Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fired PHCC instructor loses job at Polk Correctional Institution, too

Jeffrey Gattuso, the former law enforcement instructor fired last month for having a sex video on a classroom computer at Pasco-Hernando Community College, was fired this week from his job as a state prison guard.

According to his termination letter, his firing from Polk Correctional Institution had nothing to do with the scandal at the college.

Gattuso, a sergeant at Polk Correctional, was in command of the control room on April 9. During that shift, a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman said, he failed to reset the fence alarms and left areas unguarded.

His dismissal letter from Warden Ronnie Edwards also said Gattuso's record as a guard was taken into consideration.

Gattuso began working for the Corrections Department in 2000, first at Florida State Prison, then at Zephyrhills Correctional Institution. In 2002, according to the letter, he received a written reprimand for conduct unbecoming a public employee, and in 2007 was suspended for 10 days for negligence. Details of those incidents were not available Thursday.

As a sergeant at Polk, Gattuso earned $35,000 a year. His last day was Wednesday.

Gattuso, as a member of the security services labor union, has the right to appeal his firing from the prison or file a collective bargaining grievance before his termination becomes final.

Gattuso lost his other job — teaching part-time at PHCC's Law Enforcement Academy in Dade City — last month after a male cadet reported finding a video of a female cadet performing oral sex.

The video was attached to Gattuso's personal e-mail. The male cadet was using the classroom computer during a break.

Gattuso had apparently left his personal e-mail account logged on, a PHCC spokeswoman said, and an image from the video was on the screen.

The cadet recognized the woman as one of his classmates. He immediately forwarded it to another e-mail address, and about a week later told another instructor about it.

That instructor took him to the program coordinator, who then met with Gattuso. He was fired in that meeting on June 9.

College officials have not independently determined the identity of anyone in the video, nor do they know where it was filmed. They are investigating the incident.

Gattuso, 44, denied any wrongdoing, a college spokeswoman said. He could not be reached by the Times.

He had taught at the academy since 2006, and this spring was helping teach a course called Traffic Stops, earning $23 an hour.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office also is investigating a complaint from the instructor who reported Gattuso to their supervisor. The instructor said that on the day Gattuso was fired, he received a threatening text message from Gattuso saying something like "watch your back," according to PHCC.

Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said that investigation is ongoing.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Fired PHCC instructor loses job at Polk Correctional Institution, too 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan

    War

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  2. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    Jason Jerome Springer, 39, is accused of threatening to kill a U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich, according to a federal indictment.  |Hernando County Sheriff's Office photo]
  3. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments

    Editorials

    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.
  4. Superior Uniform acquires Los Angeles-based PublicIdentity

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — A subsidiary of Seminole-based Superior Uniform Group has acquired Los Angeles-based branded merchandise company PublicIdentity Inc.

    Superior Uniform Group CEO Michael Benstock
[Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Money is the issue as Hillsborough strains to fix school air conditioners

    K12

    TAMPA — With more than 200 repair requests tumbling in every day, school officials in Hillsborough County are broadening their circle of air conditioning mechanics as they struggle to control a debilitating cycle of breakdowns and sweltering classrooms.

    Hillsborough school officials want to expand the number of contractors who work on broken school air conditioning systems. But it all gets rolled into a workload that has increased by 40 percent since 2011. "With no increase in budget, no increase in equipment and no increase in manpower, and as the equipment gets older and needs more maintenance, this is going to continue to grow," said Robert Weggman, general manager of maintenance." [iStockphoto.com
]