manatee High School," Superintendent Rick Mills said Monday afternoon.

Mills said he notified Gagnon and Martin on Monday morning of the suspensions.

"At the conclusion of the investigation, if disciplinary action is warranted, I will bring that before the School Board of Manatee County," Mills said in a statement.

Gagnon and Martin did not return messages seeking comment.

Mills said Gagnon and Martin were not escorted out of the building, but school resource officers were at the district's administration building "as part of best-practice procedures for these kinds of situations."

Frazier, a former assistant football coach and parent liaison, on July 19 was charged with seven counts of misdemeanor battery involving allegations of improper conduct involving students and staff members at Manatee High School. Frazier has denied the charges, but he later resigned from his position at the school.

No one else has been charged in the case.

Gagnon was principal at Manatee High School during part of Frazier's tenure at the school.

Martin was assistant superintendent of operations, before Mills joined the district.

Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski, whose agency has investigated allegations against Frazier, said he was told by a school district official that Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputies had been sent to the administration building Monday morning.

Radzilowski was angry that the district had contacted the sheriff's office, and not the police department -- which has jurisdiction in downtown Bradenton -- to handle the matter.

"I strongly object to your office calling the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for a law enforcement matter in the city," Radzilowski wrote in an e-mail to schools Superintendent Rick Mills. "I am sure the sheriff himself was not aware of this request.

"In the future contact the Bradenton Police Department for law enforcement services within the city of Bradenton," Radzilowski wrote Mills.

Radzilowski said Mills later called Mayor Wayne Poston to apologize for the misunderstanding.

Gagnon, a former assistant superintendent of instruction for the district, was briefly the district's interim superintendent after Tim McGonegal resigned last September and before another interim, David Gayler, was hired.

Under Mills, he was recently named as an assistant superintendent on assignment. Deputy Superintendent Diana Greene said he would be helping the district's executive director of elementary schools.

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