Principal Resigns Following Harassment Allegations

District Investigated, Found Report to be Unfounded

By Shane Allen
|  Sunday, Apr 25, 2010  |  Updated 11:42 AM CDT
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Principal Resigns Following Harassment Allegations

Principal Resigns Following Harassment Allegations

A  Plano high school principal has resigned from his position despite being cleared in a recent investigation into alleged misconduct.

Jasper High School principal Jeff Gasaway was placed on administrative leave late last month after an accusation of sexual harassment in 2009, according to an investigative file obtained by NBCDFW under the Texas Open Records Act.

Information from public employees' personnel and disciplinary files are public information, under open records laws in Texas.

According to the heavily censored investigative file, Plano ISD officials received a report that Gasaway "hugged inappropriately" a school district employee and brushed a part of that employee's body with his hand.

Gasaway was also accused of staring inappropriately at an employee and following that employee around at a district end of school year party.

Gasaway denied the accusations and said if he brushed the employee with his hand, it was inadvertent. He went on to say that he has never had an inappropriate relationship with any school employee.

Gasaway also stated he never followed anyone around at an end of year party.

"At this event, I felt as the principal of Jasper that I needed to mingle with the entire crowd," Gasaway wrote in an emailed response to the allegations.

Gasaway remembers walking up to a group that the unnamed accuser was a part of.

"I recall making just casual conversation with the entire group and did not make any advances towards [redacted]," he typed.

When asked to speak more with district investigators, the unnamed accuser quickly changed their tune.

"I have thought very thoroughly about our conversation… and I am very much conflicted over the correct course of action," the employee wrote in an email to investigators. "For me, this chapter in my life closed last June, I haven't been bothered personally since then, and I've moved on. Without our conversation, I would not have ever thought to pursue this matter any further, and I would prefer not to pursue any further investigation."

Based on this email, and information investigators had obtained, the district closed the case, saying "[there] is no finding that Mr. Gasaway violated public law or district policy."

Despite this vindication, Susan Brendemihl, a paralegal with the law firm that represents PISD, said in an email to NBCDFW, "The District has advised that Mr. Gassaway is on administrative leave for the remainder of the school year and has resigned effective at the end of the school year."

Attempts to reach Gasaway by phone were unsuccessful.

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