Mills: Not aware of anyone else who might be charged in Frazier case

eearl@bradenton.comAugust 16, 2013 

MANATEE-- Manatee schools Rick Mills released a statement Friday in wake of the felony charges against four district employees of failure to report suspected abuse or giving false information to law enforcement in relation to the investigation of former Manatee High School assistant football coach Rod Frazier.

Frazier was charged last month with 10 charges of battery and interfering with a student's attendance.

Mills revealed that the district still does not have a clear plan to replace the three assistant principals charged in the case -- Matthew Kane of Southeast High, Greg Faller of Palmetto High and Debra Horne of Prine Elementary -- before the start of the school year Monday.

"We will obviously have to make adjustments to personnel," Mills said Friday.

But the start of the school year will be difficult for those schools as they begin the first day with administrative staff missing.

The district's own investigation is continuing under Troy Pumphrey, the investigator in the school district's office of professional standards.

Mills said he is not aware of anyone else that is expected to be placed on paid leave.

Mills said that as the investigation is ongoing, Faller, Kane and Horne, along with Robert Gagnon, the assistant superintendent on special assignment and the former principal of Manatee High School, will remain on paid leave.

"I will make an appropriate recommendation to the School Board of Manatee County, and if warranted, the employee or employees will be suspended without pay pending a hearing, if one is requested," Mills said in his statement.

On Thursday, Kane and Horne both turned themselves into to be booked into the Manatee County jail.

Horne was arrested on one felony count of failure to report child abuse was released after she posted a $1,500 bond.

Kane was arrested on a felony count of failure to report child abuse, a misdemeanor count of failure to report and a misdemeanor count of giving false reports to law enforcement. Kane was released shortly after being booked on bonds totaling $2,500.

On Friday Faller turned himself into the Manatee County Jail to face a felony count of failing to report child abuse, a misdemeanor count of failing to report and a misdemeanor count of giving false reports to law enforcement.

Scott Martin, the school staff attorney, also remains on paid leave, although no charges have been brought up against him.

Mills said he will be notifying the state of the charges on Friday.

"We expect to be frank and candid," Mills said.

Mills would not comment if there are any current lawsuits, nor would he make additional comments on the charges against the adminstrators.

"We will be doing a thorough review of our policies and procedures," Mills said.

Staff writer Jessica De Leon contributed to this story.

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

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