1. Pasco

Pasco River Ridge High School principal resigns amid investigation into affair

Maria Swanson, principal of Pasco County's River Ridge High School since 2009, abruptly resigned Wednesday amid a district investigation into an alleged affair with one of her assistant principals.

Assistant principal Erik Hermansen was temporarily removed from River Ridge High. He will work at Fivay High School as classes resume Monday.

District policy states: "In order to promote a professional work environment that is free from harassment, hostility, and/or discrimination, administrators shall refrain from dating or engaging in consensual sexual relationships with employees they supervise."

The actions come just one day after the allegation came to district officials.

To ensure a smooth transition into the new school year, superintendent Kurt Browning appointed retired Pasco High School principal Pat Reedy as interim leader of River Ridge, which enrolls about 1,550 students. Reedy is expected to stay about three weeks, giving the district time to advertise and fill the principal job.

"This is the absolute worst time to have a shake-up in a school's administration, but in the best interests of the students and staff, I thought it was prudent to make these moves now," Browning said in a released statement. "I'm confident that the remaining administrators and the faculty of this great school will work with Acting Principal Reedy to have a successful school year start."

Swanson, 50, has worked for Pasco schools since 1995. Her official reason for her resignation was listed as "health reasons." District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said Swanson chose to resign, and was not threatened with dismissal.

The district will report the incident to the Florida Department of Education for possible action on Swanson's teaching certification, Cobbe said.

This was not the first time Swanson was investigated for an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee. She faced a similar review in 2011, relating to a 2009 incident while assistant principal at Wiregrass Ranch High School. The district took no action against Swanson at the time, stating she had been reprimanded at the time she self-reported the relationship.