Trial date set for 4 former Manatee school administrators charged in Roderick Frazier case

jdeleon@bradenton.comOctober 24, 2013 

Staff Photographer

Manatee Schools Assistant Superintendent Bob Gagnon, at right, attends Monday night's school board meeting. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

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MANATEE -- A trial date has been set for four former Manatee school district administrators charged with failing to report child abuse in the Roderick Frazier case.

Manatee County Judge Thomas Krug set the trial to begin June 16 during a hearing Wednesday morning.

Robert Gagnon, former Manatee High principal and assistant superintendent, and assistant principals Gregg Faller and Matthew Kane each face one felony count of failing to report child abuse, one misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse and one misdemeanor count of giving a false report to police.

Debra Horne, former school district investigator, is also charged with one felony count of failing to report child abuse.

Frazier has been charged with seven counts of battery against students, faculty and staff in addition to three counts of interfering with school attendance. All

charges are misdemeanors. No trial date has been set.

Horne is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning before Krug to ask to be tried separately from the others.

All four school district officials and Frazier have pleaded not guilty.

The Manatee County School Board voted unanimously Oct. 14 to suspend without pay Gagnon, Faller, Kane, Horne and former school district attorney Scott Martin. All five had previously been suspended with pay.

Martin is not facing criminal charges, but Superintendant Rick Mills did recommend his termination along with the other four officials after an internal investigation by the school district into the handling of the charges against Fraizer. Mills sent written notifications Sept. 26 to all five defendants he was recommending to the school board to be terminated.

Martin chose to resign following the decision, however, and Horne chose to retire.

Gagnon, Faller and Kane have until Friday to request a hearing or else the school board will vote Monday on whether to terminate them.

Charges were filed against the four administrators Aug. 15 after months of investigation by the State Attorney's Office and police into their handling of allegations of inappropriate touching of students by Frazier, who was charged July 19.

The Bradenton Police Department began its probe in February after receiving information about allegations Frazier inappropriately touched students and school and school district personnel failed to report the accusations to the state hot line.

Frazier was put on paid administrative leave once the police investigation began but resigned July 26, a week after being charged.

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