Fear of repercussions: The report on Pasco's superintendent election campaign
Four months after requesting it, the Pasco County School Board this week received a report on whether members of the district administrative staff attempted to pressure employees to support superintendent Heather Fiorentino's reelection bid.
The report, by Tampa lawyer Tom Gonzalez, cleared Fiorentino of wrongdoing. But he stated that the efforts on her behalf by some on her staff created an impression that not backing Fiorentino was a risky venture.
"There clearly were political activities that were closely related to work, even if they did not occur on district property or during working hours. The active involvement of district-level employees and the amount of effort these administrators apparently gave to the activities contributed to the perception that others would be expected to participate as well."
Superintendent Kurt Browning, who defeated Fiorentino in the August Republican primary, said the report was "clear that there was a culture of fear and intimidation," and that he intended to repair that culture. At the same time, he said, it did not appear that any staff member did anything clearly wrong that would force his hand in making employment decisions.
Read the full report attached below.