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Administrators suspended over Florida high school assistant football coach scandal

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Three Manatee County school administrators were fighting for their jobs Monday night in the wake of an investigation involving former Manatee High School assistant football coach Rod Frazier.

Frazier was charged with seven misdemeanors after he was accused of improperly touching students while he was coaching at Manatee, which is ranked No. 24 in this week's Super 25 rankings. Frazier has since resigned but the Manatee County School Superintendent recommended that five administrators be terminated after being charged with failing to report child abuse and providing false reports to law enforcement.

The school board's decision about three of the administrators was unanimous. They decided to suspend them without pay, but one of the administrator's attorneys blasted school board members, saying the allegations amount to a witchhunt.

Richard Reinhart is representing Bob Gagnon, the assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Gagnon was the principal at Manatee High when Rod Frazier was a coach there. Reinhart says, "All this is .... is a political hatchet job."

Richard Reinhart had some choice words about the allegations against his client too. He says, "Everyone's just accepting this salacious idea that there was sex going on under everyone's noses and a football coach was allowed to continue his employment."

Two staff members, staff attorney Scott Martin and former district investigator Debra Horne, resigned before school board members could even vote on their fate.

But former Manatee High assistant principals Matthew Kane and Gregg Faller sat through the proceedings. Kane's attorney says his client is being treated unfairly.

Brett McIntosh says, "That this was somehow a cover up with a bunch of good ole' boys trying to cover up for a coach over there so he could go to a football game on Friday night -- that's ridiculous."

Gagnon, Faller, Horne, and Kane face a criminal investigation on felony charges of failure to report child abuse. Gagnon and Kane's attorney's say they plan to fight the school board's decision.



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