Former Manatee High School football coach and athletic director Joe Kinnan has filed an amended complaint against Manatee County Schools, former superintendent Rick Mills and former investigator for the school board Troy Pumphrey.
Kinnan is suing for $15,000 for loss of consortium and requesting a jury trial on nine counts of defamation, breach of contract, negligence, invasion of privacy and abuse of process.
Kinnan’s lawsuit stems from a tumultuous time in Manatee County Schools, when two scandals involving Manatee High School athletics raised questions about Kinnan’s leadership at the school. His original complaint claimed that Mills overstepped his power as superintendent and working in concert with several other elected officials and district administrators, intentionally destroyed Kinnan’s reputation.
In January, Judge Brian Iten dismissed Kinnan’s complaint. Iten’s ruling stated that Kinnan alleged Pumphrey and Mills both acted with malice and outside the scope of their authority. State statute provides immunity to political subdivisions in either case, so while the two former employees could be liable for their actions, the school board cannot be.
The amended complaint states that Pumphrey and Mills were not acting outside the scope of their authority or with malice, but that they did conduct bogus investigations and spread mistruths about Kinnan’s involvement in an abuse scandal and baseball team scandal at Manatee High School.
The school district will have time to either respond to the allegations or file a motion to once again dismiss. Mitch Teitelbaum, general counsel for the school district, said Monday the district had just received the amended complaint and was reviewing it and considering next steps.