NewsSarasota, Manatee County

Actions

Sarasota School District recommends C.O.O. be fired after sexual harassment investigation

Posted at 8:33 PM, Oct 28, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Sarasota County School District is recommending that the assistant superintendent of schools be fired. This after details from a sexual harassment investigation came into light.

More than six months ago, Cheraina Bonner began making reports to human resource and to the superintendent that she was being sexually harassed by her direct supervisor, Jeff Maultsby, the Chief Operations Officer of Sarasota County Schools.

Bonner says nothing was done. On September 3, she went in front of the school board to publicly address her complaints.

"As a victim, I reported incidents of sexual harassment and hostile work environment by my superior and for weeks, nothing happened," said Bonner.

Back in June, the superintendent hired a third-party investigator to look into the allegations. Those findings just made public on Monday.

The 118-page investigation shows that Maultsby sent hundreds of text messages unrelated to work from his personal cell phone to Bonner. Including a video and messages saying that he missed Bonner and loved her.

On Monday, Sarasota School’s superintendent, Dr. Todd Bowden announced he recommend Maultsby, who has been on paid leave since June, be fired for those inappropriate actions.

But the investigation also concludes that Bowden's actions played a role in the district’s failure to promptly address the claim.

The school board will hold be a special meeting on November 5 to address these findings. Bowden says he disagrees with the report's findings against him but will not comment on that until the meeting.