Education

Matthew Kane criticizes Manatee County School District for reneging on deal

MANATEE -- A former Manatee County School District employee emailed district officials Monday claiming he was not alloted the full of amount of time promised in an agreement for his resignation in lieu of termination.

Matthew Kane, a former Manatee High School assistant principal, was fired by the district along with Gregg Faller in September 2013 for failure to report suspicions of child abuse in the Roderick Frazier case. The two men fought the ruling through separate administrative hearings but lost.

The school district is expected to formally end ties with Kane and Faller on Tuesday.

The district's outside counsel and Kane's lawyer were negotiating a settlement to allow Kane to resign rather than being fired, but staff attorney Mitchell Teitelbaum said Monday night Kane never accepted the proposal.

In an email to Superintendent Rick Mills and district board, Kane said he planned on using the 21 days stipulated in a written agreement from the district to make his decision. He said this entire situation has been extremely stressful to his entire family.

"I am a lifelong educator that has dedicated my career to protecting and educating the children of Manatee County. Strangely, I was informed on Friday that I really did not have the 21 days and must decide by Tuesday," he wrote. "This is absolutely contradictory of what is written in the proposal, which states I have 21 days to decide."

Kane also called on Manatee County School Board members Julie Aranibar and Karen Carpenter to recuse themselves from voting on his termination or on his resignation. He submitted paperwork calling for the recusals.

"It is abundantly clear that I will not receive a fair and impartial vote from either of these board members," Kane wrote in his email. "Having Julie Aranibar and Karen Carpenter involved in any part of this process (resignation or termination) may subject the school board to additional liability as well as personal liability to the two individuals named if they do not recuse themselves from this process."

Teitelbaum said the district was working with Kane's lawyer to sign an agreement, but Kane did not agree to the terms and conditions, which would have included the 21-day deciding period.

"We then withdrew our offer," Teitelbaum said.

Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.

Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.

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