BRADENTON -- The Manatee County School Board postponed making final decisions Tuesday night in the cases of fired administrators Gregg Faller and Matthew Kane for the second time.
The men worked at Manatee High School until Superintendent Rick Mills recommended they be fired for their roles in the Roderick Frazier personnel abuse case in September 2013.
Administrative law judges backed the district termination, but the school board has to make a final decision.
The board voted in October to postpone the decision until Tuesday, then unanimously decided to delay the decisions again until Jan. 13.
Faller and Kane, former assistant principals at Manatee High School, were fired for failure to report suspicions of child abuse. The administrative hearings concluded in September with judges ruling the district had cause to fire Faller and Kane.
If the board accepts the judge's rulings for Kane and Faller, they will not be owed back pay or benefits. Kane and Faller attended the meeting, leaving after the board tabled the ruling to have more time to go over the case.
In other action, School board member Dave "Watchdog" Miner once again failed to get the board to discuss firing district professional standards investigator Troy Pumphrey. A number of speakers and Miner pleaded with the board to consider terminating Pumphrey.
In October, Miner first called on Mills to fire Pumphrey because he lied on his resume about having a private investigator license when he applied to the district in July 2013. Pumphrey was applying for the license at the time, but was ultimately denied.
Pumphrey said once he was hired by the school district for the professional standards job -- which doesn't require the investigator license -- he let the application fall to the wayside. Pumphrey's updated resume does not include the license claim.
Miner's motion to add an agenda item concerning Pumphrey's employment status was not passed.
Board attorney Jim Dye also brought up a seven-page demand letter submitted to the district from a lawyer representing Pumphrey. Pumphrey said in the letter he is willing to settle any issues with the board, but is not with Miner individually, according to Dye.
Dye cannot represent the board as a whole and Miner individually, he said.
The board discussed whether it should provide counsel for a board member in this situation, as Dye said these issues can be financially crippling to individuals. The board ultimately approved providing counsel for Miner with the caveat more details will be settled at the Jan. 13 meeting.
The board also voted to add a new law firm to its roster. The district approved a $100,000 contract with Blalock Walters of Bradenton.
A total of eight lawyers -- including those with experience providing legal services for the district -- will work with the district. The firm will bill the district $165 an hour to be paid from the staff attorney department's budget.
The decision does not affect any other firms the district works with, said staff attorney Mitchell Teitelbaum.
The decision was approved by the board, with Kennedy expressing his pleasure.
"We're keeping school district dollars in Manatee County," Kennedy said. "I'm glad to see us with a local firm."
In other news:
The board voted to officially change the name of Manatee Technical Institute to Manatee Technical College.
The board approved a $102,000 contract with National Prescription Coverage Coalition to replace the contract with Catamaran.
The district accepted a fire truck donation from West Manatee Fire Rescue for the fire science program at the newly renamed Manatee Technical College.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.