BRADENTON -- The school district's professional standards investigator may have been suspended because of a past case where he fraudulently signed someone else's name to a deed.
The details of Troy Pumphrey's sealed and expunged record were included in an employment application on file with the Hillsborough County School district.
The information of the sealed and expunged record was never included on any application materials Pumphrey filed with Manatee County schools. His resume when he first applied to the school district also stated that he held a Class C/MA license, which deals with being a private investigator in Florida, but he had only applied for it and had never received it.
The district had no comment
on Friday, district spokesman Mike Barber said.
A package of information that contained details of Pumphrey's record was delivered anonymously to Superintendent Rick Mills in January and led to Mills placing Pumphrey on paid administrative leave and assigning special counsel to investigate Pumphrey's initial May 2013 employment application and subsequent August 2014 employment application.
The district has not made the contents of the anonymous package public -- saying the contents are protected while there's an ongoing investigation -- but Pumphrey alludes to the sealed and expunged record in a lawsuit filed against the school district, the school board and board member Dave "Watchdog" Miner, calling it a "business deal gone sour." The business deal happened in 1997, according to Pumphrey's lawsuit.
Pumphrey was first hired Hillsborough County in August 2005. He worked in a few different positions in the district, before ultimately leaving as a dropout intervention specialist and teacher assistant in July 2013.
Pumphrey provided details of the case in a handwritten portion of his application to work as a substitute teacher.
Pumphrey said he signed his friend's name with his friend's permission on a deed of trust, which was then notarized and recorded in St. Mary's, Md. An inspection was later performed by a bank which found a discrepancy in the signature. Criminal charges were filed, Pumphrey wrote on his application.
"I don't dispute the explanation given while applying for my position in Hillsborough County and I trust in the system and in the end, I believe, the right decision will be made around this," Pumphrey said on Friday evening.
Pumphrey said he didn't include the information when applying to Manatee County on the advice of his lawyer. Pumphrey said his lawyer in Washington, D.C., has sent a letter to the superintendent saying that he advised Pumphrey that he did not have to disclose the information.
"After the court's state investigators office researched the allegations they found that I had permission to sign the doc," Pumphrey wrote. Investigators declined to prosecute -- known as a nolle prosequi -- and Pumphrey stated the case was set to be expunged after a year.
When Pumphrey applied to the Manatee County School District he relied on advice of counsel and did not disclose the information because the record had been sealed and expunged, his lawsuit states.
The lawsuit stems from a press conference held by Miner in October, when Miner began calling for Pumphrey's resignation, saying he lied on his resume as part of his application to work with the school district.
Miner's request failed to gain traction with board members and district officials until Mills received the anonymous package and placed Pumphrey on paid administrative leave.
Under terms of Pumphrey's leave, he is required to check in with Mills daily to provide his whereabouts, is not allowed to leave his county of residence during normal business hours unless he has Mills' permission and is not allowed to make contact with district employees.
If Pumphrey violates those terms, it could lead to further disciplinary action, according to the letter sent to him when he was suspended.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.