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Newly assigned duties not appropriate for Hernando school official, lawyer says

BROOKSVILLE — The attorney for Ken Pritz has sent a second letter to the Hernando County School District asserting that superintendent Lori Romano violated the assistant superintendent's contract in December when she transferred him and gave him new responsibilities as the manager of the district's warehouse and property.

In a letter dated Jan. 21, Brooksville lawyer Bruce Snow adds another reason the move was improper: Pritz does not meet the qualifications for the new position.

The job calls for three years of experience in the areas of accounting, auditing, property records and warehouse management in a large-scale governmental operation. Pritz doesn't have that.

"Alarmingly, Mr. Pritz is compelled to communicate that he has been placed into a new position for which he has not been trained and in which he does not have experience," Snow wrote in the letter.

Romano has been advised not to comment on pending litigation.

Pritz is concerned he will be chided or professionally judged for job performance "totally unrelated to his impeccable credentials as an educator and as an administrator," Snow wrote.

Snow also says Pritz's contract prevents such a move.

The contract states that the district may, upon recommendation of the superintendent, transfer an employee, provided that the duties in the new position are similar to the person's original duties, according to Snow.

Snow contends there were two contract breaches.

First, he says the transfer was not approved by the School Board. Second, he argues that the transfer involves dissimilar duties from his position as the head of the department of teaching and learning.

"It should be noted that the newly conceptualized tasks for Mr. Pritz confirm that his new duties are not similar to the duties he was assigned pursuant to his contract," Snow wrote.

Pritz's contract was written to prevent that sort of "incongruous consequence," Snow claims.

Snow again requests that the district take steps to fix the situation and "remedy the dilemma to which Mr. Pritz has been involuntarily subjected."

Pritz was notified of Romano's decision in a letter on Dec. 16.

The brief letter stated that Pritz's efforts as head of teaching and learning had become counterproductive to the current direction of the school district.

Pritz said the letter came as a shock and that he had received no prior verbal or written reprimand.

Romano said she and Pritz had often discussed areas of concern and that his strength was not in the area of teaching and learning.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432. Follow him on Twitter @HernandoTimes.

Newly assigned duties not appropriate for Hernando school official, lawyer says 01/23/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:32pm]

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