Former Manatee High administrators implicated in Frazier case waive jury trial

jdeleon@bradenton.comJune 5, 2014 

BRADENTON -- The trial of three former Manatee High School administrators charged in the Roderick Frazier case will not be heard by a jury.

Former principal and assistant superintendent Robert Gagnon and former assistant principals Gregg Faller and Matthew Kane each face one count felony count of failing to report child abuse and one misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse.

The three defendants appeared Wednesday morning before Judge Peter Dubensky and waived their right to a jury trial. The case will now be heard and decided by Dubensky.

Frazier pleaded no contest in April to four counts of battery and two counts of interference with a student's attendance after he was accused of improperly touching students and other staffers at Manatee High School. In exchange for the deal, the State Attorney's Office dropped three counts of battery and one count of interference with a student's attendance.

Investigators say Gagnon, Faller and Kane were aware of the allegations against Frazier yet never reported them to the state child abuse hotline.

The three are appealing their terminations by Manatee High, after the Manatee County School Board voted in October to place them on unpaid administrative leave pending termination.

Testimony in Faller's administrative hearing concluded Wednesday. Gagnon's administrative hearing ran three days in April and has now been placed in abeyance -- making the case inactive -- until a final hearing is scheduled. Attorneys have until July 11 to submit available dates before Sept. 12 for the hearing.

Kane's appeal was also heard in April and was continued to 9:30 a.m. June 24 via video conference after it was not concluded during a two-day hearing.Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her Twitternote>

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