Pasco School Board launches investigation into campaign coercion in superintendent race
The Pasco School Board has launched an investigation into complaints that superintendent Heather Fiorentino is coercing campaign support from her staff.
Board members directed employees with specific concerns to contact chairwoman Joanne Hurley.
Board lawyer Dennis Alfonso assured that anyone who calls would be protected from retribution by whistleblower laws and policies.
The board decided to act Tuesday morning after hearing retired Pasco Elementary principal Barbara Munz level accusations that many administrators in the district feel intimidated and threatened, yet they fear speaking out.
"District and school-based administrators have been contacted on several occasions regarding campaign events, including one contact during the workday via text," Munz told the board, saying that she was speaking on behalf of her friends who still work in the district. "Others have expressed feeling pressured to walk (in door-to-door campaign efforts) to the point that they have had to rearrange schedules to accommodate the campaign to avoid being considered a non-team player or even worse, insinuating or implying their names would go on a list."