Saturday, June 23, 2018
Education

Hernando school district's chief financial officer resigns in sex blog scandal

Saying she was acting in the best interest of the school district, students and community, Hernando schools' chief financial officer Desiree Henegar resigned Thursday amidst a scandal over her sex blog.

School officials called the situation a "lapse in judgment" and the evidence against her "damning."

"She made some mistakes here — there's no doubt about that," said School Board Chairman Matt Foreman. "The whole thing's upsetting.

"I hope she learns from this situation," he said. "I hope she recovers from it."

For several months, Henegar, 47, had been posting sexually explicit material to a Tumblr account under the pseudonym Floridagirl46. Some posts were sent from board meetings, workshops and during work hours. In addition to pornography, other blog posts heaped scorn on superintendent Bryan Blavatt and other colleagues.

Henegar's resignation follows a Tampa Bay Times story about the sexually explicit posts being made during work time.

Blavatt confirmed Henegar's resignation Friday morning. He said he will now take it before the School Board at its Jan. 22 meeting for final approval.

In giving her resignation, she said this was best for everybody, Blavatt said.

"I was very impressed with her response," he said. "You got to respect her taking that particular approach."

Blavatt said Henegar reviewed all the information and decided this was what needed to be done.

He said there was "no question" after looking the facts.

He said that he took "no pleasure or joy" from Henegar's decision.

Other School Board members declined to speak at length about the resignation, saying they didn't have many details yet.

"I guess she had good reason to," said School Board member Gus Guadagnino, noting that most of what he knows comes from what he read in the newspaper. "In a small town, or even a big town, that's really not something you can sweep under the rug."

School Board member Cynthia Moore said she hadn't talked to Blavatt about the resignation or the circumstances surrounding it and wouldn't be able to comment until she did so.

Other School Board members didn't return multiple phone calls seeking comment.

The school district had been made aware of the Tumblr account earlier in the school year after getting an anonymous tip.

While they looked into it, they weren't able to link it to Henegar or find any evidence she was doing anything inappropriate.

Foreman said he was a little put off that someone fed the information to the district anonymously.

"If you're going to try and get someone in trouble, you've at least got to stand up and take responsibility," he said.

In light of this incident, he said, he also thinks it would be appropriate to review and evaluate the district's policy involving looking at pornography at work to make sure it covers "all the appropriate bases."

But he didn't know if there needs to be a policy expressly forbidding looking at pornography while at work.

"To me, that's a no-brainer," he said. "There is some common sense left in the world."

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. Follow him on Twitter @HernandoTimes.

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