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McNeal Elementary assistant principal resigns

EAST MANATEE — An elementary school assistant principal resigned this week after school officials said he continually contacted an ex-girlfriend against their instructions after a reported domestic incident.

Todd Haughey, 41, had been an administrator at McNeal Elementary since the start of this school year.

“This was the result of a messy breakup between he and his girlfriend,” Manatee County School District spokeswoman Margi Nanney said Wednesday.

Haughey, who lives in St. Petersburg, could not be reached for comment.

According to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report, Haughey and the 30-year-old woman had been out drinking Sept. 25, then returned to her condo where an argument turned violent.

Haughey grabbed and pushed the woman around, the report states, and she eventually ran out of the residence. When deputies responded to the scene, they could not locate Haughey, so they issued an arrest warrant for him. Court records, however, show that the local prosecutor’s office never filed a charge against him.

“The officers observed no injury to the victim and EMS was denied,” according to a memo on the case written by Assistant State Attorney Courtney Hollen.

Hollen also wrote that the woman had contacted the local prosecutor’s office and said she would not testify against Haughey.

After district officials learned about the incident, they directed Haughey to not contact the woman.

“Yet he continued to do so, which we saw as gross insubordination,” Nanney said. “He was given the opportunity to resign in lieu of termination.”

He resigned Tuesday.

School officials learned Haughey disobeyed them when the woman in December filed a petition for a domestic violence injunction against him.

“Since then I have been repeatedly called, e-mailed, texted, sent letters through mail, followed at my workplace and contacted at work,” the woman wrote in the petition filed in December. “I fear his reactions, his presence and his continued pursuit of stalking me.”

Court records show the woman had dated Haughey since June 2008, and that a judge dismissed the petition in late December.

Haughey was earning $65,092 annually for the job at the school at 6325 Lorraine Road in East Manatee and was hired by the district in 2003 as a fifth-grade teacher at Palm View Elementary.

In July 2007, he was named assistant principal at Palm View.

He remained there until he was hired at McNeal in the fall of 2009.

District officials have not yet announced whether they’ll post the vacant assistant principal position on the district Web site.

During the next school board meeting, set for March 8, the board will likely approve Haughey’s resignation.