Bloomington may fire financial director, months after superintendent resigned during sexual misconduct investigation

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The Bloomington school district is reeling after the former superintendent was ousted for alleged sexual misconduct and the top financial officer could soon be fired for alleged poor recordkeeping, the Victoria Advocate reported.

Former superintendent Abbie Barnett resigned in April as the district was investigating him for allegations of sexual misconduct. Before he left, he accused Assistant Superintendent Misty Brasfield of mishandling taxpayer money, the newspaper reported. 

New Superintendent Mark Anglin has said he will recommend that the school board fire Brasfield because thousands of dollars in district funds cannot be accounted for. The issue will be discussed at the Jan. 20 meeting, the Advocate reported.

Anglin told the newspaper he was hired to clean up the district, and the board has supported his investigation into the financial mess.

“Taxpayers should understand the money is going to the students and the district to improve it,” Anglin told the Advocate. 

Brasfield was among the women who had accused Barnett of sexual misconduct, but she was far from the only one. The Advocate examined several documents showing that Barnett had been accused of unwelcome sexual behavior multiple times over his 22-year career.

The investigation by the Bloomington school district found that Barnett had sent unwanted sexually graphic messages to a district employee and had harassed other women. At least two employees believed their work performances were adversely affected because Barnett’s actions created a work environment that was “intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive,” the investigation found.

The Advocate said that Brasfield reported the harassment to then-board president John Ellsworth on March 28 and Barnett was placed on administrative leave April 2. He resigned nine days later. 

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