Superintendent recommends firing Jeff Maultsby after investigation
SARASOTA COUNTY - After a months-long independent investigation, Sarasota County Schools has made the decision to fire COO Jeff Maultsby for harassing his administrative assistant and creating a hostile work environment.
Sproat Workplace Investigations Report outlines a series of harassing text messages, disturbing after hours videos, and threats when Cheraina Bonner announced she planned to file a complaint.
“I don’t like the stuff that’s going on,” Bonner told the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. “I’m going to report the stuff that you do, and he said. Snitches get stitches you know what they say in the street.”
Superintendent Todd Bowden informed Maultsby that they plan to place him on unpaid suspension and terminate his contract. The school board will need to vote on his suspension at their November 5th meeting, and his termination at their November 19th meeting. He currently has 15 days to appeal that decision.
“At the end of the day we have high standards for our employees,” Bowden said. “I think we have even higher standards for people that occupy positions of Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Superintendent. And it was very clear to me after reading all of the interviews and examining all of the exhibits that Mr. Maultsby was not living up to those standards.”
The report also included Superintendent Bowden failed to properly address Bonner’s complaints.
“He said that I should have set boundaries,” Bonner told the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. “And I told him that a man in his position as 2nd in charge of Sarasota County School Board there is no way I should have to set boundaries with someone that high up the chain.”
School Board Member Bridget Ziegler says Bowden should resign.
“The community has spoken out in response to this,” Ziegler said. “And that anything short of termination is not enough.”
Bowden says he takes exception to quite a few things in the report.
“So I look forward to the opportunity to interact with the board on November 5th,” Bowden said. “Out of respect for the board I plan to address my issues with the report directly with them.”
“Even if there are elements in which the Superintendent as indicated doesn’t agree with,” Ziegler said. “I think at the end of the day is, can you be an effective leader, do you have the confidence behind you, and I think that answer is no.”
The board will be discussing the report in full at the November 5th meeting; it is open to the public. SNN will be in attendance.