Polk school supt. under investigation

Posted at 4:42 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 16:42:12-05

Polk County School district confirmed Thursday that a preliminary investigation is ongoing regarding an employee complaint filed against Superintendent of Schools Katheryn LeRoy by Associate Superintendent Greg Rivers.

“I can confirm that Mr. Rivers filed a complaint against Superintendent LeRoy” said Drew Crawford, an attorney with the law firm of Boswell & Dunlap, LLP, which represents the Board from time to time in general legal matters. in a statement sent late Thursday afternoon.

“The preliminary investigation into Mr. Rivers’s complaint is ongoing and we have a reasonable, good faith anticipation that an administrative finding by the external investigator will be made in the foreseeable future," he said.

Pursuant to Board policy, the complaint was assigned by School Board Attorney C. Wesley Bridges II to an outside party for investigation, the statement reads.

“Because the Superintendent is the highest ranking executive officer for the School Board, it would be a conflict of interest for one of the Board’s employees to handle the investigation into her conduct” Bridges said. “It would also be a conflict of interest for me to conduct the investigation and then advise the School Board regarding its sufficiency.”

Citing statutory confidentiality, Crawford declined to release the complaint and declined to answer any questions regarding the allegations and content of the complaint., the statement read.

“Florida law makes school board employee investigations confidential and exempt from public disclosure requirements” Crawford said in a written statement. “The purpose of the confidentiality is to protect the parties to the investigation and the integrity of the process prior to a formal finding of fact."

“Once the preliminary investigation is complete, the investigator will transmit the findings of fact to the School Board’s legal office," Crawford said.

"In the investigation of any school board employee if there is any derogatory material in the complaint or the findings of fact, the employee is afforded a period of 10 days’ notice before the investigation becomes public," he said in the statement.

After the findings of fact are reviewed, a decision will then be made on how best to proceed, he said.

LeRoy remains on the job throughout the investigation.

Rivers is currently the Associate Superintendent in charge of operations and also remains on the job.